Yesterday Kevin (my son) bonked, just totally without power and lacked motivation for the first 45 miles or so. 28 minutes up OLH when he should be doing 20, 21 on a really bad day. OK, I hang back with him, you get a bad day once in a while. But he still wants to nail West Alpine. I tell him no, he’ll just flame out and rot on the hillside 1/4 way up. He says otherwise, so what the heck, I pace him hard on the flat part up to the bridge of death and… he’s already shelled. Just going through the motions. It’s not much fun for me, the kid needs to get serious if he wants to ride serious. I tell him that. I tell him to think back a couple years, how he thought by the time he was 21 (which he will be in a couple of week) he wanted to challenge my 21 minute time up Kings. He’s nowhere close. Give him a couple more years, and it will be a different story. He’s come so far, so fast. But reality is rarely as fast as your dreams.
Suddenly he just takes off. In the 3.7 seconds I have before I blow up and lose his wheel, I asked him, are you riding this way because you’re mad? He often rides really hard when mad. And he gives me the line- You have to get angry, you have to be MEAN! (Dodgeball quote)
Me? I’m thinking about what it’s like to be young & stupid & have no future (a line I always attributed to Hunter S Thompson but that appears not to be the case). The kid just flew up that last mile, got a PR for it, on a ride where his Suffer Score should have been negative. Watching him fly, you know he can do it. It being just about anything on a bike. He’s just got to learn to pace himself and understand the importance of consistency.
Kevin will get faster and faster. Me? Just working to try to maintain, keep from slipping back, dream of what I could do if I lost some more weight. Kevin can go on eating ice cream and still ride fast. In the simplest of terms, Kevin has more future than past, while I have much more past than future, even if I buck the odds and live well past the norm. I envy his future, and it just doesn’t make sense, at all, that I won’t be around to help him through the period of life that I’m going through now. It wasn’t my plan to end this post dealing with mortality. –Mike–