Published June 17, 2012Since she was 11 years old Caroline Hutton has spent one week out of the summer biking with her father and two brothers on the Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG).
“The tradition started with my older brother when he turned 10,” said Miss Hutton. “Carlton and my dad went and had a great time. Then, when I turned 11 it was my turn to do a week-long bike ride with dad on the tandem. The BRAG ride is around 400 miles so you have to train in order to be ready for 50 miles a day.”
This has turned into an annual father/child event in the Hutton household. Now 17, Miss Hutton just completed her seventh BRAG and she has an endless flow of memories of her time with her father and brothers.
“We all look forward to preparing for the ride each year,” said Miss Hutton. “Dad always has a plan and a destination for us. During the week the rides are shorter. On the weekend we try to get a couple of 40-50 mile rides under our belt. We ride to get ice cream, to the state park for a swim or to my aunt’s house.”
About 1,200 people participate in the week-long event. Many people have been doing the ride for years so the annual gathering is like a family reunion.
“One year my dad, Carlton and me were on the ride,” said Miss Hutton. “When we arrived at our destination the ground was super hard so we didn’t put the tent stakes all the way in the ground. While we were at dinner a huge storm passed through with a lot of wind. When we got back to our campsite our tents were standing up on end and water was pouring in soaking everything. We laugh about it now, but that was one soggy night.”
Another year,as they were on a training ride Caroline was on a single and her younger brother and father were riding tandem when she wrecked.
“That was the first time I had wiped out,” said Miss Hutton. “It really scared me. My dad made sure nothing was broken and then proceeded to “bandage” up my scrapes using his trusty toilet paper and duct tape! We got back on our bikes and headed to the house which was about six miles away. I still have a scar that reminds me of that ride, but even more it reminds me of my father’s love and the way he took care of me that day.”
When asked about how time with her father has impacted her, Miss Hutton shared that time away with her dad allowed her to grow closer to him.
“My dad is super positive,” said Miss Hutton. “When we ride, he encourages me, but he doesn’t pressure me. If I can’t make it to the top of the hill it’s okay to get off and walk your bike. Spending this time together has been special for me. I know my dad believes in me and I have learned that I am capable of doing things I had no idea I could do.”
Father/Daughter time plus great memories equals priceless.
Happy Father’s Day!
President & CEO
As a Certified Family Life Educator Julie writes and speaks on issues related to strengthening marriages and families.