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  1. #1
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    Playing with the boxes on Christmas

    My Teenage son, now 18, raced varsity on his mountain bike team and spent more than his fair share of time on the podium. He recently gave up racing for health reasons. He continued to work with the team to support the new riders. He finally left because he didn't enjoy the team and didn't see any good coaching. He said he wasn't having fun anymore.

    Out in our shed he has a Yeti Arc, full of XTR, custom DT Swiss/ChrisKing wheels, carbon bits, probably worth about $4000. He also has an Allez worth about $2000. They're both nice machines and he was more than worthy of them.I built the Arc and bought the other at the LBS. I believe in good bikes and that it is important that they be able to manage extremes, power, and skill, especially when my kid is out of my sight.

    So last night in the rain the lights were on in the shed and I can hear the TV blaring Top Gear. I went out there and he had his mud bike, an M2 sort of XT level, in the stand. This was the bike that took the nasty training rides in crappy conditions or even early races in the season on courses that were really hard on bikes. It was a bike with its own dignity for sure. It was once his racer with all the juicy parts on it. Yet he had the frame in the bike stand, having stripped all the parts off of it, well-cleaned.

    On the bench was the old Hugi front wheel, the front Marta disc brake lever-hose-caliper assembly, carbon bomber fork, Ti stem, carbon risers, Thompson seatpost, XT crank set, v-brake and lever, derailleurs, and cassette. He shared with me about what he had in mind. All I told him was to make absolutely sure that everything got a generous grease and lube and to pay attention to how tightly he screwed things down.

    I came back later and he had the set of back-up black Mavic-Deore hub wheels upon which he had mounted skinny street tires, a 16 tooth cog on the rear with the Surly tensioner, black Truvative Stylo Team crankset, black Deore V-brakes and levers, the spare black SID, some old cutdown black alloy risers, the old Ritchie seatpost, and his glow-in-the-dark BMX pedals on this lime green M2 frame.

    And a huge smile on his face.

    He was going to reclaim his passion in his own way, and created something he could enjoy hammering around town. We talked about it, about the choices and the set up, in the exact same way we have always talked about his race bikes. We talked about being cautious about the setup in the early days by riding easy. We talked about traveling with the three-way and a chain breaker for a while and making adjustments on the fly until we both could really trust this thing. We treated this Frankenbike with the same respect with which we regarded the construction and maintenance of his “high-end” bikes.

    My wife called this morning and asked about how the new puppy was doing. And then she commented that my son got up really early this morning and in a really good mood. I remarked that I thought he had made a decision about cycling and that this latest avatar of a bike was important to him. And she said that after his shower last night he came out and talked to her about this bike in very excited tones. As a mom any joy from a child is a gift.

    As my sons long-time cycling coach having him walk away from racing must have been very hard for him. He was forced by some health reasons to do so and with all his investment in the sport it was deeply disappointing. After all he had trained with High school racers from the time he was 12. He had tried to stay with his team to help to train the younger riders and support the team in general. He left however, for reasons described above. I supported every decision he made in this process even if it meant he was going to leave competition.

    As a coach and a father the decision could only be his and I needed to give him my best. It is my good fortune, that over the years my best effort to an athlete sometimes means sending them along another path of life. I at least had this experience to my advantage. He had to work this out on his own and these last weeks have been troubling for him.

    So out in the shed is a lime green dream in its last stages of being made ready to ride. He said he can't wait to take it to the bike shop to see what they say.

    The passion lives.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Playing with the boxes on Christmas-em2.jpg  

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  2. #2
    wannabee
    Reputation: giantbikeboy's Avatar
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    That's a good story. Thanks for posting!
    .....

  3. #3
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    awesome write-up. brought back lots of memories of my own sons. hope things turn out as well for you guys as they have for me

  4. #4
    Vermonter to the Core
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    nice! too many times you see parnets pushing their children in their own dreams... this post is a great learning tool for us younger parents (9yrs) Let your child blossum in their own flower pot!
    JEM
    09 Marlin Disc
    2010 Cannondale RZ 120....
    2011 Trek XO Crossbike
    .......... __o
    ......... -\<
    ........(_)/(_)

  5. #5
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    Inspiring stuff. Nothings better than reclaiming lost passion.

  6. #6
    WWYD?
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    Liking it Mike! That second picture of your son climbing on the bike says it all.

    Stories from the shed. With all this rain, I'm building wheels and tuning bikes too.

    Nice story, my two sons are taking off on my bikes now.

  7. #7
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    I got married last year, and even though we are waiting a few years for kids, i am really excited to have them and help them explore the world and what it has to offer. I can only imagine Cycling will be a part of that. I bet seeing your son riding a MTB is beyond awesome. Can't wait to see what it's like.

    Thanks for posting!

  8. #8
    CoolArrow
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    awesome post, thanks for sharing!
    Cool BandolArrow

    Jerry Hazard – website

  9. #9
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    He rode my wheel for along time and was my stoker on the tandem untill he was 11. I made sure he was a smart rider. He always had respect for the sport which is why I bought him in to our High School workouts at a young age. His heros were the older riders all of whom treated him with respect and patience.

  10. #10
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    Reputation: rzims's Avatar
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    great story - thanks for sharing....
    Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to find the passion....

  11. #11
    Keep The Rubber Side Down
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    Great shot of passion!
    Some of my happiest memories in life took place on my bicycles. - Me

  12. #12
    ILIKEBIKES
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    ppppppppppppppp
    Last edited by tjchad; 03-25-2015 at 03:33 PM.

  13. #13
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    I'm 24 and I can absolutely relate to the rekindled passion idea. Not just in cycling, but in any activity. Sometimes you need remember why you did that thing in the first place. I was a D1 pole vaulter for a major university, competing at the national level when I started to hate it. I didn't want to hate it. When I started, it was all about the fun and adrenaline of jumping and competition. I brought myself back to that first time in the air and allowed myself to loosen up and have fun again. My heights improved and I fell back in love with the sport. Now I'm training and competing post-collegiately with hopes of qualifying for the trials next year. Sorry for the side-story, but the story was close to home.

    On a cycling note, I too rekindled that passion with a single speed. It brings me back to my BMX days. Nothing to complicate the fun of two wheeled shenanigans.

  14. #14
    ride more
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    nice post, thanks for sharing, I hope he loves that bike.

  15. #15
    wg
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    Mike,
    Good job (the write up and as a parent). I enjoyed the read.
    Don't harsh my mello

  16. #16
    It's about showing up.
    Reputation: Berkeley Mike's Avatar
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    With your kids you do your best. You still never know and hope it all works. It is always wait and see.

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