Music to my ears

We were at about 7,000 feet, looking down on Avon Colorado and considering the trails that splayed across the scrubby hills like spiders’ legs.

“What do you want to do?” I asked, hoping.. hoping.. I was with Daughter 4, a sometimes bike companion but not a dedicated mountain biker. She’d worked in Avon for a couple of weeks and I was there to help her make the most of her time off.

Then she said the one thing I’d longed to hear from one — just one — of my kids.

“Let’s go find that one!” she said, pointing at a thin line that ran the length of a ridge among the sage.

prepared to tackle the hills above Avon CO

prepared to tackle the hills above Avon CO

Over the years I’ve heard plenty of “You’re the best, Mom” and “I love you, Mom” but nothing warmed my heart like “Let’s go find that one!” Finally, one of my spawn is showing some interest in amping up the adrenaline and testing her skills! Now I can die happy.

We set off through the brush, bumping over a few rocks but generally enjoying the rush of a downhill run. These sorts of trails are pretty rare where we’re from, not to mention the wide-open vistas and the wind that was coming all the way across the continent with but one barbed wire fence to slow it down.

I was cautious, a little worried. I didn’t want to squelch Andrea’s interest in mountain biking. I went slowly around the banked switch-backs — partly for myself and partly to keep an eye on her progress, but I really didn’t have to. I was truly impressed with her technical ability, given that she’s not experienced, on a borrowed rigid bike, and we’d already ridden round-trip to Vail the same day (another 18 miles). But no, she was having fun. And she was telling me to back off and quit worrying about her, too. I loved it!

the worry was wasted on this kid

the worry was wasted on this kid

Some of the verticals were pretty challenging. Especially the switchbacks that were tucked into a fold of the mountainside, requiring a significant level of skill necessary to make the turn, accelerate back onto the trail and not fall into one of the gulches on either side. At times I was a little freaked out about the sensation of riding on the edge of a cliff, because leaning downhill too much might have resulted in a painful tumble a few thousand feet to the bottom of the mountain range. I’m not used to the absence of trees and big rocks to break my fall.

I hope I mentioned it was beautiful and I'd go again in a heartbeat

I hope I mentioned it was beautiful and I’d go again in a heartbeat

We made it back to the condo and soaked in the pool a bit. I couldn’t stop complimenting my kid on her performance. Of course she was giving me the look like, “Well, if you can do it.. it can’t be too hard.” Okay, okay … but can we try this again back home? Please?!

It’s not easy to find common ground with growing offspring. I’ve been to the nerd conventions where I have to ask what characters people are dressed up as (as if I have any clue when they tell me), I try to show interest in the books they read, I take them shopping, we go out to eat.. but this was a breakthrough. This is my turf. Maybe it means she’s actually inherited some of my genes.

she said the words this mom had longed to hear

she said the words this mom had longed to hear

I wonder if it’s too soon to tell her I want to do the 385-mile Colorado trail next year..?


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