The Importance of Family and Cycling Dec 1, 2015


I haven’t been home to see my family in a much longer time than I’d like to admit. Life got really messy over the past year and I found myself scrambling to re-establish the status quo ante. Over the past week, I’ve been with my family in coastal North Carolina and as you probably noticed, I didn’t open my laptop once. Instead, I went on rides everyday with my mom and my brother. Both of which have gotten serious about riding over the past few years.

They saw how cycling has changed my life in terms of health and wanted to get on board. My mother had always struggled with weight loss and my brother has juvenile diabetes. They wanted a way to regulate their health, fitness and happiness. Starting to ride bikes can be intimidating, but they’re both doing great and constantly work towards personal goals on the bike.


Having been home for the past week let me reconnect with my family and build even stronger bonds with them as we pedaled anywhere from 20-30 miles around this coastal town. For the readers of this site, that mileage might not be anything to brag about but for me, it’s been really moving to see my mom and brother embrace cycling.

I’m heading back to Los Angeles first thing in the morning and have enjoyed the time away from “work.” Going into the holiday season, I just wanted to thank you all for bringing such positivity to this platform and I hope you all get to spend time with your families.

  • badgrahamer

    Been trying really hard lately to get my over-weight-over-fifty Father out on some rides with me. I know he would enjoy it more than walking for exercise, which is what he does occasionally now, but is still apprehensive for one reason or another. Anyone have any pointers to help get him on a bike?

    • My dad was the same way. I think the best way to break into cycling is to offer simple, easy rides where he can build his comfort levels and just build on that.

      A good saddle helps too!

    • h000k

      Start small. Keep it fun. Start on any quiet paths or “rail trails” around you to avoid intimidating traffic. Let whoever you’re taking out feel how fun it is, then let them ramp up their own pace as they get back into it. Be there to gently coach them up hills, or help with braking, shifting, or pedaling technique.

    • Keith Gibson

      Short easy rides in low traffic areas. Got my dad riding a few years ago, and we’ve done a couple 100ks and centuries together. Its pretty cool to cross the line of century with your 70yo dad.

  • Jesse

    Who makes your front pannier?

    • It’s a Mission Workshop Arkiv bag, zip-tied to a custom Speedvagen rack.

  • Eric Wang

    Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration. Best wishes for a great holiday season!

  • Matt Woodyard

    Where did you all ride? I was riding around hatteras islands on vacation last week as well! Hope you enjoyed all the scenery as much as I did! I was in Buxton, NC.

    • We rode mostly around Wrightsville Beach and to downtown Wilmington.

      • Keith Gibson

        Nice area- Family has a house in Holden Beach, ~30 min south. Great write up, quality family time is often overlooked as an important aspect of life. Cheers!

  • Very nice John.

  • reteptterrab

    man that is awesome! I’ve shared your previous story with a guy who has gone on to lose 40 lbs, race crits and become very stoked about bikes.
    keep up the good work!

  • If your brother doesn’t already have a CGM (I use the Dexcom G4) then he should definitely get one. That sole device has made longer rides feel much safer as a diabetic. I can see a graph showing the trends of my blood sugar going up or down and be ready to prevent any sort of major emergency from occurring or even a minor annoyance like needing to stop for unexpected snack breaks. It is easily covered under insurance if his A1C is anything other than flawless due to a CGM being such a great asset in preventing the sharp ups and downs that diabetics can get stuck battling when having a shitty blood sugar day.

    Having one has literally saved my life on more than a handful of occasions and I recommend it to any diabetic who lives an active lifestyle.

    • He’s been looking into one. I’ll send him this as well. Thanks dude!

  • cuppow

    I forgot your Mom has an Icarus until sidebar reminded me…

  • Awesome, glad you were able to take the family time.

  • Barrett Hoover

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  • Cyclistthings

    In my family, my mom was the one who got me into cycling in high school and I sort of took it to the next level after getting injured while running. She calls our rides “charity rides” because she knows that my normal rode pace and distance is quite different in comparison to hers haha

  • Aaron

    What a good looking bike. Almost as good looking as that family!

  • JP

    I’m a regular on your website. I would love to be able to ride “only” 20-30 miles. Kudos to you and your family with the commitment. Good family photo also.

  • Your Australian family misses you too!


  • Andrew Kilmartin

    Nice one

  • kermitonwheels

    Yay, because! Thanks for propping open the window of inspiration and positivity.

  • Andy Moore

    Beautiful vibes, once again. Rock on @johnprolly:disqus

  • AdamEldridge

    This whole exchange set a crazy positive tone for the day! :)

  • C.Silver

    IMO, stories like this truly make this site RAD and set you apart from the other ‘bike blogs’. Thanks for sharing dude.