I was awake at 5.30am the other Sunday, the usual time that my body has adjusted to in time for training. However, this was a different Sunday as it was the last weekend until Lucas, my 8yr old, joins his first bike race.
I signed him up for the 5.5km event for Nov22, in the BGC Cyclefest that is on it's 3rd version since starting last year. Thus, I had to make him be acquainted with the distance by taking him and the rest of the family to UP to ride loops around the popular weekend oval.
I brought along my bike as well so that I'll be able to ride alongside him to keep him from hitting runners or being too close to the cars. I put my Garmin 410 on his handlebar so that he will able to see for himself if we made the required distance.
After everything was set, including 5yr old Matteo, we were off.
It was a pleasant ride all throughout and I could notice how relaxed Lucas felt as we hovered at around 11kph. He said it's nice that I am able to talk to him as we rode, and that he said I looked thin (even though I am starting to gain weight again), possibly just being his usually nice self. I felt that he enjoyed it especially on the downward section of the oval as he glided fast and with ease as if with no care in the world, as any child would be.
After our 2nd loop, we cut through the middle of the oval to finish half of it for our 3rd and final loop. The middle road of the oval was quiet except for 1 or 2 skateboarders so I was able to look at Lucas biking amidst the forest backdrop. I looked at him for about 5 or so seconds, memorizing how beautiful and special this moment was. He looked straight on the road, serious but relaxed, with his face a cross between serious and almost coming to a smile. I concentrated on saving that moment in my mind, with high hopes that I will never forget it. Maybe, hopefully, at that moment, Lucas fell in love with biking.
As we hit the straight slight uphill towards the finish, I encouraged Lucas to speed up and give it his all as we were about to end our ride. He obliged and started to pedal fast. I could see from my Cateye that we were at 16kph. With a heavy BMX bike and slight uphill grade, this 8yr old was certainly huffing and puffing his way to his waiting Mom at the make-believe finish line. He slowed about 300m to the finish, obviously tired from the max effort but still pedaling. I told him to just slow to cooldown as we neared the end. I could imagine his relief upon seeing his Mom, with water in hand as his prize for the day.
Total distance was 5.7km as per Garmin.
I hope not to forget this day, one of the most beautiful rides that I had my entire life.