MADISON (WKOW) -- In the previous six years of the ACT/AIDS Ride, Steve Nadler always watched from afar.
"I've never heard a single person associated with this ride say anything negative whatsoever," said the philosophy professor. "They take everything as it comes, and they take it as part of the experience."
Just because Nadler has never ridden in the event that meanders 300 miles in four days doesn't mean he's a stranger to long bike rides.
"My wife and I once did a long ride across Europe, and I've done long distances for a long time, but just for pleasure," he said.
Then the idea sparked heading into this summer to ride in an event that's associated with a cause. With his daughter Rose home from college at the University of Michigan, he thought a few months of training together would be fun, and worthwhile.
"It's a good way to bond, he's always been into it," agreed Rose Nadler.
"It's a just a way to have fun while contributing something to the community," said Steve. "It seemed to be an important cause, the AIDS Network ride."
While Rose Nadler doesn't know someone directly touched by HIV or AIDS, Steve said he had two friends who passed away from AIDS in the mid- to late-1980's.
As they set out for one of the numerous training rides from their west Madison home, it's obvious Steve is the expert on two wheels; his daughter is the bicycling novice.
"I'm up to 70 miles, but before that it was around the corner, down the street," she said as she described her limits. "I don't think I've ridden a bike since I was ten."
Rose Nadler even sports a scar she got on her knee from falling off a bike while trying new cycling cleats.
Yet at least three times a week this summer, she hopped back on, with her father by her side, filled with determination to finish all 300 miles by the time the ACT 7 AIDS Ride begins in early August.
"Twenty miles seemed tough to me, now I'm like twenty miles, that's nothing," Rose said proudly.
"It was good to see that she wasn't possibly the slowest person on the face of the Earth on a bicycle, and that everyone was mutually supportive," jokes her dad.
In fact, it's been weeks of part laughs, and part support, both for a good cause, and for each other.
"I've never understood why he wanted to go do 100 mile rides, but I think it's good bonding, and yeah, I understand a little bit about him," said Rose.
Email Carl Agnelly at firstname.lastname@example.org