default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Emptying the nest

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:00 am

I love riding bikes in Lodi. To a point.

Grapes are great for the first couple of hundred miles and then even the fall folliage breeds contempt for the familiar.

Besdies, it's flatter than Kansas here.If you have more than three gears on your bike, they're boobs on a boar in Lodi.

So Saturday I talked Christi and Mike into taking a ride in the foothills north of Lake Camanche.

Even in late summer, the scenery around Camanche is a great relief. The oaks, the ancient barbed wire fences and the creeks remind you that California has its roots in a rural past. The mine on Coal Mine Road, the 19th Century church on Camanche Parkway North and the Buena Vista Saloon are reminders of the Gold Rush just out our back door.

Mike is our youngest. He goes off to San Diego State this week.

Christi has known for years she will really miss him. I'm just waking up to the fact.

The ride I took them on — from the Camanche Blues store on Camanche Parkway North, out to Buena Vista and back — is one I've done dozens of times.

Saturday was the one I'll remember most.

As we came to the steep, winding stretch of Coal Mine Road, Christi deftly settled into first gear and began the slog. Mike, a soccer player whose gear set isn't as low as it might be, stood on the pedals and ascended with the determination of a Lance Armstrong.

"I'm going to catch him," I said and stood up too.

I didn't catch him, of course. I've logged hundreds of bike miles, but I never was and certainly never will be in the physical condition of either of my sons.

But for a few minutes I closed the distance on Mike. Then he heard my huffing and took off again. All I could do was watch and admire his strength.

I guess that's your job as a parent.

That may be why Christi forgave me for taking her up that nasty road.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Popular Stories



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists