Once upon a time a Dad and his son handed out water to marathoners of all ages, sizes, abilities, speeds and levels of committment. The Dad and his son had a wonderful day at the 2006 City of Los Angeles Marathon at the Mile 25 aid station, in March of that year.
The day started bright and early, nearly 30 minutes before the official start time of 8:30 and nearly 2 hours before even the fastest runner would get to Mile 25. So early that the Acura LA Bike Tour riders were still on the course. The son thought that was the coolest thing and vowed to do the ride next year.
The Dad had run the marathon in the two previous years and determined never to run it again. The father had already checked off California from his list of states. LA was the Dad's least favorite course. Then in a move the Dad hadn't expected, the powers that be changed the course for 2007. Oh, the dilema! Would the Dad run the new route or ride the Bike Tour with the son?
There were two perfectly good mountain bikes in the garage at the house where the Dad and son lived. One bike, a hot little red number, fit the Dad perfectly. The other bike, a heavy blue and white model, was far too small for the son. The heavy blue and white bike was purchased years before for the boy's older brother. Both boys now being full grown and exceeding their father in both height and weight had outgrown this little blue and white bike.
The boy's mother had the notion that a new bike could be purchased for $200 or less. The boy's mother doesn't know much about bikes. A week and a day before today the boy's family was enjoying lunch at a shopping center in which a bike shop was also located. The father wanted to show the mother just how much bikes really cost so decided to take the family into the bike shop. The mother was shocked to see the stickers on the shiny new bikes.
As is likely to happen when one enters a sales establishment to peruse the goods, one leaves with said goods. The boy became the proud owner of a brand spanking new KHS Flite 300 road bike. The Flite is an entry level bike and although the Dad is not very knowledgable about bike specs, the bike was within the price range the Dad was willing to pay and was able to convince the Mom that it was really a reasonable price for a shiny new bike.
The bike is a beautiful color of blue, darker than robins egg, lighter than navy. The boy was exceedingly happy and proud of his new bike. The Dad took the boy over to Bonelli that very afternoon for a little spin on the new bike. The Dad rode his red hot mountain bike. In the past the Dad always led the way when the son rode the old heavy, too small bike. Now the son was unstoppable. The Dad could not keep up with the boy no matter how hard he pedaled. What a difference the right equipement can make. The pair rode for 8 miles around the park. The boy said, "that was so much easier than the old bike!"
The pair took another spin two days ago, again in Bonelli between preparing the lasagna and the arrival of the guests. The Dad had run 15 miles that morning as well. Again the boy was thrilled with the new bike. The following day the pair headed over the the Santa Fe Dam Bike Trial to cover the same 15 miles the Dad had run the day before. The boy rode farther, with less effort, not complaining and with nothing but enjoyment. The Dad was left behind by about half a mile while the boy flew down the trail.
Tonight the price was paid for the entry to ride the traffic free streets of Los Angeles on March 4, 2007. The boy is very happy. The Dad wants a shiny new bike too. (He secretly doesn't like trailing that far behind the boy.) The Dad is happy too, riding with the boy is a very good thing.
And that good and faithful readers, is the story of a boy and a bike.