Sunday, May 18, 2014

The hills are alive with the sounds of chains poping and musles bulging

Ok so Day two of bing on the tandem with Dad was a big one.  We rode a total of 57 miles and 4000 of elevation change.  We earned every mile of our day today.

Before i go any further i want say that our friend Richard Jutzi was in a bicyle accident yesterday and our thoughts and prayers have been with him and his family all day.  Stay positive buddy you will be back up in no time.

Today was a real test for myself as we road up all of the hills.  This was not a test of strenght or endurance but one more of dealing with trying to be patient and put myself in my fathers place on the bike.  As i spoke a little about this yesterday i am in the captains chair of the tandem and i have never been in the stokers spot.  i dont know what it is like to be lead by someone up a steep narrow roadway.  And i dont know what it is like to completely put my trust into someone in a situation that could be dangerous.  So as i rode and tried to explain what i was feeling up front to my dad i realized (slowly) that i was not very aware of many of these things.
How sad is it that it took me all day to figure this out, heck it took me all these years to learn how to better stop and listen rather than give advice or coach at times.  I am so proud of my father he never yells at me or at the situation he simply just takes the direction and tries to make the best of it.  He is so strong and i hope that i am doing him proud.  We pedaled up so many hills today and each time he just kept trying to do his very best.  With each passing mile i realized how much it was taking out of him to do this incredible feat.  How much each pedal stroke he had to focus on what was going on. I noticed this about a week ago and wanted to challenge myself to feel in some small way the challenges that he was facing in pedaling up these hills.  So for the past week i have been riding all the miles in only the big ring.  This has been tough and i can really gain some understanding of what a conserted effort it takes to ride each mile that he has.  Many times today i wanted to stop and just give in, then i would realize that my dad was there and that he wanted to keep going.  So i decided that we would ride until we needed to stop.
I know i need to stop taking my health for granted because tomorrow it may change.

I dont know if I have ever told anyone why i started calling my dad PoP's all these years ago.  I have always had a good relationship with my dad.  Like all teens we had our disagreemnts as i was trying to find my own way.  I went to college, moved away and realized how much i had learned from  my dad.  When i would come home i saw how close my brother was with him and wanted to kind of re kindle or build a new relationship of sorts.  Calling him POP's was my way of starting this.  I think that over the years we have grown closer and have realized how much we are alike.  I am proud to be his son.


  1. I am sure, absolutely, that Pop's is proud to be your Father and proud to have you as a son.

  2. Awesome reflection Shannon. (Hi Bev, how are you; long time no see; I think it has been about 2 yrs.) Shannon you are a great son to ride w/ Pops; my son lives in Paris, France & I miss him. Hope to see you Friday evening Shannon; please see my comment on Shane's blog; thank you from PWP Dennis Padrick, Huntington Beach, CA (previous homes in Manhattan Beach & San Pedro; on or near PCH)