Monday, January 26, 2009

What a joy it is to share the joy of bikes

That's my dad on the right. I don't know who the other people in the picture are.
My dad is, and has long been, a big fat guy. As a youth, I appreciated this quality, because I could playfully punch his belly with surprising force, and he never minded. As an adult, I have mostly been agnostic about my father's rotundity. Sure, I suppose that I'd like him to be in better health, since I want him to live longer, prosper, &c. But realistically, I'm more concerned with getting him to keep a job, manage his money properly, and close his mouth while chewing. (And frankly, I'm not that concerned with any of it. He lives far away, so I don't see him enough to be irked by his faults, but thanks to this modern interweb technology, and the telephone, I get to talk to him a lot, which makes me happy because he is a smart, funny guy.)

Lately, however, my dad has started to do things to slim down and improve his health, and I am delighted. Not because of the possibility for more productive years (he hasn't had one of those in ages), but because he sold his car, bought a bike, and is always conferring with me on two-wheeled matters.

Luckily for my dad, he lives in Portland, Ore., where they practically hit you with sticks if you don't ride a bike, and where public transportation exists and warmly embraces two-wheeled multi-modality. So he went to his local bike shop and they set him up with a used mountain bike outfitted for city riding: Riser bars, slick tires, fenders (a must in the rainy Northwest), etc., and my dad sprung for a Brooks saddle. Now he tells me every day about his latest triumph of mileage, as he does more and more of his commute on the bike and less and less on the train. For his birthday, I am sending him a little must-have kit for basic maintenance: Pump, patch kit, spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool, chain lube, wedge bag to carry stuff, and one of these, because, you know, Brooklyn represent. I almost can't wait to go visit him so I can give his bike a once-over and get more good gift ideas. It's nice. That is all.


chillwill said...

i'm impressed by your use of "multi-modality"

Joel said...

Great post Josh. What a family!