Kirsten And I Dropped The Punks

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Bike Stories

I actually got serious about college after Kirsten was born.  From her first breath, it was clear that she expected to eat almost every single day. Perhaps an education would help pay for that.

Being a financially strapped father, poser bike racer and college student, I would typically ride my bike to Washburn University for classes.  In 1988, when Kirsten was about 2 1/2 years old, I added a child seat to my old Colnago.  For those of you who don’t know, this was about the classiest racing machine you could have at the time.  So, imagine adding a child seat to your 2011 Cervelo with a Shimano Dura Ace Groupo.  Yes, I had other bikes for training and racing.

Anyway, I would happily pedal Kirsten to the grocery store or the 7-Eleven, while she cackled away in the baby seat on back.  Late one spring afternoon, I needed to go the school library – about three miles each way, so I hucked her on back after adjusting her little helmet adorned with lady bug stickers.

I have always been a very social cyclist and, frankly, I expect everyone else to wave and be civil as we see each other out on the road.  But, as Kirsten and I were leisurely riding to the library, a couple of young punks with shaved legs came by, passing on our left. They didn’t say a word, dismissing the “older” dude with the kid on the back as not a real cyclist.  Apparently, they missed my shaved legs and the Colnago decals.

Frankly, this pissed me off.  So, I turned around and said, “Kirsten, hold on – this is going to be fun!”   We quietly rode up behind them and held our position for about 15 seconds.  Yeah, they noticed us and picked up the pace even more.  The road up to the library has a fairly steep hill.  From the bottom they both stood up and attacked.  Kirsten and I hit the gas and passed them about 2/3 of the way up.  I raised my daughter right – she very enthusiastically said “hi” and waved at the two young men as we passed them.  They were too gassed to respond.

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