Apart from the 15 minutes tantrum in the community centre cafe, (MUUMMMMYYY I WANNNTTTTT CAKKKEEEEEE!!!!) Monday was a glorious day: a new cyclist* was born.
It’s been a long time coming, to be honest, and parental expectations have been running high since I bought the Puky balance bike on the recommendation of the local bike shop this time last year, having read a huge number of contradictory online reviews and wondering if I was a neglectful parent for not wanting to spend over £100 on a tiny bike without pedals.
Cheapskate that I am, I ordered the larger size in anticipation of 2 cm growth in height during 2014 that failed to materialise – until this weekend. This is yet another of my #CyclingParentFails, which would be useful if I was planning a second child to put into practice all my learning experiences. I’m not planning this second child so I hope someone, somewhere, can learn something from it all this ineptitude.
As I raced along the wide pavement beside my son it occurred to me, yet again, that Dunbar is a great place to bring up children. I’m not sure the pedestrians would have been quite so indulgent had we been doing this where we used to live in Edinburgh. Even before colliding with a pedestrian you would have to steer around the piles of vomit and then negociate the street sleepers and ferocious dogs.
However, to reduce the potential onset of cyclist-pedestrian conflict on the High Street I steered my learner into the local community woodland for his first off-road experience. And this is what I mainly saw:
As my lovely boy joyfully embraced his new independence I reflected on how hard it is to let go, to let the most precious aspect of your life ‘zoom’ into the unknown, even if at the moment it is just a few meters ahead of you and something that you longed to see.
*I’m aware this word isn’t everyone’s favourite, but ‘person on a bike’ just doesn’t sound right to me when the person isn’t quite 3.