Editor’s Note: “Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family. Please read Part 1, and consider donating to this cause (links removed, campaign over) to make Remy’s ride a success!
How does one begin to sum up and describe one of the biggest undertakings they’ve had? I was hoping to be able to write with beautiful prose, spinning tales of wonderfulness, but that just isn’t going to happen this time. We have ridden over 300 miles from Long Beach, California to Yuma, Arizona. We have faced California’s Santa Ana winds the whole week. We’ve dumped over 20 pounds of excess weight. The Chariot has had two flat tires and we’ve gotten lost twice.
This bicycle tour is the toughest thing I have done as a father.
I thought everything would be so easy. “It’ll be like basic math”, I said. “We will wake up early, ride for three hours at ten miles-per-hour, then take a lunch break, then we end the day with another three hour ride. Easy! Sixty miles a day!” Wrong.
I, in my infinite mathematical genius wisdom, forgot to take “Chaos” into consideration. (I am not actually a math genius)
The old proverbial saying goes: “You are only as strong as your weakest link.” Well, on the road we are only as strong as the kids. Parenting while bicycling is much tougher than main-stream parenting and for those of you that have gone on a long distance, multi-day car rides with your kids, it’s tougher than that as well! When the children scream because they need a way-past-due diaper change you can’t always pull over. When the children want to stretch and play, there isn’t always shade and a playground or field.
What must it have been like as one of our nomadic ancestors? When they were trying to get to the winter lands before the cold snap, did they have to stop because the baby was screaming bloody murder? Did their nerves fry? Did “Chaos” manifest in the screams of cranky neolithic toddlers and direct the paths of migration? Our children are normally well-mannered, but after hours cramped up in the Chariot and being bounced around by some terrible road shoulders, even Saint Peter would stop cooperating. We all lasted a week. A long, hot, windy, stressful week.
So, here we sit in Yuma, AZ with my wife’s grandmother and two happy children. We have decided to take two days off instead of just one. We plan on shedding more weight and reworking the route to allow for some more shorter days.
Here’s a couple pictures from our trip so far in rough chronological order (we’ll add more to this as the trip continues):
From here we head towards the sprawling desert metropolis of Phoenix. Outside of Phoenix we will take our next “off” day and there I will pen my next entry.
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Editor’s Note: Please donate to this cause (links removed, campaign over) and make Remy’s ride a success!
“Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family, who are beginning a nomadic lifestyle by biking across the country with two children and all the while, raising money for Charity: Water. Their ultimate goal is to travel to impoverished nations to implement the infrastructure for which they’re raising money. 8BitDad is proud to help Remy and family get the word out about this charity, and get closer to their goal.