To wrap up Bike Week, I write to my Uncle who got me into cycling (in my mind at least).
Dear Brant Hayenga (Uncle Brant),
I liked bicycles before I realized I liked bicycles.
As a three year old I was allowed to ride my tricycle 4 houses up the block and back. I thought it was the greatest adventure every time. In the summer before first grade, I learned how to ride a bike without training wheels; the next step in discovering the freedom of bicycles. I rode that little yellow Specialized that you gave me all over the neighborhood and even to the lake a few miles away. Yes miles, an almost incomprehensible distance to an 8 year old. In high school I did that triathlon. Then I moved to the perfect cycling climate of San Diego although it took moving to Austin to fully dive into cycling as a sport and a lifestyle.
As my passion for bicycles grew, I felt like I was following in your footsteps. As if I subconsciously knew you supported my hobby even though I don’t remember talking with you about it much. Actually, I don’t think we’ve ever even rode together (and I’m not sure if I can keep up with you). But in my mind, from building bikes at the local bike co-op to riding a Century, you were encouraging me.
Aunt Connie always says how much I remind her of you. She says we hold ourselves in the same way and have a similar tone to our voice. I think that’s cool. Because you’re cool.
Looking forward to seeing ya’ll soon!
PS: Would classify yourself as a mountain bike guy at heart? I mean you’ve published a book on it. That’s an area of cycling I have almost no experience… not many mountains here in Texas.