Anyone who was born in the 60’s and coming of age in the seventies and college in the 80’s can relate to this Friday focus spotlight.
For kids and teens that were raised in that era the outdoors was our playground. It was waaayyyy before the internet of things, smartphones, Fitbits and helicopter parents.
It was a time when we had dumb phones. They were connected with copper wires and hung on a wall. This made it very difficult to be crude to your crush on the phone because there were eyes and ears close by. If you had something to say to someone you looked them in the eye. We couldn’t even imagine what a text message would be. It wasn’t part of our reality.
We might have had mothers in the workforce but certainly there were many other eyes on us at all times. Most of us lived in neighborhoods where there were stay at home moms or aunties and elderly who made sure that we followed most of the rules. It was definitely a time of change but also a time of controlled freedom, if you will.
So with that preamble please meet Tim Yaiser who grew up in upstate New York and who remembers fondly the love of being outside — being outdoors. He remembers playing stick ball with his friends, skating on frozen ponds during winter, and riding bikes during summer.
Then the story goes that the kid from the small town moved to another part of the country and in the early 80’s enlisted in the Air Force. In March of 1983 he found himself in Tucson at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. He’s been here ever since.
After a decade and a half of being off bike he ventured back into mountain biking in 2000. He was active in city League Baseball for 20 years. He found himself, for a variety of reasons, seeking the freedom that being in the saddle and riding The Loop provides.
Now he rides a road bike and commutes to work 3 to 4 days a week averaging 20 miles a day on those commutes. He estimates that he puts in at least 400 miles a month. He says that he prefers a road bike and prefers to go as light as possible carrying minimal supplies of one water bottle, one tube, one tire lever and one CO2 cartridge. He is an avid supporter of Perimeter Bicycling events and participates in the Tour de Mesa, Tour de Tucson and the Cochise Classic.
His favorite ride is the Julian Wash going west with a sharp tail wind. His favorite part of being on his bike is the freedom aspect. He says “It’s the me time away from it all. The sound of the bike underneath me. Nature the smells the things that you notice when biking as opposed to driving. I love solo riding because I can go at my own pace, turn where I please, go up that hill if I please.”
He’s now father to a young son who loves the outdoors just like his dad. His son has his own bike and is eager to take rides with his dad around the neighborhood or on the Pantano.
Perhaps the old saying may be true “like father like son.” In this case what a healthy bonding and lifestyle experience Tim is offering his son. He’s passing on the love of the outdoors to the next generation. Many things have changed since the days of The Doors and Disco, but the important things remain the same.
So ride on father and son team, ride on! Enjoy your time together and take in the beautiful scenery and the relaxed lifestyle that Tucson offers.