building new castles every day

Cycling again with Dad

In Doings on September 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Strait of Juan da Fuca / Salish Sea, September 2011

This time last year, I approached my dad about doing a multi-day bike trip together. The extent of my cycling experience until then was limited to daytime pedals across the city, or touring farms in the Fraser Valley. I wanted to test myself and see if I could handle (and enjoy) a few hundred kilometers with just a sleeping bag, a few clothes and unlimited hills.

I had previously considered joining a group cycling trip, like Ride to Break the Cycle, but I wasn’t keen to spend that much time (and money) on a journey with strangers.

I was also motivated to meet my dad as an adult. That is, I wanted to hear more of the underlying thoughts and values from the guy who raised me to calculate my own tax return and turn off the lights when I wasn’t in a room.

I also knew we had similarities: We both like to eat hot breakfasts, and we both like using bicycles to get places (me to work across town, and he to the Atlantic Ocean across Canada).

Dad became an obvious choice as a trip companion.

And after the first trip last September, we quickly agreed that cycling was a great conduit for each of us to get away from our daily lives while reflecting on the world around us. The silence we afford each other, and the conversation inspired by our journey, I believe keeps us grounded in what we value both individually and as family.

So I’m incredibly happy to be setting sail today on a ferry to meet my dad for another cycling escapade. We’ll be taking on the hills of Salt Spring Island followed by the Malahat from Victoria out to the beautiful logging community of Lake Cowichan. Dad has already tuned up my bike and fashioned a new rack to replace what was stolen this summer. We’ll stock up on groceries and batteries for the camera, I’ve packed my fleece for the chilly mornings, and there are only clear, sunny skies in the forecast.

Someone, at some point, likely said: Life is what you make of it. And I say, that’s pretty darn great.

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