The Great Adventure

Building with My Dad

Building is a rush. This idea you had in your head. Not a picture—if only. A concept, who knows what it’ll look like. And then there it is, in your hands, and you meet it for the first time.

I first felt this with Ben, the inventor. We had no idea how I would haul my gear. We put the bike in his truck and headed for the starting point of the Adventure. Somewhere, we stopped and bought two shitty totes. Zip ties, a knife, a lighter, and our brains built the rest.

Those totes lasted me over 200 miles. I still have one, and I rebuilt it.

I hate going to the big home improvement stores. Everything has a purpose and I can never find it. Except if I go not knowing what I want. That’s effing Christmas.

“What are you going to use this for?” The salesman has options A and B in his head.

“We’re trying to build something…” Dad explains it. He’s too mechanical. I explain, I’m too logical. That salesman looks away awkwardly. Two others, fascinated, crowd in.

I don’t know what part we need. But I will know it when I see that sucker on the shelf.

This week, my dad and I built a front rack for the Giant. This thing could re-enter atmosphere. It holds the saddlebags Kira gave me, which are not supposed to fit there.

Dad loves working with his hands. Loves it more than me. It’s something he’d like to pass on. This week was the last time. No more will I crouch in his garage.

But 1,148 miles from now? I’ll still have that rack.