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Rick Roop recently rode his bike 59 miles to celebrate his 59th birthday.

Roop remembers dad on 59-mile bike ride

By Rick Roop

Contributing Writer

Riding my bike for 59 miles in celebration of my 59th birthday was a challenging but rewarding experience that I accomplished on a hot very hot summers day riding from Harrogate to Jonesville, Va. along the wilderness parkway on U.S. 58.

This ride was a little different than last year’s ride — when I rode 58 miles for 58 years — seeing that it was a day that included thoughts in honor of my dad Carrol Roop, the one who initially inspired me onward towards this journey of riding a bicycle and more specifically cycling.

It all started when he indirectly gave me his last bicycle after his passing from this life some years ago. Whenever his bicycle was handed down to me (after my father had passed away from a long battle with Alzheimer’s,) I had thought of many ways in which I could keep his memory and spirit alive in, not only myself but also friends and family and others who knew him well.

So, then one day as I glanced around the side of my Toyota there stood that bicycle that he had given to me next to my truck tucked away under my front porch weathered by outside elements and tied to a 4×4 hardwood post. I think at this time that my dad must have said, “Son, here is my bike. You can ride it at any time that you wish.”

Concurrently, it was at that point that I proceeded with airing up the tires, oiling the rusty chain, cleaning up the drivetrain and checking the brakes. After completing the much needed tune-up, I started riding this bike around the block first and eventually a few miles down the road until I felt much invigorated and inspired by the thoughts and words of my dad’s voice of approval.

To make a long story short, I have now been riding for about five years now and have traveled many miles in memorandum of many individuals family and friends and most of all my dad, Carrol Roop.