Friday, April 10, 2015

Road Trips

Every summer when I was a kid, our family piled into our 1976 Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon for a road trip to the Murphy family reunion in rural SW Wisconsin. The "Grand Safari" was fitting a fitting moniker for such an experience. With my parents and four siblings, and our luggage, food, sure had some of the trappings of grand safari through rural mid-America.

I hated road trips back then. Like most kids, I could barely tolerate traveling more than an hour at a time. I was too young to appreciate the stuff that makes the journey, and there were only so many games and stuff that you could do before things went south. Inevitably, we kids just annoyed the hell out of each other. Petty stuff would quickly spill over into pinching and silent games of torture. There was more than once when I wanted to choke the living breath out of my brother Matt during those road trips. I'm sure it was mutual. Sometimes, utter silence was the best policy. Anyway, eventually I’d settle down and quietly stare out the window, watching the rise and fall of the telephone wires from pole to pole while listening to the Safari’s steel belted radials rhythmically thumping the highway expansion joints. It was awful.

I was thinking about those family road trips while en route to the Tour De Husker a couple weeks ago. I was a passenger in Shim’s Honda Odyssey. While the old Pontiac wagon was no match to the comforts of Shim’s modern man-van, the basic elements of a road trip through rural farmlands -- right down to the rhythmic tire thumping on highway expansion joints --  brought me back to those days way back when.

My wife and I have no children, and we never will. We’re good with that. One outcome of this is that our road trips will always be simply the two of us.

I suppose that in a small way, my Harvest Race teammates will fill a void that the Grand Safari road trip from yesteryear has left behind. Sharing racing stories, course tactics, equipment selections, etc... will more than fill the time on the road. And yes, I’m quite sure there will be times when one of us will also want to choke the living daylights out of Shim. But all in all, good times await on the open road for the upcoming road season.

This weekend, the Harvest Racing Team has a single day road trip to Sioux City, Iowa for the Twin Bing Classic. After that, we’ll really get things rolling as we travel to the Chris Lillig Memorial/Old Capitol Crit in Iowa City, April 26-27.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.


  1. "Shim's Modern Man Van" - Is that what they call Soccer Mom Vans now?

  2. No. They Odyssey is a race car, clearly evidenced here: