Immediately after the Trek, everyone asked me “how was it”? I mean EVERYONE asked me. I know that most people were asking with the best intentions, like ‘how was it, did you have fun or was it torture?’ Others were asking because they get that riding 180 miles with your Dad could be an amazing lifetime memory. Or, it could turn into a disaster.
The truth is, the ride was fine. I’m sorry that i’m not more enthusiastic or forthcoming with details. I don’t mean to be off-putting. I mean, it wasn’t on my own personal bucket list to do the ride. Despite my mediocre training, i always knew i would finish. The ride is my Dad’s thing. Because i’ve heard about it for the past 10 years, I have a hard time articulating how it was in my own words but i’ll give it a shot.
It is hard to sit on a bike for 70 miles a day. Your butt hurts when you start the second morning. But you soon move from pain to numbness. Stretching at every rest stop is so incredibly important and while you are at it, you wonder why they don’t have beer and cocktails at each rest stop. (Okay, i completely understand *why* but there were many times when i just wanted a drink. End of story). At night, you crash by 9:00 so you can get up and do it all over again.
You pray you don’t get a flat (i did) or that your chain won’t fall off (mine did). Inevitably, it will happen and when it does you pray you, as a novice cyclist, can figure out how to fix it. I could, well, the chain at least.
As you ride you try to pay attention to scenery. It’s gorgeous. You acknowledge people having a conversation with you. As an asthmatic, it’s hard to engage in too much conversation. My Dad can attest to this after we nearly came to blows at my unwillingness to expend precious oxygen on much more than a grunt.
And you just sort of take it all in. There is your Dad, in all his glory. Having fun, doing what he loves, having fun. I know i said that twice but that’s how much fun he was having.
So, the ride was fine. I enjoyed myself and enjoyed challenging myself physically. I was humbled to have the ability to do the ride, even i only did “okay” by my own standards. I was grateful to work for a company that grants me enough vacation that i could enjoy this time with my Dad and still have my own vacation later this year. And i am blessed that my Dad is still with me, physically more fit than i am, and showing me how important it is to have fun in life.
So how was it? It was pretty good.