With Father’s day drawing ever closer, we’ve caught up with some Ribble-riding parents and their young proteges to find out how riding their bikes together has impacted upon their relationship and helped to keep them fit and often, competitive. In the first of our Real.Bike.People series of blogs we meet Andy and Jack Purves. Jack has inherited his dad’s passion for cycling, like father, like son.
Andy rides a black Ribble R872 and taught Jack to ride. He still offers out a few tips here and there, but with Jack getting older, it won’t be long before the tables turn! They regularly ride sportives together as well as enjoying training rides, but both got into cycling in different ways.
Growing up in Buckingham, Andy tells us he used to visit his local bike shop regularly for spare parts and advice and the then owner, Alf Webb, encouraged him to join a club. “He recommended his club to me, The A5 Rangers. I went along to a club night and decided to try my hand at Time-Trialling on my road bike. I did this for a couple of years before getting a specific TT bike to try and improve more.”
Jack on the other hand just wanted to follow his dad’s wheel. “Dad has always been riding bikes for as long as I can remember. He’s always tinkering and fixing them too and used to race when he was my age (15). He taught me to ride and always bought me new bikes as I was growing up. We built my first bike together when I was 12, before that I’d only had mountain bikes so I was excited to be able to keep up with him more easily!”
The ways in which people get into cycling are all different and tell their own stories, but being able to enjoy a sport together is a great way of spending time with one another and bonding. Andy and Jack mostly ride sportives together and Sunday rides, it’s not always ideal to bring such young riders into a club ride.
Jack explained to us that cycling is a way for him to spend more time with his dad; “When I was a bit younger I used to play Rugby on a Sunday, but I wouldn’t be able to see my dad so much. After I switched Rugby for cycling, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with him which is really good for both of us.” Because Andy works nights, it makes it difficult to spend time together. School and downtime clash between the two of them, so being able to get out on the road and ride sportive together has become even more important. Andy said, “We’ve ridden together mostly on Sportives and Charity rides, he finished a 70 miler with me recently too, which made me hugely proud! We’re targeting a century ride together, but that will have to wait until after lockdown!”
A healthy dose of competition.
It’s easy to assume because you’re older, you might be faster and stronger, but cycling is a funny sport where things can change quite quickly and before you realise it, you are being led around by your kids!
“When he was younger, I obviously helped Jack learn to ride. But after that, I’ve encouraged him, offered advice about how to keep spinning his legs to maintain speed and keep riding up climbs as best as possible”.
“I sometimes push my dad to ride further than he’s planned to or even wants to ride and even to go riding when he doesn’t want to. I just want to ride my bike as much as possible!”
Jack’s enthusiasm to ride is great to see, and clearly, it rubs off on dad as well. Especially if he’s getting in extra miles that he wasn’t anticipating! It doesn’t stop there though, they often push each other harder whilst they’re riding. Andy tells us what’s what when it comes to riding together “We do all the usual things, challenge each other to the top of climbs, sprints, town signs and lampposts, etc. I’m sorry to say that I’m struggling to keep up sometimes and he’s busy away laughing at me. It reminds me of when I used to have to wait for him everywhere!”
Jack likes the competitive edge, “It’s helping me learn more about riding but it’s good to be able to have a laugh with my dad, it won’t be long before he can’t keep up!”
There’s a special bond that can be created when you can ride with your family, it’s good quality time as well as being competitive.
We asked them both what it means to be able to ride their bikes together? Andy said “I enjoy passing my knowledge on to Jack and giving him tips on how to ride better and more efficiently. Kids have an endless pot of enthusiasm but sometimes they can be a bit overzealous with their energy and it can quickly disappear! Jack is fortunate that there are many more opportunities within cycling now, far more than I ever had. I’ll enjoy watching him develop while getting fitter and faster. I know I’ll be holding on to his wheel soon enough.”
Jack explains why he enjoys riding with his dad; “It’s great riding with dad, we get to spend more time together and we can talk about all sorts, cars, bikes, my next bike and schoolwork. I’ve joined a local club now too, so he’s helping me learn more and more all the time!”
Many thanks to Andy and Jack for sharing their story and why being able to ride together is so important to them!
If you enjoyed reading this why not check out Iain Robinson’s story. Iain rode over 14,000 miles in 2019 simply from commuting to and from work….ish. Read it here.
Like taking part in Zwift training? See how our very own Luis Alcantarilla got on with the inaugural Ribble Weldtite Spring Classic series. Read it here.
Eoghan McHugh tells us how he got on in the gruelling Atlas Mountain Race in Morrocco. Read how he got on here.