Story & Photos: Josh Rizzo
My favorite memories of growing up with Dad involved biking too far, staying out too late, and splitting a Snickers bar upon finally reaching our destination.
I never had a concept of mileage and just kept spinning the cranks on my coaster brake bike until we got back home.
Dad, A “Closed” Sign, and a Sucky Ride That Turned Out Great
A particular favorite story I remember is when Dad almost crushed our hopes but instead seemed to miraculously save the day. My sister and I were quite little when my Dad took us on a 20-mile out and back to a little convenience store in an unincorporated town.
The only thing that gave us hope to make it to the turnaround point was my Dad’s promise that he’d buy us a snack at the convenience store.
It was long after dark and we still had a few miles to go but Dad kept our spirits high with the anticipation of picking out anything we wanted in the store.
We rolled up to the store and the outside light was off, windows were dark, and the “CLOSED” sign was on the door.
My hope was crushed.
But luckily my Dad’s wasn’t.
He knocked on the door of a home that was right next to the store and asked if the man who opened the door also owned the store. Sure enough he did. He reopened the store, unlocked the cash register, and sold us each 1 snack, probably totaling three and a half bucks before wishing us luck on the ride home.
I have no idea how I had enough energy to bike 10 miles back home that night but I think it had something to do with a little boy’s delight at a simple treat just when he thought luck was lost. Thanks, Dad. That was a real cool Dad move.
Dad, Pizza, and a Face Full of Wheel Splatter
Now that I’m a dad, I treasure every ride with my kids. I want to keep it fun and not push my hobbies onto them too hard, but I also want them to share my adventures as we stretch our limits together.
Each summer, we bike to a local pizza farm together. It’s a 22 mile trip that’s normally beautiful as we roll up and down hills, twist through the woods, and say hi to the cows and horses on the many Wisconsin farms we pass.
Last summer’s father-son ride to the pizza farm however, included 8 miles of pouring rain. When you’re 4 years old on a Trail-a-Bike, being pulled by a fender-less gravel bike and getting sprayed in the face with wheel splatter for 40 minutes isn’t all that fun.
Now that that trip is removed by a full year, the Type 2 fun is something we talk about on almost every ride together.
Let’s Take Our Chances Together
Our year is already full of micro-adventures and recently we camped at a pizza farm, but hopefully most rides will be without the wheel splatter in the face.
Although, heck, would we still talk about these stories if there wasn’t a sometimes-good-sometimes-sucky plot twist half-way through?
I guess we’ll just have to see how this one goes and hopefully my kids will still like biking when it’s said and done.