I didn’t get out on the trails this weekend. Since it was Mother’s Day I decided to spend my Sunday with my wife and family instead, a noble act of selfless charity. Well, that’s what I told my wife anyway.
Despite the violent gusts of wind (mercifully, for a change, not the result of Dave’s penchant for curry), we decided to take my eldest son out for a ride on the back of my bike in the afternoon. First though I thought it prudent to weigh him, such is the length of time since he was last on the bike. Having passed that test (just!) we then crammed him into the Hamax childseat on the back my Inbred and wobbled off down the street on a tour of the local roads.
We were accompanied by my wife riding her Specialized womens Hardrock, a fantastic introductary bike for novice female riders which has thus far remained blissfully unsullied by the concept of mud.
The problem with taking children on the back of a bike is that they are essentially spurious to the process of moving the bike forwards. Occassionally they contribute by shifting about unpredictably in the harness that well-meaning parents have cinched up too tight, encouraging the bike to veer wildly across the road, but basically they have nothing to do except sit back and enjoy the ride.
Which would be fine were it not for the fact that the weather at the weekend was Siberian in character, my son was immobilised in his seat and there was a Twilight Zone headwind which meant that regardless of the direction I took, it remained a headwind. I made me wonder if someone, somewhere was experiencing the joys of a never ending tailwind, all things being equal.
So, whilst I was pumping the pedals like a maniac and trying to keep the front wheel on the road with an extra 40lbs hovering over the back wheel, my son was hunkered down with both hands in his pockets barking orders like an Oxford cox for me to get a move on because he was cold!
I on the other hand had managed to discover my exertions had created a possible solution to our planet’s energy crisis in the form of significant and excess heat radiating from my upper body.
To be fair, I think my son enjoyed himself and his asking me to go faster may have been because he liked going fast. Or, he may have discovered at his tender age a stoic acceptance of the value of ‘improving’ experiences, reasoning that he is now perfectly equipped (at the age of 3 and a half) to trek solo to the North Pole in search of Father Christmas.
And to think my wife is unconvinced of the value of Mountain Biking!