decisions, decisions

September 24, 2009

Do you remember The Great Santini? Of course you do.

After Ben finally beats his overbearing, hyper competitive dad in a one on one basketball game, the Great Santini wants a rematch, and when Ben refuses and walks away, his dad follows him, bouncing a basketball off his head. When Bull finally goes inside, and his wife confronts him, Bull says “Who the hell asked you anything?”

And his wife has the perfect response: “Don’t you talk to me like that. He beat you and it was beautiful!”

Where am I going with this? Don’t ask.

Okay, you asked.

Last night I went for a bike ride with Ian‘s youth group, maybe 6 boys, couple other adults. We started at Suncrest, went over to top of Clarks, did some new trail, down Ghost, played on the stone steps, yada yada yada.

At the bottom of Clarks, because there was what you might call a fairly sizable talent gap between Ian and his friend and the rest of the group, I sent Ian and CJ up from the bridge while I waited for the rest of the group to catch up. I waited maybe five minutes, maybe less. And then I set out to catch Ian.

About a third of the way up, I spotted the two of them, Ian leading. When they looked back and saw me, Ian took off and CJ sagged and slowed. I caught and passed CJ. I closed to within about 100 yards of Ian.

And never got any closer.

I could tell, he had shifted into a gear comparable to my singlespeed 32×21, and was standing, stomping the pedals. So I picked up the pace. I started to sweat. I started to breathe loudly. I started to lose my vision.

And still could not close the gap.

Now, I’m the first to admit (especially right now), I’m not having a banner year. No racing, no real training. But I still get out two or three times a week. I still do big rides, I’m not gaining weight.

And yet he gained. Like the man in black. If the man in black wore a white sleeveless t-shirt, silk shorts, and skate shoes.

I am torn in half. On the one hand, I want to hug him, throw him a party, buy him a Superfly Singlespeed.

On the other hand, I want to kill myself. I’ve been asking friends for advice, celebrate or kill myself. It’s running about 70/30 in favor of self-immolation.

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28 Responses to “decisions, decisions”

  1. stevenbpt Says:

    This is the same kid who laughed when you took your spill after loaning him your helmet. Give him a hug and do the same hill with him, this time starting at the same time. Give him a little shove about half way up…NO, that would be petty and I like Ian. If he beats you this time give him the bike.

  2. EL_Animal Says:

    Hug him, kiss him and then buy the Superfly for you.

  3. Rachel Says:

    If you buy him the Superfly, he may forget the pact to get a car when he’s 16.

  4. Rick S. Says:

    Impressive. Forget the hug, you need to flip him off. As the new Alpha male in the house, will Ian get to sit at the head of the table during dinner?

  5. Jenny-Jenny Says:

    Humble pie, dug. Eat it and maybe Kim will give you a hug. (and I’m sure sometime while you’re out she’ll be throwing him that party!)

  6. eric Says:

    C’mon, this is a no brainer.
    Cheat.

  7. linfin Says:

    Can’t you retain your alpha male status by claiming injury? After all you did bang your knee very badly recently, right? Or do alpha males not use excuses for losing?

  8. mtb w Says:

    Next time out, fill his tubes with water. I heard somewhere that works pretty well. If he still beats you, he really deserves that Superfly!

  9. KanyonKris Says:

    Pass the torch to the next generation. It sucks, but youth trumps training, conditioning, endurance and whatever else you think you’ve got. It’s like when basketball coaches say “you can’t coach height”. All age gets you is experience and treachery, which can factor in an occasional win, but the odds are clearly in youth’s favor.

    As usual, the words of wisdom for this problem come from Seinfeld: I choose not to race. Detente, my friend, that is the answer. Just tell yourself you’re being mature, responsible, looking out for others. Why do I seem to know so much about this? Uh, I read about it somewhere.

    And dismiss advice from anyone who does not have a teenager.

  10. JB Says:

    Well, well, Dug, Welcome to the world of raising growing teenage boys. I have had three boys and all have passed me in everything physical except the golf course. I can still beat all three of them, although, they all hit it waaaaayyyy farther then me off the tee, which seems to keep them happy even though I point out the final score which means little to them.
    Maybe you can figure something out, break the rides into pieces that you can still win at!
    You know, even my 15 year old daughter can make 18 out of 20 free throws and also slaughter me at HORSE.
    I am the pathetic aging athlete at our house.

  11. Eber Says:

    just go race j dub up clark’s. you’ll feel better. better do it before spring though.

    • Jdub Says:

      I want the 5 minute head start, and am not above running a passer off the trail to hold position, and… reserve the right to drop the bike and run the rest of it when I can’t pedal anymore.

  12. mark Says:

    Doesn’t Ian weigh like a buck and a quarter? That’s what I thought. A long flat TT is the answer.

    • KanyonKris Says:

      Mark, you’re on to something here. So Ian can climb, there is more to cycling. If Ian won’t do a road bike TT, find a dirt equivalent. Dug, you’re good at downhill and technical stuff – play to your strengths. You may still be able to salvage your household alpha male status.

  13. Jonnie J Says:

    Easy. Congratulate him, take him down to the bike shop and get him the superfly. Throw that party and Then never let him touch the Superfly. A kid that age could never appreciate such a machine.

  14. Big Boned Says:

    Why don’t you send me your bikes and take up knitting? It would save you the cost of a Superfly…

  15. Andrew Says:

    Fill his tubes with water. I hear that works nicely.

  16. Doug Says:

    Easy E kills me going up hill. He beat his time up Clark’s this year by 5 minutes and has hardly ridden his bike at all. 15 years old 6’2″ tall now and weighs in at 130lbs. I can tell you the only way I can beat him on a bike is to soften him up first. Long road rides are the ticket. 40 mile rides with a race from the Bluffdale exit back to my house are the silver bullet. Sadly then it is still too close for my liking. We are going to Moab in October and I am sure he will embarrass me on a regular basis.

  17. Geoff Says:

    Time to climb onto the ice floe and drift peacefully out to sea…

    • dug Says:

      perfect reference to a terrible movie. rob reiner’s number one stinker. did you ever read ebert’s review of North? best review ever. i think he used the word “hated” like 87 times.

  18. Steve Says:

    I have the same situation with my 17-y-o son road biking. I have over 3000 more miles on my legs than him. He rode maybe 250 miles all summer, because of 6d/wk, 10 hr/day summer employment.

    Steep hills? He kills me. Sprints? I try to cheat, and he walks away with 300 yards to go. I cannot even CATCH his wheel.

    The only thing keeping him from realizing he is in many ways stronger than me is big miles on rolling hills. He slaughters himself downhill while I coast.

  19. forgingahead Says:

    Oh no, you must celebrate. For Ian and also because a party is so much more fun than the alternative!

  20. bikemike Says:

    you’re obviously not using the same wind he’s using.

  21. Senior Says:

    I saw this same thing on Animal Planet Big Cat Diary the other night. I think the right thing to do is “RUN”!

  22. Senior Says:

    BTW, Tell Ian i want to take him to dinner! Seriously, this is the moment you have been waiting for! The rest of your life you will still enjoy riding, but you will enjoy your children’s successes and accomplishments even more! (that sounded pretty grown up, didn’t it!) But take it from one who passed this moment some time ago, I LOVE IT ALL!!!


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