Boy Meets Bike
While cycling has a huge global appeal to its many fans, I like the fact that on a local scale it’s small enough to feel like a family gathering. Last year, back in February, Pete donned his warmest clothes and headed out for a ride. He loves the independence that it affords him as well as the impression of uniqueness that comes with being one of the few kids in his school that does the sport. During his chilly ride, a large peloton of cyclist passed him by on their Sunday training ride. Now further ahead, he saw one of the group members peel off and come back towards him. They struck up a conversation leading to an invitation by man who turned out to be a coach of a youth cycling team. Peter came home excited about the invitation. Unbeknownst to Peter, I had met the same coach years ago when Peter was in second grade. As I was starting up the Go Far program, Aidan Charles’s fledgling CCAP program was in its infancy. I distinctly remember telling him to keep his eyes peeled for Peter sometime around the time he could reach his pedals. Well as fate had it, their February meeting would finally bring Peter into the world of cycle racing. While he has always been a home grown product of our triathlon community, this new opportunity would begin to teach him even more about the gears that turn his his wheels. Once again, my hope would be to put him in a situation where great mentors would open his eyes to the sport. Quickly he found that with the coaches within CCAP program. He would meet kids his own age, bend a set or two of handlebars and solidify his love for the sport. The cycling community feels much like the rowing community I grew up in. It's quirky, intense, intelligent and driven. Now from this mother’s eyes, who spent her entire youth getting doused by the cold backsplash of salt water during many a January rows, I understand cycling’s appeal to a kid looking for adventure. On this chilly December morning, I watched him navigate this newfound learning curve through an orchard deep in central Connecticut. He would bring home mud as a souvenir as well as some very cold toes. On the way home, he would talk about how excited he was to take his new skills back to his triathlon community and feel the warmth of his favorite season on his now freezing toes. June can’t come fast enough. But first, he will venture out on many a Sunday ride with the group who had picked him up just by chance.
12/13/2014 11:21:16 am
Like I said - there are a lot of heroes out there - just find them.
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