I’ll have to consider Turkey day a success I did get out for one bike ride. Two hours mid morning. Sun was out and nearly 60 degrees. As mentioned I rode from home which opened a ton of routes I have not rode in a long time. I ended up never that far from home the entire ride. I explored all the back roads and dead ends I could find.
Some roads I have not been on in years. Some areas I used to play in when I was a kid, but now are full of houses. Fields and woods that I used to ride my dirt bike in when a teenager.
So many memories came flooding back. Several times I had to stop and concentrate on what I was remembering, then a ton more stuff would come to mind.
I’ll share one. But first a little background.
My father passed away when I was just 22. But was fighting cancer for 5 years before so he was pretty busy with that. Really did not get to do a lot with him but I do remember this when I was about 12. Around 1972.
Yesterday I spotted where there was a 2 track car path down to the lake from my house. You can barely see it now but I knew it was there so I looked for it. Now, a road crosses it on the way down to million dollar houses by the lake.
As I rode along I stopped, got off my bike and looked for the old path. And found it. You still can see it but Im sure it has not been used since the 70’s. Its a double track that people used to drive down to the shores of the lake.
I remember once when my dad rode bikes with me down this path down to the beach. Showing me this new way (to me) down to the shores of Lake Michigan. After that day it was almost a everyday bike ride for me down this path. With the latter being on a motorcycle as I got older. Anyway…
Even then (around 1972) houses started to go up and one had just started down by the lake there. I could tell as we got to the shores of the lake, and saw this house, that he was a bit upset. He shared with me that this was the place he came down to the lake to goof off when he was a boy. As he got older its where he and his buds, including my mom, drove their cars down to hang out. And now he was passing it down to me and there’s this big’ol house on it. Even as the construction workers were there we walked right past the half done house and on the beach.
It just turned out the owner was there and came down to bitch at us. He approached my dad and they had words. I don’t remember what was all said but I do remember my dad saying “just one more time”. The dude walked away and we hung out there for a while longer and rode home. Again, I could tell my dad was bummed.
That was the first and last time I visited my dads version of my happy place.
While, in the years following I still goofed off in the area, really close to that spot, but found another way down to the beach. Im pretty sure that was the only time he rode a bike with me. Just two years later I ditched a bike for Yamaha YZ125. I rode that pretty much instead of a bike. What any 14 year old boy would do.
So yesterday I stood on the old path. With a ton of these memories pouring in. The area is so built up now no way could I even get close to the shoreline anymore. I almost rode my bike down the long driveway (where that path once was) and thought about knocking on the door to ask if I can look around. But I didn’t.
Its just so weird as I get older how much I am like my dad. With him gone so young in my life I don’t have a lot to go on but sometimes I can just tell my actions and thoughts are so much like his. More and more as I get older. At 52 Im already 8 years older than he ever was. And always wondered how he would of been later in life.
Seems I don’t have far to look for that.
Crazy but this road is only about two miles from my house. I must have seen it a million times as a kid. Only today does it have a meaning to me. Weird.
And not too much later saw these guys making a break for it.
This is one of the fields I used to bomb with the dirt bike.
It sure was a strange ride. Almost 20 miles and never more than 5 miles from my house. It was cool to cruise all my old stomping grounds.
While I am thankful for quite a bit, today I have to say I’m thankful for memories.
Hope you had a good day too.