Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

by / / 66 posts

Took my 2-yr-old son to the last of the Marymoor Velodrome summer series races tonight. He rode his tricycle up to watch from the top of high-bank turn and sat there, transfixed. It was a perfect late summer evening– dry and warm, with a lingering sunset. The Cat 1&2 races were fast and precise, and the two-wheeled machines looked perfect in the purity of the track form.

As we left, I asked my son if he had fun. He responded, redirecting the conversation as only a toddler can…

ME: “Did you like the races and the fast bikes?”
SON: “You ride your bike fast!”
ME: “That’s right, sometimes I ride fast too. I push hard on the pedals and go fast.”
SON: “Push on the pedals and go FAST! Push on the pedals and go FAST! ”

I believe my work here is done. The kid is going to be fine.

// Defining Moments // Racing // Tradition

  1. We had less than 100 riders for our downtown crit but over 200 kids for the kids race. I hope that is a sign of things to come.

  2. @frank
    Looks like he’s Rule #74 compliant too, so no harm done.

  3. It’s cool to see kids get into the sport. But I’ll leave it to the breaders to take care of it. Nice pictures Frank.

  4. Track cycling rules! But I couldn’t find any article in your archive about it.

  5. I love this post, that is all.

  6. @LA Dave – lovely response mate. Teaching, learning and riding…. this is the game of life.

  7. Nice post Jim!
    I’ve posted a similar photo before, but my 4y/o did his first ‘kiddy kilo’ a few months back. It was 2 laps around a 1K circuit. We hollered at him to stop at 1 (’cause it seemed quite a ways for him), but he yelled back “I’m still going!”.

    He even had a podium girl (and not even his mom!)
    He also rides and cleans his bike most every day.

  8. @scaler911
    Awesome work @Scaler911.
    I love including my kids in riding. I love how mine have taken to riding singletrack like it’s no big deal. Just buying my eldest her first proper mtb with 20″ wheels. Can’t wait to see what the coming years bring riding wise with them.

  9. @scaler911
    Wucked eh bro! Want to give you grief (sure sure, that’s your ‘son’, admit it you’re a tiny tiny person) or it may be family resemblance.

    @grumbledook

    Great photo. That looks enormous and steep.

  10. You all are outing me. I’ve waffled about track long enough, and I thought JiPM had got the jump on me. I have to do a guest article now.

  11. Totally sweet. I can still remember my first proper ride with my old man. He’d left me to ride around with my chums in a park for a few months to get up to scratch. One evening he turned up just as I was about to go home and told me we were heading out on the roads. It was like a whole new world opening up.

  12. Great stuff chaps, good to see the kiddy love going on – thank Merckx my two have just got obsessed in the last month or so, as I thought it would never happen (6 and 8 yoa, better late then never) – from anxiety, straight to refusing to wear a helmo and cranking round blind corners, now the anxiety is for me to suffer!

    Lesson one – cycle in front of them – my daughter, inherently a show off, kept looking over her shoulder to tell us how fast she was going – I told her to keep looking a head, then thought, quick, get in front – too late, she lifted out of the saddle and buried it – and sadly herself – face first onto the tarmac – didn’t put her off, and now big brither struggles to keep up – great to see them at it – now at our caravan park (no not Trailer Park) it is not cool to walk anywhere, so the bikes and scooters have taken over the shoes as #1 mode of transport – vive la velo!

    Great to see the big growth in our club cadet rides (9-15) – they ride small front cogs (or disconnect the FD cable) to keep the speed down – fantastic in a scary parental sort of way – though I hope learning in group rides with a club will keep them safer longerterm

  13. Inspiring stuff, friends. Makes me want to run out and get a kid..or a track bike. I think I’ll go with the track bike first, see how that goes…

  14. @Dr C
    @drsoul
    Somewhere under a mountain in Colorado, the Department of Homeland Security has put a “persons of interest” watch on alias “Dr C” for his reference to “kiddy love” and alias “drsoul” for his apparent plan to kidnap a child.
    What is it with you doctors?

  15. @drdeath
    Hey Doc – any comment from your shed in the wilderness??

  16. @Dr C
    Right on.
    Great to hear racing for kids is alive and well where you are as well.
    It seems to be a bit different here in Aus. We still have heaps of fantastic kids racing locally both on road, mountain biking and cyclo cross. It just seems a little less structured somehow.
    I shouldn’t cast aspersions on it though as it seems that the talent has no difficulty getting into the big leagues.

  17. Got the kid her first “legit” bike (i.e., 20″ wheels, training wheels not even an option) back in the Spring. Was so much fun watching her zip in and around the islands of the church parking lot across the street – and then teaching her to raise her inside pedal when cornering (so many close calls on pedal strikes). Finally getting her first wreck out of the way too – not something you want to happen but just knowing the inevitability of it and wanting it to be not too bad. Now she’s convinced that she’s faster than her mother and me.

    Going to gauge her interest in doing some Lil Belgians races during CX season though I don’t envy her if she has to lift that beast over any barriers (nor do I really envy myself. Not sure I want to expose her to daddy getting waxed in his race week in and out).

  18. @brian
    isn’t it just a whole new level of feeling shit about yourself, when you put your beautiful little daughter, who seems only recently to have learnt to walk, on a bike – driven yourself mad trying to get her to go fast enough for you to be able to let go before your bottom vertebrae collapse, and then watch her face plant on the street…..

  19. Frig me, that reminds me of the time I tied a rope to the front post of my then 5 yr old son’s scooter, to help pull him up our steep driveway – then as he hit mach 2 going back down the hill I couldn’t keep up and the rope, which I had safely wrapped around my wrist, went taught, resulting in my first born face planting the cobbles too

    Jesus I’m a bad father

  20. @Dr C
    She got her 2-wheel shit together on her first bike (16″ wheels, I think, anyway the smallest size that had pedals). What was tough was getting her to realize that she could do it – that she was more than capable. But yeah, that screaming lower back pain. The thing now is the confidence doesn’t match the handling. She’s screaming along on those big wheels leaning into corners and tempting that fates on Rule #64. It’s terrifying and exhilarating to watch (“stop looking at me, watch where you’re going!”)

  21. @brian
    such an intrinsic feature of humanity, that history will always repeat itself….

    chapeau for watching, I just scream now and look away

  22. @scaler911
    Is that a Petzl climbing helmet? You getting the little dude out on the rocks too?

  23. @seemunkee
    full combat fatigues too – he’s already grade three Special Forces training for the SEALS

  24. @Dr C

    Frig me, that reminds me of the time I tied a rope to the front post of my then 5 yr old son’s scooter, to help pull him up our steep driveway – then as he hit mach 2 going back down the hill I couldn’t keep up and the rope, which I had safely wrapped around my wrist, went taught, resulting in my first born face planting the cobbles too
    Jesus I’m a bad father

    I recommend a track bike. Probably get an even trade, yes?

  25. @seemunkee

    @scaler911
    Is that a Petzl climbing helmet? You getting the little dude out on the rocks too?

    He loves climbing. As do I. Goes to the rock gym quite a bit in the winter, and we do some top-roping outdoors. I let him take a cam or two and a couple nuts and he places them a lot better than some of my climbing partners.

  26. Monday morning funny. It’s just a road race:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A285M5c-be8&feature=player_embedded

  27. Cool post. I’ve had the family out to Marymoor a few times to watch the track races. Nice place.

    Seeing and/or riding with kids is huge fun and the future of our sport. Like a digital wallet with cascading pictures of your kids, I blabber about it constantly on my fluffy blog. My son, now 12 years old, has ridden with me for a few years now. He also races mountain bikes and cyclocross. It’s been fantastic sharing the two wheeled time and watching him progress as a rider.

    Seeing my son and other kids get the riding/racing bug is awe inspiring and just a kick in ass. Pics of him in action and other bike fluff here: http://yoeddy.blogspot.com

    Picture below is a neighbor of ours, all of 7 years old, going for the gold – on a shoddy jump constructed in my front yard. This is where it all starts…

  28. @scaler911
    Awesome.
    Wish I had one of those.

  29. I’ve really enjoied the photos (and the comments) of this post,
    thank you.

  30. A great article and something that I am greatful to be able to do here in the UK. There are lots of opportunities for my daughter to watch and learn about cycling here and it is great to my hear my daughter shouting out “Green go green go!” as the riders begin to slow. Having learned that Red traffic light means stop and Green means go she uses this when wanting to tell daddy to hurry the hell up and lay down some V.

    Here she is at 18 months testing out the first trike in the living room.

    You may well notice she has already discarded the bidon in a bid to reduce weight before cycling up the stairs. She pushed it up four before mum told me to stop her so we will have to call that an abandoned attempt for now.

  31. Start ’em right and this is where it ends up, son and I about 6 years ago after doing a century ride

    Pleae ignore all the rules violations. I was young(er) and ignorant.

  32. Found my youngest (6yrs) looking through one of my bike magazines last night before his bedtime. “Is that a time racing bike, daddy?” “Yep, it’s a time trial bike” “that’s what I said, daddy, can we do spot the difference between that and a bike like yours”

    They’re not big enough for road bikes but they love cycling, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a big loop round a local reservoir, an afternoon at the BMX track or just belting up and down the garden.

  33. While we’re showing off our kids, here’s my youngest son Bodhi out training a few years ago.

  34. Ladies and Gentlemen – a study in the rules. Next time you consider any violation please reflect on this photo. A five year old (? guesstimate?) is taking you to school.

  35. @seemunkee
    he looks like a young Laurent Fignon

  36. @minion
    He was three!

  37. @Oli
    He looks like he’s summing up the competition. “I’m gonna rip your legs off.” Totally awesome!

  38. @Dan O
    I remember a great piece on your site where you detailed the building of your son’s bike. Great stuff.

    @Oli
    Those are my favorite shades ever. Love how they match the kit. Pantani class. The Roadworks kit, from this angle, even looks like it might be lycra denim.

    Class.

  39. @frank
    It’s his summer kit with the perforated fabric. No denim Roadworks gear has ever or will ever exist.

  40. @Oli , @frank
    Seriously. Kid Rudys. Where can I get my littles pairs of those? Genius.

  41. @Nate, @Oli

    Seriously. Kid Rudys. Where can I get my littles pairs of those? Genius.

    Je pence those are Briko Stingers, not Rudy’s. Never been a fan of Rudy’s, despite my boys Jan and Erik (Dekker) riding them and making them look badass.

    @Oli

    No denim Roadworks gear has ever or will ever exist.

    I expected nothing less. And thank Merckx for that, too.

  42. @frank
    Rudy helmets are tits.

  43. @frank
    Je pense you are right. Better not show my sons that picture, they’ll want their own pairs.

  44. @jimmy
    SPECTACULAR. A Prophet, with the most beautiful Shimano group ever made. Incredibly good work. The only issue I’ve got is the hair under the helmet; please ensure he immediately start to fan the hair up and out of the vents in order to channel maximum V.

  45. @frank
    Rule #3 far outweighs Rule #19 at this stage. Upon a certain age,while partaking in Rule #56, the rules will be explained. Until then the fire in his eyes confirms Rule #6.

  46. @jimmy
    Plenty of Rule #6, and loads of the V. That is the killer look, combined with that look of joy combined mischief that we all find on two wheels. Stoked to see a kid that young on a bike and loving it, Velominatus-style. My only concern is: where do you go from a Scandium Merckx with the best DT shifter group Shimano ever made? A Steel Merckx with Campa, I suppose, but…that’s not a lot of room to grow.

  47. If any Welluminati are interested our track racing starts soon, there’s a working bee this weekend, and a couple of Tuesday night warm up nights on the next 2 Tuesdays. Training nights the track is available are Monday, Thursday and Sunday arvo, and the club has bikes suitable for Juniors and adults to hire. The Calender will be on the Port Nicholson Poeneke cycling club site.

  48. Some great photography from the Team GB track training camp.

    Need to get a motorbike for my 2 x 20 sessions (and up the pace a lot!)

  49. Made my day! Wonderful article.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar