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My Superman

My Superman

Superman!

“When you’re young, you think your dad is Superman. Then you grow up, and you realize he’s just a regular guy who wears a cape.” – Unknown

This week my dad turned 75, and to celebrate him I’d like to share with you how he is the inspiration for me opening Northern Bicycle Company. I (kind of) blame him for my love of cycling and for helping me to navigate that phase of my life where I couldn’t rely on him to fix my bikes any more. Countless Sunday morning rides and weekly tech support phone calls are ingrained in my memory.

Many of my earliest and endearing memories of my dad were of him on his bike. As a teacher, he had the freedom to commute by bicycle (sometimes taking the 50km route to go 10km) and had his summers off. The summer bike packing trips were his highlights.

For many years, my dad worked with a small group of teachers who took teenagers on 3 week bike tours that would start in Edmonton and typically end in Vancouver. They would all be responsible for carrying their own gear and food, and everyone had these ridiculous (and safe) orange flags sticking up from the back of their bikes. I loved watching the slide shows that he lovingly put together and I couldn’t wait to go on a tour of my own.

Dad and I did some tours together, sometimes with a bigger group and a few times just on our own. We share some great memories of summiting mountain passes, meandering through the islands near Victoria BC, and lots of ice cream breaks.

As I shared our plans to open a bike shop here in Winnipeg no one was more excited for us than my dad. Then, with his health challenges and Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was unable to visit the shop until the summer of 2021. I think that if he was closer, he’d be our mascot and a regular fixture here because, like me, time in a bike shop isn’t so much about the stuff on wall or the new bike technologies - it’s the spark for imagining your next adventure.

Dad, thanks for sharing with me the freedom that comes with cycling and for inspiring me to help others to love this activity too. And sorry for abusing your bikes and tools when I was a teenager. I’m making it up now.

See you on the trails,

Robb


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