Last weekend the 2014 Whistler GranFondo was run. For the past 3 years my son has competed. The first year he bonked on the long climb out of Squamish but still finished under 4 hours but had to deal with leg cramps for the last 10-15 km. He could hardly stand when he got off the bike. Last year he was better prepared finishing 15-20 minutes behind the winners. This year, he did even better finishing with the lead group in 18th place averaging over 30 kph over 122 km with an elevation gain of over 1,700 meters.
Sometimes your kids just make you proud. This kid does more than that. He excels at all things sport. He is a hard worker and it has always paid off. Soccer. Trail running. Rock climbing. Hiking. Kayaking. Fishing. Golf. He is a natural.
When he was 5 years old, I took him with me to the top road cycling shop in town. I needed a new set tubulars. There was a red 2-wheeler with training wheels on the floor. He jumped on and I couldn’t leave without buying it for him. It was the best $99.99 I have ever spent.
We have cycled together ever since. Road. Mountain. Even today. We build and maintain our bikes together. Share the shop. He would always try to beat me. I remember cycling the UBC trails with him for several hours. When we were biking home, a 15 km ride, there was a very steep climb for about 3 blocks. I was tired and really didn’t need the climb. I struggled up in my lowest gear, having to get out of the saddle much of the time. Not him. He was 15 at the time. He took his hands off the bars, folded his arms in front of his chest and pedalled up the hill. Since that day, I have not been able to keep up. No matter. He still cycles with me. He pushes me harder than I might and never makes me feel I am holding him up.
We have done some epic rides together. The West Maui Loop. The Sunshine Coast. The Gulf Islands. Squamish. Whistler. And, we hope to do many more.
He was disappointed with his GranFondo finish. He said he started the final sprint too early and faded. Otherwise he thinks he may have been in the top 5. Not bad for an amateur grouped with the top riders.
He texted me almost immediately afterward with his time. I have always been there to celebrate with him. Not this time. I didn’t think he was riding. It was a last minute decision for him and, I am out of town.
Well done. Some kids just make you proud.
Cycling up a hill without hanging onto handlebars…!