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mountain biking

June 2, 2002 Sunday

Becel Ride for Heart

The first time I took my daughter with me to this annual ride was 2 years ago (2000). She was 8 years old then and rode a tandem bike with me as we did the 50K route. That gave her a taste of the excitement and exhilaration riding in a bike can provide. She was hooked and eagerly awaited the next year's ride.

We made our registration way ahead of time for the 2001 ride both in excitement of the promise of fun that lay ahead. Unfortunately, it was drizzling during the event day and there was no rain date. I would have gone if it was just me, but with my daughter, it just won't be fun for her. We opted not to go and ended the day in disappointment.

So today's event is special simply because we've waited 2 full years. The sun was bright, and no chance of raining. There was promise of fun in the air. Additionally, my daughter is now 10 years old....a little taller and now ready to try her mom's bike - a full-sized Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike. Although it's relatively light, it's nearly half her weight considering she's only 68 pounds. But it didn't matter to her. As far as she's concerned, she's now playing in the major leagues.

When we reached the turning point of the 25K, I asked her if wanted to head back. Without hesitation, she said "Let's do 50K". Quite a tall order for someone who really hasn't done a serious ride other than a few laps around the block with a kiddie bike. Allowing her to take responsibility for her decision, I agreed.

If there was a way for her to test her boundaries, the 50K objective did it. Even before we reached the turning point, the fatique of hauling a bike half her weight on the uphill section of the Don Valley was taking it's toll. She was extremely tired and could only proceed at a snail's pace. Bailing out however, was not an option for her. She went on.

As relieving as it can be, upon reaching the 50K turning point, the rest of the way was a downhill grade...very welcoming to my nearly exhausted 10 year old. We cruised down with less pedaling effort until we crossed the finish line.

Although I can't say that the ride for her was entirely pleasurable, it was written on her face that what she was feeling went beyond was a profound sense of accomplishment knowing she gave her 101% against tough odds and made it back.

50K to a 10 year old pulling a bike half her weight...I was a very proud Dad that day.


Reader Comments:

I read it dad, and I LIKE IT.
-- my daughter

Hmmmmmmm ...........sounds like we may see a new podium girl in a couple of years.
-- David Joudrey (5th placer, 25 Km Enduro Male, Gary Fisher #2, Dagmar Derailleur Destroyer)

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