Many of us have terrible memories of travelling with children. Yet there are three parents on the trip with their daughters, and one mother rode with her son in Montana for a brief two days. Remarkably, both parents and offspring seem to be doing very well together. Of course, the kids are not really children. Hillary Capers, who is travelling with her father, is 34 years old, Jorie Messman is 22, and Lindsay Selin is a mature 18.
Jorie and Roger Messman.
Jorie and her father, Roger, 55, have been riding together for several years. They started with week-long RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Ride Around Iowa). Last summer, Jorie, her father, and her brother did a self-supported ride across the country. After that long trip, Jorie says, "I feel so much closer to my Dad." Looking ahead, she says, "I hope I can get my kids to do this with me someday. I've learned more on these last two summer rides than in my four years of college." She expects to follow her mother, who teaches fifth grade, and her father, who teaches high school math.
Judy and Lindsay Selin.
Judy Selin, 45, says that "we always wanted to ride cross country as a family." After all, she and her husband Stephen met while leading bike tours, and they made many shorter rides over the years with Lindsay and her younger sister. But when Lindsay graduated from high school in June, "we realized we'd missed the opportunity to do it all together." The others were booked up for the summer, and Lindsay said that if they didn't go this year "I'll never get to do it" with her mother. Judy agreed to leave the others behind and go. Lindsay will attend Middlebury College in Vermont in the fall. She's an accomplished viola player who has soloed with the Vermont Young Orchestra.
Hillary and Bud.
When Hillary decided she wanted to ride cross-country, she asked her father, Edward (but who goes by Bud) to go along. "There are not a lot of things you can do with a parent," she says. Bud. 62, was not convinced. "I said I wasn't interested," he says, but his wife persuaded him to make the effort. "I've been married 37 years," he says, "and I know very well how to say, 'yes, dear.'" As it turned out, Hillary and rider Matthew Stobbart have become close friends on the trip. Bud and Hillary have invited Matt to spend ten days with their family in New Jersey after the trip is over to become better acquainted.
Monica Leo's son Seth, 25, who works in Griggs, Idaho, joined his mother for two days of riding in Montana. Monica says the most magical moment in the trip came one morning when she was following Seth through a beautiful river valley framed by mountains. Suddenly, she recalls, he raised his arms to the sky in an expression of pure joy. She, near tears, wanted to capture the moment with her camera, and she asked Seth to recreate the scene. But when she was ready with her camera, he rode ahead, stood up on his bike, yanked his pants down, and mooned his mother. "That's Seth," she shrugged. Kids, after all, will be kids.