This year marked a big change that bridged the gap of family and motorcycles when my daughter Chloe started riding.
As a motorcycle lover and a parent the opportunity to ride motorcycles with your kid is nirvana. I wish that there was some way for me to open up my soul and channel out the feelings because I don’t have the power to put the words together that would adequately describe the greatness.
There were moments on our last ride that had me laughing and giving Chloe props out loud in my helmet. Watching her stand up, ready herself and then head for the lumps in the earth to take like a jump… it’s really a wonder that my head didn’t explode.
Riding in the woods, Chloe worked on navigating through slippery leaves, tackling hill climbs and going down hills.
There was only one moment that made her stop and say, “Mom! I don’t wanna go down that hill!”
I knew it would be coming so as we approached it I stopped at the top. I told her to shut her bike off and that I would go down and walk back up to her.
When I got back up to the top, I stood in front of her bike with my hands on the the handlebars. I told her to put the bike in neutral and put her foot on the rear brake. We were just going to roll forward a little bit and move over the crest of the hill together. I have no idea what the right way to teach someone to go down a hill is but my thought was – like a roller coaster, getting over the crest of that first drop takes the fear of the unknown away and then the fun comes.
With her foot still on the brake I stepped aside and stood next to her. She then started to roll forward, pumping the brake a couple times and then… letting go. I watched her roll to a stop at the bottom of the hill and look back at me. That was the first and last time she wavered going down a hill for the day.
I was really proud of her.
There is a grace that a child seems to have that as an adult I wish I could master. I was saying to Kenny later on in the evening that Chloe will be a far better rider than I could ever hope to be. She will have the mechanics weaved into the fiber of her being. I think it must be different when you learn to do something as a kid compared to picking it up as an adult.
Though we were riding with a bunch of other people, we would split apart and then meet up with the group throughout the day. Chloe seemed to like it best when it was just the two of us, which was fine by me.
This is my favorite photo of the day – Chloe and I riding off in to the sunset…
I watch Chloe ride and I can see that the love is there. Not because I want it but because it already exists in her. That little flame that was passed down to me from my dad is burning in my daughter.
I passed the torch.