Five Things is a weekly feature on the Banjo Brothers Blog we started in 2018. Five Things posts are short articles (interviews) we publish every Friday where we talk to different kinds of cyclists about life and bicycles.
The Rad Dad Edition is a variation of Five Things articles leading-up to Father’s Day which shows how kids and family-life factor into these Dad's bikestyle!
Rad Dad # 1 is Trenton Raygor. Raygor, besides living up to the "rad dad" moniker, might be best known for his contributions to Minnesota's gravel cycling scene. He is the founder of The Filthy Fifty — an unsupported fifty-mile gravel road race which takes place in Stewartville, MN each fall — and The DAMn, which stands for: The Day Across Minnesota. During this event, racers traverse 240 miles of Minnesota gravel roads by bicycle in a single day.
Enjoy this Rad Dad Edition of Five Things.
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU AND YOUR KID(S) RIDING?
Last summer, my friend Morgan over at The Hub Bike Co-op asked me what bikes my boys were riding. As I replied "Mongoo..", he stopped me before I could even finish, saying something like "no no no no no..." and shaking his head at me disappointingly. At that point, the boys would occasionally ride their bikes, but honestly, were never clamoring to get out and ride on their own. I had always just chalked it up to them being homebodies and had never really felt comfortable pushing my interests on them. It had never occurred to me that they simply might not like those particular bicycles. Morgan asked their sizes and knowing my love for riding all things dirt, made a recommendation that we pick up two Giant XTC Jr. 24 inch mountain bikes. Less than a week later we would christen the new wheels with the mud of the Minnesota Riverbottoms. That dirty ride through the woods with me and Raj (the family dog) would grow their love for the bicycle exponentially. It should have been obvious to a guy who has four bikes and tries out a new bike virtually every year. I'm thankful that I have good friends helping me rock this dad thing.
The Loppet Foundation's Trail Kids program has made Theo Wirth's single track a much welcome after school destination for us and many other families. The coaches out there are stellar and even allow me ride along as an honorary coach and incentivize the kids with Twizzler hand-ups from time to time.
BANJO BROS: WHERE DO YOU RIDE WITH YOUR KID(S)?
Most of our rides together as of late consist of dirt. The Loppet Foundation's Trail Kids program has made Theo Wirth's single track a much welcome after school destination for us and many other families. The coaches out there are stellar and even allow me to ride along as an honorary coach and incentivize the kids with Twizzler hand-ups from time to time. It's incredible how quickly their bike handling skills improve and is fulfilling to watch them enjoy connecting with nature in a way that I did when I was their age. We aren't a religious family, but the boys have recently decided that each Sunday this summer that they would like to get up early and go to "Dirt Church". No, this isn't a cult (at least that I'm aware of). Essentially, we are going to find some dirt trails in the woods somewhere and ride bikes. Yeah, twist my arm, right!? I'm already looking forward to sharing these two-wheeled micro-adventures with them. They have also recently expressed interest in a big trip down to visit their aunt Lindsay and uncle Nick in Louisville Kentucky, where they aim to shred the mythical underground mountain bike mecca known as The Mega-Cavern. Their hunger for adventure is already beginning to boom!
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING/READING/LISTENING TOO WITH YOUR KID(S)?
Music is hard. I love a lot of music but have a lot of opinions about it as well. Until recently, the boys had been on a Skillet (nu metal?) kick after discovering a song called "Feel Invincible" as the soundtrack for a YouTube anime channel. No bueno. I was never a fan of that particular genre but would fulfill their requests for it on occasion. Yeah, sometimes I would endure it...sometimes...for them. The real feels hit when we find a band or song that we can all agree on. Recently, we were on a flight that had the boys and I sitting next to one another listening to music together. Spoon's "Can I Sit Next To You?" came on and my 8-year-old proceeded to sing along to the entire track. When the song finished, he proclaimed that Spoon was his favorite band. This was the paternity test result that I needed. For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading Bob Mehr's "Trouble Boys: The True Story of The Replacements" (on my own) which re-ignited my past obsession with producer Jim Dickinson's studio magic on "Pleased To Meet Me". That said, I've been spinning it a lot lately. Yesterday, the boys and I are in the car, windows down, sunroof open, and "Alex Chilton" comes on the stereo. I look into the rear view and see my 10-year-old rocking out, singing "I'm in love, with that song!" and I'm thinking, "Fuck yeah! There's hope for this generation yet!".
BANJO BROS: WHAT ARE YOU COOKING/EATING/DRINKING WITH YOUR KID(S)?
Buttermilk pancakes...smothered in maple syrup...every damn day if I'd let em. I've realized if I want them to eat outside of their comfort zone, I need to get them good and hungry first. What better way to work up an appetite than to ride bikes! After a long ride, I find that they are much more amenable to eating whatever mom or I might put on their plate. If they' aren't hungry enough they get extremely picky and every meal turns into a negotiation. I have been assured that this is normal, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
BANJO BROS: WHAT’S STUCK IN YOUR CRAW ABOUT RAISING KIDS?
I was someone's kid once, in fact, I still am. I know that I didn't always want to listen to the same music as my dad. He was still absorbing Chuck Mangione's "Disguise" while I was discovering Def Leppard's "Hysteria" (thank you, some dirt-ball kid on the school bus!). I know that I absolutely hated potato and onion pancakes and he would make me sit at the table until that plate was clean. Despite our differences, we figured out how to live together. I probably wasn't an easy kid, but hell, being a kid isn't easy, so I try and remind myself of that from time to time. Though my relationship with him was sometimes distant to non-existent, I know now that he never stopped wanting the best for me. I'm fortunate enough that he's still around today and that we still get to ride bicycles together, put on a couple of gravel races, and even go on the occasional adventure in the woods with my kids. He's a pretty rad dad and though our footsteps as dads have undoubtedly zigged and zagged far off of each other's paths, I can assure you that we both have the same destination in mind.
MORE ABOUT THE FIVE THINGS INTERVIEWS FROM BANJO BROTHERS
A big Banjo Brothers thank you to Trenton Raygor for participating in this special Rad Dad edition of Banjo Brothers' Five Things. These short interviews about life and bicycles will appear every Friday on the Banjo Brothers Blog. If you liked this FIVE THINGS from Banjo Brothers you should check our full series of past five things interviews.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR FIVE THINGS?
Use the contact form on our website to send us a note. See you next Friday. Also, since you're here, we do need to mention, Banjo Brothers makes a whole line of tough, practical and affordable gear for cyclists. Thanks for reading.