We say Kali is a "Rider Owned" company, not because we think it gives us legitimacy or because we hoping to be perceived as one of the cool kids. We say it because we would rather be riding our bikes, than just about anything else on this planet. And we say it to remind ourselves to push back from our desk, put our phones down and go for a bike ride.
Recently, we are proud to say, Max Waldron, son of Kali founder Brad Waldron, has taken to the dirt. He has acquired himself a new whip and he is ripping up and down the hills all around San Jose, Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz.
Although, the team here at Kali is not all that excited about how fit and fast he is getting, but, for the moment, he remains humble and is turning out to be a great riding partner. So below are two perspectives, one from the father and one from the son, on what it is like to have your favorite riding partner be your father/son.
If you played sports as a kid, then you probably remember all the parents, especially the dads, in the stands getting really into the game. And things always ramped up when their kid was about to make a play.
Well, I grew up playing hockey. I started when my dad was still tying my skates for me all the way through to my senior year of High School. I got more into biking after High School hockey came to an end. I had ridden a little bit with my dad and enjoyed it. He was always so encouraging, the way he would push me to grind up the hills and bomb down the other side. It made me feel like I was in a race and a fun one at that.
Fast forward to today and I finally have a real bike of my own, an Ibis mojo HD, and I am loving it. I now ride with my dad more than ever and don't see that stopping anytime soon. He still motivates me like I am bolting to a loose puck, but instead I’m ripping down the descents trying to keep him off my back tire. I am so grateful to have him chasing me and it really adds a level of satisfaction to my ride.
He always used to tell me “someday I’ll be the one trying to catch you on the way down" and that was always in the back of my mind when he lets me pass him on a stretch of singletrack. And beyond just telling me to ride the bike like I stole it, he doles out fundamental and mechanical advice as well. I laugh every time he sees me almost slide out on fast turns. His reaction are always pretty cool and he is quick to offer me a rice krispy treat at the end of a ride.
I don’t know anyone else whose ideal riding partner is their dad, but here I am. It took me longer to get into mountain biking because I was never fond of the climbing, but now the climbing is my excuse for skipping my leg day at Crossfit. My dad was doing Crossfit with me for awhile, but he hasn’t been back in almost a year so maybe I can convince him to get back into that like he did with me and MTB. Either way, I am lucky to be able to ride and bond with my Dad like I do, even if we came to it late.
I never pushed Max to ride a bike, even though it is one of the things I really love to do, I realized it had to be his own thing.
He played hockey in high school and he is a solid skateboarder from what I can tell, but when he got into crossfit he started looking differently at his fitness. Crossfit made him strong, but his endurance wasn’t there so he asked if he could start riding, and I was like "hell yeah."
At first he lagged behind on the climbs and held in there on the downs, longer climbs were a struggle. It didn’t matter, we were hanging out together.
What I wasn’t expecting was for him to crush me on the technical descents. On a recent trip to Downieville Max spent the entire day on top of whomever was on the front. I do worry some that he does not have the experience, but he has the desire. I couldn’t stop him now if I wanted to and that’s fun.
Like most cycling obsessed people we talk about destinations, but life, work, family often get in the way. So we just fit our rides in how and when we can. Now that I have a son that wants to hang out with me, on occasion, I don’t want to miss out on that connection. As far as the future goes, his sister goes to school in Utah so that is on our short list. We are also looking forward to finding our way up to Ashland (look out Bill and Sue), as well as Bend, OR. Those are some of the bigger destinations on our list, but I really don’t care, tomorrow I get to go ride the Demonstration Forest in Santa Cruz with my son.