|Brad's new BFF|
The past few months I’ve been lucky. I’ve had the opportunity to ride all over Canada with my Dad and from time to time my siblings have also joined the trek. I’ve always loved going for a ride with my Dad and my brother (its been nice getting to ride with Maddy the last few weeks too!) but since we’ve left Vancouver, something has been different from those childhood excursions. As far back as I can remember those rides, I always remember Dad on the same bikes: a red Bottecchia road bike, a red Tesch road bike and Bontrager Mountain Bike. All three bikes were top of the line when Dad got them (as he always reminded us) but the newest of the bunch, the Bontrager, he received in 1992 as a gift from his Red Wings teammates for playing his 1000th game.
It was a thrill when I grew tall enough to ride those bikes but as a young kid I never did fully appreciate their “vintage” appeal. That said it was a little strange to be out for a ride with Dad and see him riding on his new bike; its carbon frame with black on black finish far different from the steel tubing and red finish of those old bikes. I’m just not used to seeing Dad being up with the newest sporting technology. Heck, up until last year he had the same Micron Medallion Skates he wore when he taught me to skate 23 years ago. He was finally was forced into a pair of Zdeno Chara’s old Bauer’s and when I asked him about the new skates he said, “I’ll be dead before these are broken in!” The stick he used when he played seemed more like a piece of lumber than a scoring weapon, his shoulder pads have numbers from each team he played for written in Sharpie on them because he hadn’t gotten a new pair his whole career. All you need to do is look into his hockey bag to see that Brad Marsh is a traditionalist when it comes to new technology.
This time though, it seems to be different. He has a little extra power up the hills, he is a little quicker to match the tempo when Pat tries to take off and drop us. Maybe this is a symbolic turning of the page. After all, this year Dad has finally wrapped his head around Facebook (not Facepagebook as he used to call it) and he even has a Twitter following. He’s got a smartphone and no longer asks if we have the UPS with us on a long drive (it’s a GPS, Dad). Maybe Dad is proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, or maybe he’s been training harder than ever and that’s why he looks so fast on that new bike. Either way, Dad is looking right at home on his Trek 5.2 Madone and I can’t wait to tackle “The Rock” and finish off the 10th and final province of our ride.
Erik Marsh (son and co-pilot)