Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pedaling With My Old Man

Riding a bike with my Dad
Family. Never take them for granted while you have them around.
That's your's truly on the far left, with my Dad next to me.

Growing up I would get comparisons from people all the time saying how much I looked like my Dad. "You're the spitting image of your father!" I would hear people say. Growing up I never liked being compared to my Dad. Now I hope I can half his stamina when I get to be his age one day.

His name is Carlos. He's 52 years young and has an affinity for cheap sunglasses. My dad has been a hard worker all his life. He worked in the shipping and receiving department at a pharmaceutical company for over 20 years before being laid off as a result of corporate downsizing and moving the whole plant to Singapore. So now he spends his days going on long walks in the park, up to 14 miles at a time. He is also exercising for his health. He has recently been diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure, a common problem among many Latin Americans, young and old. He keeps his ailments in check by staying active. In his younger days, my dad was a bottomless pit. He could eat an eat and never gain weight. Unlike my Dad, it takes very little for me to put on the pounds. A couple of weeks without continual exercise and  I'm looking at my scale 10 pounds differently. Not my Dad. He was blessed with a high metabolism, which is only recently starting to slow down a little.

Today we went on a 20 mile bike ride around White Rock Lake, in Dallas. The old man kept up pretty well in the 1971 Schwinn Suburban that I lent him. Together we looked like the Dallas chapter of a Puerto Rican Schwinn club. It felt good to stick out like soar thumbs from all the Lycra and carbon that surrounded us. I think we were the only two people on the lake riding old, steel bikes. Anyway, it felt awesome being different in a good way.

Growing up my Dad, my brother and I used to do a lot of outdoor activities together. We would play basketball, go for hikes in the woods, and ride our bikes around town. Now that I am older, I appreciate him even more for still being there for  me and making himself available to go for a bike ride occasionally. As time goes on, loved ones and people that you hold dear start to go their separate ways. It's important that you take the time to show you how much you love that person by spending time with them while they are still around. As I get older I am starting to know my Dad more and more. Although I have known him all my life, I have never known him as an adult. His company comes at times where I could really use a friend and a familiar face. My old man is very appreciated in this point of my life right now, and I am not ashamed to say that.

I would like to do a ride in tribute of my Dad, and to raise awareness for Diabetes and hypertension among Latinos. I am thinking of a ride across the Lone Star State. I am going to need funding and sponsors for this endeavor. If I can get the money together I will be able to do this ride.  I will need to pay a camera crew to document this as a bike film, get navigational equipment and be able to recover the time off work I spend on this venture. If you would like to donate to my cause, check out the link on the sidebar of this blog page. With your donations we can make this happen. I will also be the first Puerto Rican to attempt long distance bicycle touring in the United States. Again, thank you in advance for  your donations to my page.


  1. Cool story! Although I am not made of money I will certainly donate to the cause at the end of the month on payday!!! :)

    By the way, I posted pics of the Holland Sport all cleaned up and tuned! I took it for a cruise today and it got a lot of the looks with all the Euro odd ball features on it! Thumbs up!

  2. Thanks Greg. Whatever you can donate for the cause will be gladly appreciated. I'll have to check out that article on that Holland bike you restored.

  3. Wow Johnny, that sounds like an awesome idea! Where's the final destination? El Paso, or South Padre Island? I suggest the Island!

  4. Lengthwise my friend, to Padre Island!(If I can raise the funds to get there. I'll also settle for Austin if I get enough funds for that). I started a new blog page promoting this as a fundraiser ride. Let's see if this can happen. I'm pretty hopeful it can!