Friday, July 10, 2009

There's No CRYING in biking!!

Ok -- so maybe Tom Hanks was talking about BASEBALL in that clip...but the same thing applies to BIKING, doesn't it? Check out the day I had earlier this week:

I was watching a replay of the team time trials in the Tour de France on television, and my son (Vincent, age 9) came strolling into the room. He asked what I was watching, and I gave him the rundown:

Tour de the magnificent French countryside...Lance Armstrong and Team Astana...etc.. (There's nothing like watching a cancer survivor still riding at the front of the pack at age 37, you know?) They had great coverage of Lance and Company, tearing through the course in nearly perfect unison, rounding corners, drafting, and eventually winning the stage that afternoon. It was poetic, and so fun to watch. V really seemed to be enjoying himself.

Fast forward to the next day. We get home from Vincent's summer camp on a particularly warm summer night, and he tells me that he wants to ride his bike to Frank's Ice Cream stand (famous in these parts for good, inexpensive treats) -- something he has never asked to do before. But if it puts me on a bike? I'm there!

We roll out of the driveway, and what's the FIRST THING he says to me?

"Dad! Get on my back wheel -- you can draft off of me!" (keep in mind we're going about 4 m.p.h. here)

After a short distance, he shouted "switch!" And a few seconds later -- after I pulled ahead -- he said..."I can feel myself being pulled in your slipstream, Dad!"

Apparently he DOES listen when I ramble on endlessly about any number of things, especially the Tour de France. Shocking.

The best part, however? After inhaling a double scoop in a cup (mint green chip and cookie dough - mmmmm), I tell him to keep the leftover two dollars to put into his piggy bank. His response? "No thanks, Dad. Let's give it people with cancer and your bike ride with Lance Armstrong, instead."

Ok...remember the comment about "no crying in baseball?" On this particular night, Vincent made me so proud as a Dad on so many separate occasions...I almost lost it. My son is nine, and he has more compassion than 99% of the people I've met in my 45 years of living. Unbelievable.

I'm cranking out a 62-mile ride this coming Sunday, putting me well over 1700 miles for the year...and it's supposed to be pretty hot and sunny for the workout. If you see me, just remember -- it's PERSPIRATION. The last thing I need is Tom Hanks in my face.


Farrah said...

That was a beautiful story. Vincent is such a sweet kid! Good luck in the race today!!

CathieRH said...

I finally read your post (I'm a slow poke, I know) - very nice. Vincent is awesome and so are you!