DIRT Dad – Chris Huesman: Lucas, the youngest, is 16 & our jazzy, Junior National Roadie & MTB racer. We ride together on Zwift at least once week if weather is bad on weekend, otherwise we go out for a group ride on Sundays together.
I met my 1st daughter Ashley before meeting my wife. Ashley was 1 year old at the time and I met her through a friend who was babysitting her. While picking Ashley up, my future wife Julia, gave me a ride home.
Julia and I have been married for 26 years. We are proud parents of 3 and grandparents to 1. Ashley is now 32 & we adopted her at 12. Regarding adopting Ashley, I really just wanted her to know that she was loved and I was committed to be her dad for life like she deserves.
Our second daughter Olivia is 25 & our Special Olympian in Sailing. Olivia has cognitive and motor skill disabilities which we finally understood when she turned 1. We got great support where we live through the United Way, our local school, local town recreation, and the Special Olympics.
When Olivia started high school we got her into Special Olympics sailing program out of Stonington, CT. The boats were small J boats and she was paired with a volunteer peer. It was a qualifier for Special Olympic World Games in Greece 2011. She did not go to Greece but 2 other competitors from this 2010 regatta did.
It was actually a great experience for her and for us. We got to meet parents and families who had adult’s with special needs who were full of advice on what to prepare for later in life. One of those plans for us is to eventually let Olivia to live in a special needs community home. This will better prepare her once we are no longer able to help her. Hard to think about, but a reality.
I actually nick name Olivia the “mayor” as we are always bumping into someone she knows or has met through the various community and unified sports programs.
Lucas, the youngest, is 16 & our jazzy, Junior National Roadie & MTB racer. We ride together on Zwift at least once week if weather is bad on weekend, otherwise we go out for a group ride on Sundays together.
Together, with our grandson Gianni and three dogs, we all live at home in Stonington, CT. It’s quite a full house.
I got into triathlons during summer of ‘84 riding an old steel Panasonic with those death cage pedals. I still compete (did IM Lake Placid ‘05), but got more into cycling after Lucas joined the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, CCAP 4 years ago. Alongside, I joined an affiliated senior bike racing team, CCNS, with a bunch of other 50+ guys.
I’m currently an Advisory member of CCAP who has grown youth cycling in the state to over 500 kids participating in road, MTB, and CX. Through CCAP, CCNS, and reading DC Rainmaker reviews, I found Zwift. We all started using this to help keep us ride-fit during the winters. Zwift is an awesome social tool to grow our sport and way to keep connected.
I started my career building submarines for General Dynamics, switched over to IT consulting during the Y2K boom with Ernst & Young. Recently, I landed a dream job as CIO of The Knights of Columbus, KofC, in New Haven, CT. KofC is a fraternal organization that provides so much support and charity for our communities.
It feels so good to be part of an organization with the purpose of helping families and is also the largest supporter of the Special Olympics which brings it close to home. This summer Olivia wants to try competing in bowling.
Zwift has helped me to able to establish a positive and consistent work life balance with early morning rides almost every day before work allowing evenings to be with the family. I found DIRT through one of the Zwift races and also noted the Strava club which got me more interested. I love the camaraderie of DIRT, how helpful everyone is and the sense of fathers (and moms) connecting regardless of our generations.