For me the true essence of cycling is always found when I go riding with one of my favourite riding partners... she is not concerned with what people ride or how they ride but is instead is simply filled with the joy one finds when the wind is in your hair, the sun is shining, and you are on yet another adventure... with your dad.
Not too many people have her zeal or her stamina when it comes to riding... or so much passion.
I remember the first time she rode solo and she has never stopped... at 8 years old she would wake me up with her helmet in hand and say, "lets go for a ride..."
If you ask her what she wants to do there is only one answer... "lets ride bikes."
She is also fierce and gives no quarter to the wind or the hills that rise up in front of her and is always singing and when she comes down the other side her feet leave the pedals and point outwards as she coasts downward... and when she thinks I am not looking she rides no handed.
She loves her bicycle as it is more than just a thing made of steel and rubber, his name is Basil and he is her erstwhile companion that carries her everywhere she wants to go in comfort and with unusual speed... she always want to know how fast she went today.
Today, she handed her dad his butt more than a few times as we rode and she sped ahead of me... she says just wait until we take out her new racing bicycle and then you are "doomed". (insert maniacal laughter)
I will go happily to my doom and will probably hear my daughter singing as I go.
When she was 8 years old...
She told me that we need to keep this bicycle for her kids...
Stylin' and ridin' in all seasons and all kinds of weather except winter...
Today... at 13.
She reminds me of a little boy who felt the same way she did when he was her age... there was only one thing in the world that he wanted to do and he still loves to go and ride bikes.
I have the most fun when I am with my wife and daughters and we ride together as a family... there is usually lots of singing and when the girls are not looking I steal kisses from my wife.