16 June 2019

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

This is a tribute, my father, or to fathers in general, but to all of the men who are partners or friends in one way or another.

And, of course, to the dads who ride bikes.

Now, I know that sometimes parents will "sneak" out for a ride on their kid's bike--at least, if the kid is of a certain age.  But it's not often we see a dad on a bike designed for a seven-year-old girl.

What made Peter Williams all the more incongruous on his daughter's little pink bike is that he's six feet tall.  But he didn't just toodle around the block on his kid's toy:  he pedaled it 211 miles from Bristol to Land's End, the farthest point on England's west coast.

His ride raised over 52,000 GBP--more than five times his goal--for research into brain tumors, the cause of his daughter Ellie's death at age 7.

He and his wife, Kaz, had given Ellie the bike for what would be her last Christmas, though neither of them realized it at the time.  He and Kaz would soon notice, however, that her eye started to cross and that "it wasn't just a facial gesture."  Soon after, the once-athletic girl started to lose her balance, and her confidence.  They brought her to a doctor, who ordered an MRI.  The results revealed the frightening news:  Ellie had a brain tumor and only months to live.

She was diagnosed in Bristol, where Peter started his ride.  Although he and Kaz have their own bikes and regularly participate in group rides, he rode his Ellie's bike because seeing it made him sad and he realized that the best way to deal with his feelings was to "put it to good use."

That, he did.  

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