Parental Prose

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I think sports, namely mountain biking is what makes my non-traditional little family a tight knit trio. Maybe saying it IS what makes it is a tad too strong of a word? But it definitely helps keep that strong bond going on. For anyone that happens to be reading this and doesn’t know a thing about me I am the proud owner of 2 strapping young lads. Currently at ages 20 and 14. They began their mountain biking careers at ages 5 and 11 give or take a few hours. And some might feel I am wrong about this but I feel like this sport, aside from bringing us close together has taught my boys valuable life lessons.

For one it has definitely taught them both the value of being a good and loud bike race heckler. See for yourselves:

I give you Exhibit A
I give you Exhibit A in which you can see my oldest son in the green jacket doing what appears to be a pelvic thrust while undoubtedly screaming his head off.
And here is Exhibit B in which I didn't realize upon snapping the pic that my little one was up on the road with his pants at half mast and in a manner similar to his older brother, also screaming his head off.
And here is Exhibit B in which I didn’t realize upon snapping the pic that my little one was up on the road with his pants at half mast and in a manner similar to his older brother, also screaming his head off.

Not every parents dream but hey, we’re mountain bikers. If you aren’t one of us it can be a little bit hard to explain. For us its quality family time. Some girls like to go shopping with their moms. My boys and I go out and yell our heads off on race weekends and can barely hear each other speaking the following day because our vocal chords won’t let us make a peep.

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Here’s Gordo around 8 years old hitting some jumps in Roswell, GA. Knowing how to jump is very important.

Another thing it has taught us is to be outgoing. I think both of my boys have started off as kind of shy but what better way to break yourself of that than to get out and shred a trail that stokes the shit out of you? Good trails equal some hooting and hollering and high fives or chest bumps, depends on what you are into. They’ve even met some celebrities of the mountain bike world along the way.

Mylan with Andreu Lacondaguey; Crankworx Colorado 2008
Mylan with Andreu Lacondeguy; Crankworx Colorado 2008
Gordo arm wrestling Cam McCaul earlier this year.
Gordo arm wrestling Cam McCaul 2 years ago.
One of Gordo and Joey hanging trackside at the Underworld Cup with Greg Minnaar and being clowns as usual.
One of Gordo and Joey hanging trackside at the Underworld Cup 2012 with Greg Minnaar and being clowns as usual.Not bring afraid of photobombing yourself is a great lesson.

Aside from the usual list of life lessons we get from riding bikes; i.e. if you fall down get back up and try again, practice makes perfect, look before you leap, if you’re not first you’re last and other important things like that there are a few other lessons to check off the list.

How to take a top tube to the groin.
How to take a top tube to the groin.
Don't wipe sweat off your face when you're digging around poison ivy.
VERY VERY IMPORTANT LESSON: Don’t wipe sweat off your face when you’re digging around poison ivy. This was AFTER the swelling had gone down!
How to do a fork rebuild the night before getting up early to drive 6 hours to a race.
How to do a fork rebuild the night before getting up early to drive 6 hours to a race.
The ever important how to look like you are having the time of your life when you are wet and muddy.
The ever important how to look like you are having the time of your life when you are wet and muddy.
The art of taking photos at golden hour!
The art of taking photos at golden hour!
Little brother off on the left filming his older brother shredding this berm.
The art of videography. Little brother off on the left filming his older brother shredding this berm.

I will leave it at that for now. All these are very important skills. Most importantly we all have fun doing all these things together. Makes for a good little family unit and prepares the kids for the future in more ways than you would think. For example a few years ago my youngest was having some trouble with a bully at school who wanted to fight with him. My pacifist kid was worried about getting in trouble for fighting and about getting punched. How did I fix his fear? Simple. Mountain biking. I said dude, its a kid. You’ve hit trees head on at speed and been ok. You really think a kid is going to punch harder than slamming into a tree??? He smiled and said probably not. Boom! Problem solved! Feel free to use that one if you’re kids or other mountain biking loved ones run into a similar issue. Works like a charm! Whoever said parenting was boring is a fool. There is never a dull moment, I can attest.

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