I’ve been trying to get away for a long ride all weekend. My son and I had intended to go over into the Arkansas Ozarks this weekend for another long ride. Yesterday was supposed to be the day, but things kept coming up and we never made it out. Last night, I loaded the bikes on back of the Jeep, got all the gear loaded and ready just so it wouldn’t be quite so easy for something else to get in the way. Seems like that’s always the way it is around the holidays, no matter how well you plan, something always seems to pop up and change your plans.

This morning I got up early and Dang!, a sore throat. I was feeling sluggish all day yesterday, should’ve known I was getting sick. We still plan to go, then I flip on the TV and Supercross is on ESPN. Well, I tell him we’ll go after Supercross is over (that will always be most important to me, you purists will have to forgive me).

We live next to a big lake, and we’re about 2 miles from the dam. Below this dam is a fairly good place to ride along the river, not nearly as good as some of the Ozark trails but still okay. You probably all have them, the places that are close to home and good enough to ride, but still not great. This is a place I have ridden since I was a kid, both dirt bikes and mountain bikes, and I used to have the entire place to myself. In the last couple years the off-road crowd has “discovered” it, and on some weekends there will be over a hundred dirt bikes and four wheelers there. At first I hated to see them on “my” place, but turns out they make some pretty mondo trails, and I don’t ever have to groom. And I often see guys on dirt bikes that I used to race against so it ain’t so bad having them there after all.

So anyway, after Supercross is over, my son says “Dad, lets just go ride the river”. Sounds good to me. I go out to the shop and start unloading the bikes and he says “why don’t we just drive down there and unload?”. I say “it’s only two miles why would we want to drive when we can ride?”. Then it dawns on me and I chuckle to myself, after all this grief I’ve given some of the enviro’s on this board, I’m the first to want to ride instead of drive

My son is almost 14, and still really a BMX’er at heart. I want to be able to race XC with him this year so I’ve been gently coaxing him into the mountain biking world. It never fails though, about the time I start getting a good hit of endorphins we will roll up on a creek gunyon with lots of drops, he’ll say “let’s do some drops”, I say “keep rolling, pace yourself, steady and smooth”. Then I think about it and stop. He drops. And drops and drops and drops. He’s really pretty good at it too, and something else that never fails is after a couple of these episodes I end up in there with him dropping

Now we’re back home, I’m sitting at this dang computer again, sore throat worse than ever. Doesn’t matter, I got to ride with my kid today. I’ve ridden with a lot of different people, at a lot of different places, and there’s nobody I would rather ride with than my son. Even if he is a skuzzy little BMX’er.

Life is good, even with a sore throat…