03 August 2011
Every year I ride in a three-day cycling event in the Colorado Rocky Mountains named the Courage Classic. I participate in this ride every summer because it benefits the Children's Hospital Foundation, a wonderful cause that directly benefits many kids with life-saving care. To find out more, check out the website.
In 2007, I wrote about riding the Courage Classic with my oldest daughter. That was a wonderfully proud moment for me as a parent. But this year was even better.
For months now, my youngest daughter has been talking about riding the Courage Classic family day this year. We were never sure if she would actually do it or not, but we worked up to it by practicing and kept encouraging her. Not only did she ride the same little single-geared bike that her older sister rode over the 33 mile course from Copper Mountain to Breckenridge and back, she did it a year earlier -- and she's only eight years old!!! What really drove her, I found, is that she is one year younger than her older sister when she rode it for the first time. Ah, sibling rivalry has its positive moments. All along the entire course, people cheered her on and she got the biggest thrill from it.
Not only did my eight-year-old ride for the first time, so did my wife and she did great. She's typically a runner and only likes casual bike riding, so I wasn't sure how it would go. A few days beforehand, I took her around Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO (which is about 10,000 feet of elevation) as a training ride. She was not too excited by this choice as the last training ride for her, but she did admit that it helped her prepare and she really surprised me.
So I got to ride with both my daughters and my wife on the second day of the ride this year. A memorable day indeed!