Ethan and Dad are going on a ride together – a very long ride together, where love and discipleship are inextricably intertwined. Ethan is 12 years old, becoming a young man, and Dad is privileged to be his mentor, coach, cheerer, trainer, and loving father.
We’re riding from the outskirts of Seoul (Incheon) to Busan on the 633km national cycle route. This self-supported ride, with wild camping and motel accommodation, will be filled with precious conversations amidst autumn foliage.
Ivan: I love you son, and I am looking forward to this journey with you. You are going to learn what it is to be a man who is spiritually, emotionally and physical mature. I am also going to learn many things as I spend this time with you and we trust in God through the fun and tough times of this trip.
Ethan: I am really excited for this special trip for me to become a man. I also am very excited to learn much more about Daddy, and build a strong relationship with him.
In the end, we not only made it but we had time to ride an extra section to Andong, completing over 750km followed by 3 full days of train rides all around Korea! Dad is so very proud of Ethan, making it through the tough days, getting up after scrapes, climbing steep and long hills like Iwahryeong and descending at 40kph. I have a capable cycle touring buddy for more adventurous and rides in the future. The final kilometers to the finish line can be seen here!
We took many photos, made countless memories, and had fantastic conversations using the material Passport to Purity. Loving and discipling (not just disciplining) our kids is so important. How I wish I had such guidance in my adolescence! In the coming turbulent years of being a teenager, Ethan knows he can always bring his questions and struggles to Dad! The most precious moment was sitting in a tent at night, guiding my son in his own decision to follow Jesus as his Lord, not just because Mum and Dad do! We immediately celebrated his first Holy Communion together!
What’s next? Well there is Passport to Identity which is designed for 14-16 year olds. Perhaps by then Ethan can be ready for off-road bike-packing and Dad will bring him on the much tougher Munda Biddi trail from Perth to Albany that I previously rode solo. Or we can do EuroVelo 6 and ride through Eastern Europe. There so much life to live on God’s grand adventure!