Avid cyclist surprised at daughter’s disinterest in cycling

February 23, 2014 § 51 Comments

Los Angeles resident Sturgeon Palchewski expressed surprise yesterday at his daughter’s apparent lack of interest in cycling. Palchewski, a veteran cyclist of 27 years, was perplexed by his daughter Maribel’s reaction to his suggestion that they go out and “Do a few intervals before dinner.”

Maribel, age nine, was heard to say that she “Hates cycling worse than beets,” after which she began crying and ran to her room, slamming the door with what was reportedly a “horrific slam.”

Palchewski, who purchased a Pinarello kids’ road bike with Campy 11-speed electronic shifting for Maribel’s birthday earlier this month, couldn’t understand the child’s outburst. “She said she wanted a bike for her birthday so I got her a bike. We spent a week working on getting in and out of clipless pedals, oh sure there were the usual scrapes and scratches and bruises and she broke out a tooth, but she’s a fast learner and we were doing solid 20 – 30 milers in no time.”

Although he himself has never raced, Palchewski felt that it made sense to start his daughter doing junior racing as quickly as possible. “First of all, there are only three or four girls in the junior 9 – 11 field, so her chances of standing on the podium were huge. Huge. Second, and most importantly, in order to win you have to be able to suffer, and I mean suffer like an effing dog. That’s something you learn early, like those Belgian hardmen in the 60’s and 70’s who just came straight off the farm, you know, tough guys for whom a 300 km race in the rain and muck over cobbles was a hella lot easier than building brick fences and shoveling horseshit all day.”

Palchewski’s wife Tambrina was less convinced. “I think she just wanted, you know, a bike bike. Something she could pedal around with her friends. She was kind of surprised on her birthday, actually. You know what she said to Sturgeon when she saw the Pinarello thing? She said, ‘Daddy, I said I wanted a bicycle!'”

Along with the new bicycle, Palchewski also helped his daughter open a Strava account, and made sure the bicycle was equipped with an SRM power meter and Garmin computer. “Cycling now is data driven,” says Palchewski. “The days when you could just pedal on the cobbles all day and ride your way on to the Belgian national team, those days are gone.”

When asked his strategy for rekindling his daughter’s enthusiasm for riding a bicycle, Palchewski did not hesitate. “I think it’s the intervals before dinner that are getting to her. Maybe we’ll just focus on long miles with a steady diet of hard climbs, throw in a few jumps, duke it out for the city limit signs. Get her into some hard charging pacelines with the guys, you know? Kids develop grit when they’re on the rivet, get kicked out the back, and have to solo for a couple of hours. Maybe some windy days too, eh?”

At press time Maribel had slashed the tires of her new bicycle with a pair of scissors and was engrossed in her Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse set.

Cycling in the South Bay

Cycling in the South Bay


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§ 51 Responses to Avid cyclist surprised at daughter’s disinterest in cycling

  • TH says:

    I would laugh if there wasn’t so much truth in there. Besides , I need more Turner and Clem…..chop chop

  • TJ says:

    Ps: wth did I type TH instead of TJ….artist formerly known as Tj?

  • Jeff says:

    Laughing over here! My daughter says she would like a fixie. Is it ok if I get one with a derailleur hanger — at least?

    • fsethd says:

      Start her out with intervals, or maybe first a 20-minute power test. If she doesn’t puke, do it again.

      • channel_zero says:

        How about a 39×16 to get her started on a fixie version of the Wanky training plan?

        It seems like a licensing revenue opportunity to me Wanky.

        • fsethd says:

          There might be some legal issues when she gets on the “beer” part of the “bread and beer” diet.

  • Peter Schindler says:

    Just in time, a needed laugh. Thanks Seth.

    • fsethd says:

      Welcome! Anything to break the awful, horrific, impending feeling of doom that accompanies Sunday evenings everywhere, the doom of Monday.

  • No one of consequence says:

    That Maribel sounds like a typical spoiled brat. As a 36 yr old orphan myself I think Mr. Palchewski should consider adoption. Please let Papa Sturgeon know there are other options…and that I fit a 59.5cm Pina and would gladly settle for a mechanical gruppo.

  • New Girl says:

    Thank you, Seth, for the Sunday evening treat! I was having coffee with a friend of mine this morning, bemoaning that I could only ride 35 miles yesterday, how it felt like I hadn’t gotten any exercise (exorcise.) She laughed at me and said a “normal” ride was to Hermosa Beach & back. She said she had considered asking if i would ever go on a, “you know, “casual” “fun” bike ride” #TimeforaLinus #HappyMonday 🙂

  • channel_zero says:

    Hi bicycling Dads and Moms,

    Just be sure your daughter has *something* like you have cycling. It will help getting to adulthood in just about every way. Life lessons, work habits, and maybe some physical fitness too.

    • New Girl says:

      My eldest daughter and I have this discussion all the time, anyone is LUCKY if they have “something” (anything) that they are passionate about; cycling, stamp collecting, whale facts ~ it doesn’t matter what it is ~ it is the passion that is sustaining/enriching/intriguing , not the subject of that passion. #lucky

    • fsethd says:

      Uh, Facebook! Hello!

  • frag spawn says:

    Pinarello? Perhaps all she wanted was to do some climbing intervals on a Colnago instead.

  • Tom says:

    With only a few substitutions, you could also have written
    “Avid cyclist surprised at WIFE’S disinterest in cycling”

  • Chad vande lune says:

    Jr road and crit racing is the fastest way to get your kid to hate cycling. If you want your kid to race bikes the proper order is, preteens BMX, teens MTB, 20s road. Everyone knows this right?

  • Rob says:

    Get the poor girl one of those Hello Kitty bikes and she will love dad forever.

  • David Huntsman says:

    The kid is 11 and racing a hand-me-down small adult’s road bike with a multiple hand-me-down Frankenstein gruppo that is still nicer than anything I ever raced on. (He was going to be racing his 30lb single speed pot-metal road bike until a family friend gave this racing machine to him last spring.)

    Now I’m adjusting his derailleurs and truing wheels every Sunday night, wondering just how much torque a 90lb kid can put on a bike in a 25 minute smooth road office park criterium?

    So a few races I surreptitiously followed him while he and the other 10-12 juniors “warmed up” in the parking lot behind one of the empty buildings. I peek around the corner and spy them riding cyclocross and doing jumps off the curb… Air. Lots of air.

    So yes, BMX is where the heart of a preteen is.

  • David Huntsman says:

    Today, starting at 9am, a gaggle of 10-14’s on a variety of bike racing equipment tore the goddamn asphalt off the right lane of Palos Verdes Drive East. And then went home to play Legos.

  • Regenerating Nations says:

    Maybe I’m missing something. I felt bad for the poor little girl. It seems her father is pushing her to HIS dreams & not letting her be herself

  • Jean says:

    What an idiot of a father –sorry I’m brutal. I am a long time cyclist for last 23 yrs. I returned to cycling because I had happy childhood memories of cycling around the neighbourhood…on my own, at my own speed (pretty lazy and exporatory like any other kid).

    Oh yea, I shared a bike with 4 other siblings younger than I. We were a very poor family… literally.

    Methinks the father might have not only ruined his daughter’s interest in cycling, but maybe for any sport: that’s how easy it is to turn off a child …for life. Not good.

  • rteverett says:

    Worth the read and the laugh.

    My dad and I had a very similar disagreement about biking although I was 19 and in college at the time. He is an avid road/touring biker with several custom built bikes and wanted to for me to build a custom road bike from the ground up with him so that I could ride around with him. I fought back and asked for a mountain bike instead. Needless to say I am now hooked on mountain biking.

  • Great stuff here! Really l like the posts! -Bill

  • epiwah says:

    I feel so sorry for the child. Forcing a kid into endurance sport and Garmin/bike seat chaff land is borderline abuse. I don’t blame the kid. I’m a 33 year old long distance runner and I hate my bike. There’s no freedom in strapping yourself to a computer and a hamster wheel with clip in pedals. Why not just lock the kid in her closet an ask her to rub sandpaper on her skin for a few hours and maybe slam herself into the floor?

    • fsethd says:

      Whether you’re running or riding or swimming or horseback riding or playing chess, if it’s not enjoyably, why do it?

  • what a post…i like it…i will be more than happy if my posts helps you…http://mindtechnorms.wordpress.com

  • I’m not a biker – well, not a biker-biker, but I love your blog. My husband and I took our four kids on Sunday ‘hikes’. Well, I think they called them ‘trudges’.

  • You should write for The Onion 😉

  • Ripley Trout says:

    On behalf of your daughters everywhere (not quite how I meant it, but anyhoo …) may i provide a little insight into how us couch-dwellers view competitive sports (but still think we could have a crack at the Olympics). http://wp.me/p3Se2x-2h

  • Great way to start my day this morning. Made me think of my dad and I. He is an avid cyclist and he bought me a nice bike a few years back when I stopped playing volleyball. I was more appreciative that this girl was. Had to share it with my father and he loved it and cried it made him so happy. Thanks for your post

    • fsethd says:

      You’re welcome! So many dad-daughter-bike stories out there, and a bunch of good ones!

  • michaelstokoe18 says:

    Reblogged this on Stokoe's Blog and commented:
    You followers interested in Cycling, I just read this piece, found it amusing and truthful, a good read!

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