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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who says you have to train?

My older sister, Teresa Parod, her son, Julius, and two of his friends, Kyle Enochs and Nate Walters, recently completed the Cycling the Erie Canal ride in New York.

I'll let Teresa describe the ride in her own words:

Julius, Nate, and Kyle were successful on the bike trip from Buffalo to Albany, N.Y. Their training consisted of a combined mileage of 5 miles in 2007.

Nate decided to go the day before we left. He won a prize at the celebration dinner for "The Best Reason Not Have a Water-Bottle Holder and Have a Water Bottle Bunged to the Bike Instead." The reason being is that Nate's bike is 47 years old and that is before water bottle holders were invented.

Kyle and Julius were the first, out of 500 people, to finish the ride. However, even more incredible, they are still friends, after spending eight days together on a tandem (also called the divorce bike).

Best sights: All the technology surrounding the Erie Canal (locks, dams, aqueducts, etc.)

Worst part: Getting three teenagers up and on the road by 6:30 a.m.

Best part: Spending time with Julius, Nate and Kyle.

I would never recommend going into an 8-day, 400-mile ride with less than 5 miles of training -- an average of 1.67 miles per teenager -- but it just goes to show what teenagers can do.

Julius' uncle has considerably more than 1.67 miles of training going into the West Shoreline Tour in Michigan on Aug. 5-11, but I don't feel completely comfortable with the amount of riding I've done going into the ride. At least we've had some Michigan-like weather down here in St. Louis for much of July, which has allowed me to get some decent miles in.

Here's hoping that my nephew and his friends will be inspiration for me while I'm climbing the hills along the Lake Michigan shore.

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