Summer Bicycles…

It seemed like a good idea. My son and I had spent time during the first week of our family vacation watching cycling at the London Olympics. Not in real life I hasten to add. We are five time zones away in the USA and so we watched Bradley Wiggins and his facial hair winning gold on TV. The end result was that I suggested we go for a cycle ride.

And my son said yes. I am not sure why I was surprised. It was hard to watch the Olympics without feeling excited and patriotic, and feeling the urge to do it ourselves. Bradley made it all look so easy.

I prepared myself well – energy bar, training shoes, air-dry shirt, ‘go-faster’ shorts. I even checked tire pressures on my bike. My son didn’t seem quite so focused – orange water, flip flops, Barcelona T-shirt, swim shorts. And its two years since the bike he uses was the right size.

So off we set. Complete with helmets, cell phone, first aid kit, $20, an extra bottle of orange water and a wave from my wife and daughter on their way to the beach.

Ever the dutiful father, I started by positioning myself adjacent to my son so I could pass on advice about cycling up and down hills, gear changes and road positioning. I had cycled our route a few times – 5 miles out and 5 miles back – and hoped it wouldn’t be too strenuous for him. How wrong I was. My son cruised up and down the hills as if they weren’t there. Flip flops flapping and t-shirt blowing. We stopped briefly when we reached our outward destination – just long enough for him to refuel with orange water, whilst I struggled to cool down and catch my breath.

He asked if we had to go back or whether we could go further. My best excuse was that my wife was expecting us so we should head back. I was quite impressed with this on the spur of the moment. He sailed back just as easily…with me cycling madly – and sweating profusely – just trying to keep up.

OK. He is only fifteen. And I am not. But he enjoyed our ride – and so did I. We will be going out again. I may choose a steeper hill next time just to see if I can outlast him. I am not holding my breath!

Vacations are a time for family. Cycling with my son. Swimming with my daughter. Sitting on the deck with my wife. Eating with my family. These are special moments. My family means everything to me. Relationships with our families are unconditional. They are not based on how well we perform in the job we do, the title we hold, or the salary we earn. They are our family. They are there for me.

Vacations are also a time for friends. We have great friends we see every summer. Our families have grown up together. Jumped off the dock together. Became teenagers together.

We have known these friends for nearly ten years. We only ever see them once or twice a year but they are definitely some of the best friends we have. We spend time telling stories – both funny and sad. We talk about our families, our work and our futures. We listen. We reflect. And we laugh a lot. I feel better.

At all times – but especially in times of change – family and friends are really important. And at times of change investing in family and friends is really important and great fun!

Cheers

Steve

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About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 29 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 9 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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2 Responses to Summer Bicycles…

  1. Jonathan Duckworth says:

    Thanks Steve, it sounds like your building up for a cycling endurance event at Rio 2016! I definitely take your point about investing in family and friends. It’s all too easy to forget what a strong social support network we have sometimes. Vacation time, gives you the time to truly reflect on this and build the drive to reconnect once again. I have found myself setting some time aside recently, to drop a quick e-mail/call to key folk I haven’t spoken too in while. I have been amazed by the response! Often a quick one liner can be just the catalyst to rekindle the communication and open up some good old reminiscence time. In our busy lives it’s all too easy to get complaisant with friendship, but such a small investment can be hugely rewarding. We should never underestimate the benefits of laughter and reflection with those closest to us. Enjoy the rest of your time off…regards, Jonathan

    • Steve Street says:

      Jonathan

      Always good to hear from you and many thanks for these comments. And your message about extending that ‘investment’ to friends and colleagues really resonates with me. Especially the thought about how much value – personal and professional – we can gain.

      Cheers

      Steve

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