Just the other day, a co-worker asked me if I’d been riding my bike much lately. To which I replied, you bet. I actually rode for 4.5 hours before work today. She was a bit surprised to my answer and said “I always wondered if your cycling would suffer or drop off, now that you have three kids.” I told her of course it’s been a bit harder to find the time to get out and ride, but that’s why I leave the house at 4:45 am or take the time to ride on my lunch break.
I’m very fortunate to have the ability to continue riding my bike as much as I’ve been able to. Shannon puts up with a lot, but we both work really hard together when it comes to raising our little bunch. Some mornings they don’t get to wake up and have breakfast with me because I leave the house early to make the most of my morning commute. And some evenings they don’t get to see me for evening bike rides and bedtime routine, because I’m still hard at work. But you can rest assure, that every spare moment I do have, I spend with my kids.
There’s a lot of sacrifice that goes into being a husband, father, full time provider and washed up professional cyclist ☺. If I could go back and change anything, I wouldn’t. I have an amazing life, a wonderful family and the best fan club you can imagine.
With that, I’d like to give a little shout-out to what SDAY and I call, The Triple Threat. The best little group of groms a dad could ever ask for. The reason I skip out on bike rides and simply the best part of my life.
Layla: She’s my heart breaker. When she’s sad, I’m sad. If it weren’t for our belief in “proper” discipline, this little girl would get everything she ever asked for even when she’s being naughty. But that’s what I love about her. She’s polite, she’s sweet and hardly ever naughty.
Layla came to us in the most spectacular, life changing experiences. And she knows just as well as I do, that she was meant to be in our family. She remained nameless for the first few days, until a sweet nurse in the NICU helped us find exactly what we already knew was the perfect name. We had mentioned the name Layla briefly but it didn’t stick until she was signed, sealed, and delivered.
She’s a huge help to her mom with her two wild brothers and she loves nothing more than a solo bike ride with me. Oh, and she just began riding a pedal bike, no training wheels required, thanks to her Strider.
Rider: The boy who’s name was picked out well before Shannon and I were even married. True story. I’m talking like 1999. I’ve got sketchbooks to prove it. It was back when I was dating this awesome girl (sday) and found out she had been secretly writing baby names in my sketchbooks. At first, I was a little freaked out, as most guys would be… but as soon as RIDER, made the list, I felt pretty good about the whole situation.
Man, this boy can melt in your hands with his long eyelashes and bashful attitude. He’s the brains behind the trouble that he and his little bro. conjure up. And Rider finds a way to hide the guilty look behind his blanket, stuffed animal bird, fish book and sippy cup. Yup, he’s a hoarder. Focused and quiet. I know this kid is yet to reveal his big personality and talents. Talents, that I feel will have a huge impact on our family. He also loves long bike rides and runs in the Chariot and is slowly getting the hang of the Strider. Followed with a good long nap or sleeping in.
Owen: The wild child. Also nameless for a few days. We planned on Nixon (another one from the sketchbook), but at birth, it just didn’t seem to fit. Now, I think it would, but we’re pretty in love with O. He is the one who takes Riders ideas and wild style, and raises the bar. He’s got no fear and pretty much does, his own stunts as well as everyone else’s. This kid has a zest for life and it shows. He’s up early and never wants to go to bed. He never stops moving and can always be seen, playing in Kashi’s water bowl, soaking himself with the garden hose or emerging from a dust cloud. So far, there’s not much this kid doesn’t try to jump off either. Cross your fingers and hope for no broken bones.
There you have it, the Triple Threat and how they came to be the best distraction from my cycling a guy could ask for.