Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lake Loop: 2012 Brothers Edition

My brothers, Uncle Rob and Uncle Tim, and I have settled into a sweet family tradition: an annual bike ride along the roads of our youth. For the past 6 or 7 years we've gathered, usually on Boydton Day weekend, for the Lake Loop, an 80 to 100-mile circle of the lake. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and this year saw the best weather yet. When the weather is right and the mood is good, we can nearly recapture our teenage memories at the top of a few short hills.

We grew up, kinda, in Boydton and Clarksville, Virginia, and we misspent many fine days skiing on Buggs Island Lake and riding our shiny new fangled Raleigh 10 speeds on the empty roads of Mecklenburg County. I remember how excited we were when Rob brought home a giant Raleigh Grand Prix, the first 10-speed we'd ever seen. In short order, Tim and I had ours, except we traded up for tubular tires and Campy cranks and 531 butted steel.

We rode the hell out of those machines, on the 10 miles or so each way to school  or the 10-mile trip into town across the mile-long bridge. We looked so odd, fools on bikes, that the local newspaper ran a front page picture of Tim and me. I guess we look even odder now, still fools on bikes, but these days we have lots of company, and we're grateful for it.

Four decades after we took up cycling, we are still cyclists, and we enjoy it more than ever, even if some of the spring and sprint escaped a few years back in the slow leak of time.

Thanks, brothers, and here's to many more years of sunny skies and tailwinds and tradition.

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