Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet the Waltons [on the road], Part 6

I took a quick ride up the Coast Highway this afternoon (from La Jolla to Moonlight Beach & back). I've given up on the gray skies breaking anytime soon, and I'm glad I wore a comfy merino wool base layer. Yes, in late June, in Southern California. Ugh!

Anyway, on the way back through Del Mar I see a very tall cyclist with a Grateful Dead jersey ahead of me. My first reaction was, "Man, I keep bumping into Bill Walton everywhere this year." I've seen him out on the road, at my daughter's fashion show fundraiser, at the Gran Fondo San Diego, at the start of the Mount Laguna Challenge, at the Tour of California TT in LA, and I rode with him a little bit as we escorted runners in San Diego's Rock & Roll Marathon. Bill obviously loves cycling.

But when I got closer to this rider, it was clear that he was younger than Bill and was not riding Bill's bike with the bright orange custom Grateful Dead paint job.

Me: "I only know one other tall guy in San Diego who loves cycling and the Grateful Dead, and that's Bill Walton."

Tall rider: "Yeah, I got this jersey from him."

Me: "Oh, cool. He's really into cycling. I've seen him everywhere anything 'cycling' was happening this year."

Tall rider: "I'm going to see him now."

Me: "Oh, so you know him?"

Tall rider: "Yeah, he's my dad."

I have three kids and I know kids aren't always super-quick to claim their parents in public, so I thought this was a pretty funny dialog. So I asked Nate Walton if he's as crazy about cycling as his dad is, and he said maybe, but his dad has a lot more time to put into it, riding a century practically every week. (Yikes…still has some sports drive!)

Tomorrow I better get a century under my belt. I need to get some serious "saddle time" before we take off to France next month. The Pyrénées aren't terribly forgiving hills for cyclesloths.