My first blog post about Tadhg fatbikepacking has gotten some super positive feedback.
When I arranged to get Tadhg his Mukluk, a couple of people questioned the wisdom of buying a kid a real bike. They thought I should get him a BSO for a couple of hundred dollars because:
- It is spoiling him.
- He will just grow out of it.
- He won’t take care of it.
- He will just wreck it.
- It costs too much.
- Anyone that buys a kid a real bike is an idiot.
I am not about to argue these points, but I will point out that my kid is the one who rode 100km of gravel in a day as an 8 year old – maybe it’s because he is spoiled.
Fortunately, the people who understand, really get it.
When I proposed to Sean at bikebike.ca getting a Mukluk for Tadhg, he had some rational questions. He was supportive and saw the logic of setting kids up on the path to good health. He brought in an extra small Mukluk even though I was not sure it would even fit Tadhg. He worked out a deal with me to help me afford it.
Fast forward to our first winter bikepacking trip. Tadhg and I wanted to write it up. We were thrilled to have shared and adventure. Sure, I had it in my head that maybe we could help inspire others, but mostly we just wanted to share the fun.
People, including his school principal, friends, and others left nice comments, sent encouraging emails and told Tadhg how much they liked hearing about his trip. And then it got better.
I guess Tadhg is now at least a partially sponsored rider.
It started with Scott Felter from Porcelain Rocket. I have had a set of his bags for over a year and I really like them. I met him when he moved to Calgary a few months ago, and he is a really great person. When he heard about Tadhg bikepacking, he was thrilled to see the next generation being introduced to the joys of bikepacking. He wanted to come with us and tried to make it back from a trip to the US in time to come along. When he heard the story, he was so impressed with Tadhg’s tenacity that he built a custom set of bike bags for Tadhg. Tadhg loves them and wants to get out using them as soon and as often as possible. He packs them full of groceries, spare clothing and whatever else kids carry around.
We got a message from Mike (Kid) Reimer at Salsa that he wanted to send Tadhg something. We thought a pack of stickers would be nice. What came was a set of Salsa racks for Tadhg’s Mukluk, some ball caps, straps, a limited print, and yes, stickers. Again, Tadhg is thrilled, he will use the racks for more adventures.
While the cynic in me sees the advertising value in all of this (though no one asked me to write this), the fact is that no one sends kids stuff for sitting around watching TV, Tadhg does cool stuff and I am happy that people are recognizing it. I am really happy that Tadhg gets to see that people think highly of him. I am extremely happy that the people who are giving him recognition are the people that I like. Tadhg and I are both very grateful for the free stuff, but we are just as grateful for the encouragement to have fun and be outside.
Hopefully at least one parent sees what we are doing and gets inspired to do whatever they like to do.