25 September 2005

The Bike Race

Yesterday was a Saturday. The Gator football team was at an away game in Kentucky (they won, 49-28), so there was no need for a trip to Gainesville this weekend. To have a fun adventure, my son and I went to Orlando to watch a bike race.

As I have talked about recently, cycling is one of my hobbies. I haven't been able to ride much this year, and am getting out of shape, but it is still a hobby, interest, and love. Turns out, the interest is addictive. My son (10 yrs old) took up cycling as a way of spending time with me. He seems to enjoy it. His longest ride so far was a 50 mile marathon that we did a year ago, but that is another story.

My son has expressed an interest in taking up cycling as a sport. He loves to watch the Tour de France, and other races on TV. Several times, we have talked about having him race. However, he has always been a little apprehensive about a sport that he has never competed in. So, we went to Orlando and watched the race. It was a great day.

We went down in the afternoon, and listened to the Gator game on the radio. We got to the race venue early, and walked around for awhile, just checking out the scenery, watching the crew set up the race start/finish line. We had a smoothie and then watched the kids race first. It was really fun to watch the kids, ranging from 10 year old little girls to 18 year old nearly men, riding around the short course of closed city streets.

After the juniors were finished, we walked around the course as the next age group, the masters raced. We got to watch the races from several different angles and appreciate the speed and precision of the various racers. Later, we had some pizza for dinner. Then, during the grand finale, we each had a cup of tea, bought from one of the race sponsors: Trish's Teas.

We had a good time, talking about nothing, and about his dreams and aspirations. We talked about his desire to race, and about other things that were important to him, whether toys, TV shows, or anything else that he wanted to talk about. He stayed up for the drive home, and helped me navigate through Orlando. All in all, he went to bed well after midnight.

The whole day was a great investment of my time. I hope that he takes up the sport. It will give me excuses to go on road trips with him again, and spend more time talking about nothing and everything all at the same time. What could be more important for a father to do?

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