Father and son cycle virtually thousands of miles apart

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 4:26 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The distance between Ben and John Cowgill would take days to drive.

Ben lives in Lynchburg, John in San Francisco.

But a new-found way of connecting gets the two together in a matter of seconds.

“We get all set up with our iPhones and our notebook computers and get all the technology going with both Zwift and Zoom and then after that the big challenge is for me to keep up with him,” said Ben Cowgill.

Ben and John connect by doing virtual bike rides together.

Even though the two are separated by time and distance, the virtual ride brings them together in many places of their choosing.

“You also can ride in London, in New York, in Paris I believe,” said Cowgill.

They first cycled virtually together in the past month or so, shortly after John says it was hard to get out on his actual bike and ride around.

“It wasn’t clear how quickly COVID cases in San Francisco were going to surge,” said John Cowgill.

After that, John got the cycling application himself, and was able to bike with his father for the first time since being a kid in Kentucky.

“Growing up in Lexington, we’d go for bike rides all the time and when I went off for college and distance happened, we hadn’t really been for a bike ride together in maybe a decade and so it’s been a lot of fun to do that again,” said Cowgill.

They’re able to share life and smiles this way, and credit the virtual rides with a way to stay healthy during these times.

“He’s gonna stay healthy and athletic whether I’m involved or not. I’m the project here!” said Cowgill.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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