So it finally happened, we bought Arthur his first bike! Just a little balance bike from Halfords but something to get him into the swing of things. Obviously we purchased a helmet for him but thinking that I had a chance of getting this onto his head and getting it to stay there… Well… I’d have as much luck telling my wife that I was going around Europe on my bike for 3 months! Maybe the helmet is a challenge for when he actually gets moving on the bike.
We headed straight to the local park as not only is it full of climbable obstacles, swings, roundabouts etc, it also has a massive grass area. If he wasn’t going to wear the helmet just yet we were going somewhere soft.
So there I was, Arthur holding onto my left hand, and me carrying his new bike in my right hand. I stopped on the grass, put the bike in an upright position and waited… My vision of Arthurs face lighting up, him toddling his way over to me, and me helping him onto the bike never happened. He continued to make his way towards what he knew – the swings.
“Relax Jack!” I told myself. He would come over soon, surely he would be interested in the shiny new thing that Dad was carrying around the park. Nope.
It wasn’t a completely wasted journey out for the bike though. When I finally gave up and stood it up against the playground fence some random little girl walked over and took it for a spin. She looked trustworthy enough but I kept my eye on her. If she took off out of the park I was fairly confident I could chase down a toddler on a stolen bike!
After many trips around the playground where we went on the swing on 4 different occasions, the trampoline twice, and through the silver shiny tunnel too many times to count, Arthur headed for the gate and back towards the car. This was my chance! He was on the grass, he was clearly tired, his guard was down. I picked up the bike and as casually as possible I walked towards him. He looked at me and the bike and then reached for the bike. Yes! This was it!
I popped the bike down and he put one hand on the handlebar and tried to swing a leg over. He was going to be a natural, I knew it! He swung his leg over the back wheel and sat on the wheel instead of the seat. Ok, not an instant natural. I lifted him onto the seat and started to slowly push him along hoping he would use his feet to continue moving himself along. I had definitely set my expectations far too high for the first outing.
However, he knew what it was, knew what it did, and roughly knew how he should use it. These were all good starting blocks. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something after all. We are currently 30 minutes through that so Arthur has a bit of time yet!
I won’t lie, I’m already excited for when he is older and we can go on bike rides together. However, should he love cycling even half as much as I do there’s a strong chance that in the future his fitness, strength, and power will surpass mine. My competitive self won’t like this but I’m sure even I will feel a little bit of pride as he leaves me behind on a hill climb or beats me in the sprint to the next speed limit / town sign.
Day 1 of Arthurs cycling journey started today and there will be many more updates to come. I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy writing about them. Arthur would only wear his helmet for the most dangerous of tasks – dinner time!
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