My eldest son reached a milestone at the weekend. For the first time he mastered riding his bike with no stabilisers or other assistance and it was great to see him zooming up and down our road.
Actually he’s been threatening it for a while – last summer he managed to ride on grass so long as he had a steadying hand to start off with but he couldn’t make turns or stop very well. Since then we’ve just put the bike away and not pushed it too much until he recently discovered it in the depths of the garage.
He’s been riding his scooter with nonchalant ease for a long time, so I’m glad he’s finally made the leap to riding his bike. My wife was amused as she rode up and down with him as he scolded his bike into submission with comments like ‘Come on Hotrock, don’t let me down’ and ‘stupid, stupid Hotrock’ when he failed to make a turn.
In a way I blame his parents that he wasn’t riding sooner. As usual we bought a bike which was far too big for him at a time when he barely had the strength to turn the pedals. Since then we’ve had to wait until he gangles over the machine for him to master it – we won’t be making that mistake again. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that having a bike that’s too small is better for the confidence than too big.
Now we have another reason to look forward to summer, with rides to the pub across Bookham Common in the offing. My son has already said he can come out with me now, in contrast to last year when my broken collarbone prompted him to say he wasn’t going to ride when he grows up. A nice evening ride to Downside, which has a kids playground on the green and where you can sit with a drink in hand seems just the thing.