My First Cycling Challenge

I was a 10 year-old Cub Scout during the summer of 1985. That year was the 75th anniversary of Scouting. It was also the summer that my dad and I rode 75 miles together so I could earn my Physical Fitness badge.

My father was and has always been an extremely supportive dad. I remember him telling my 10 year old self that we were going to ride 75 miles by the end of the summer. At 10 years old, I kind of freaked out thinking that was an impossible goal. But week by week dad persisted and we indeed completed the 75 miles, and I earned my patch.

I don’t particularly remember the rides or receiving the patch, but I have always remembered the accomplishment of doing the work and earning the patch. It is something that has stuck with me for the 35 years since that summer.

That was my first cycling challenge.

It is that inspiration, along with the inspiration of my friend Randy, that has encouraged me to begin organizing cycling challenges for the Kansas City Bike Trails community. I want to provide an opportunity for riders of all ages and abilities to experience the same kind of success and achievement I experienced at 10 years old.

My hope for these challenges is that, regardless of where you live, we can come together as an online community to encourage one another to ride in our respective towns, cities and suburbs.

I also hope to encourage parents, grandparents and other responsible adults to recreate that experience I had as a boy of accepting a cycling challenge, putting in the miles, and earning a physical reward for my achievement. That’s why our challenges will always have an achievable goal for young riders.

My dad and I still ride together, and I cherish those times when we can ride, knowing that the memories I make riding with him...even as an adult...will last a lifetime.

Now it’s my turn, to encourage my children to ride with me to achieve these cycling challenges together.

Enjoy the ride!