I don’t ride. That is to say, I have ridden, I can ride a bike, but I choose not to. Maybe that’s just me being a big fat geek with a serious aversion to exercise. I only have two distinct memories of riding. The first plays like some vintage film footage in my head where my Dad is holding on to the back of a wobbly bike pushing someone around a very green backyard and shouting “I won’t let go!” Of course he does, with inevitable result. The second memory is just a very vivid and unpleasant sensation of saddle soreness. Consequently, I don’t ride.
Those, however, are just interesting anecdotes. My confession is that my children don’t ride bikes, either.
This is without doubt the fault of their inadequate parents. We have bought bikes for them on a regular basis, usually every couple of years as they outgrow the old ones. In fact, the shed is filled with no less than six children’s bicycles, all fitted with training wheels in various states of decay. However, we have reached a point where the next bike for both Gilbert and Matilda will be too big for training wheels. In fact, the kids are already too big for training wheels, as the ones on their current bikes have twisted and almost completely rattled off, I am presuming because of the extra weight on them. I feel somewhat like a failure as a parent. I am pretty sure it says somewhere in the Handbook* that it is a Dad’s job to teach his kids to ride a bike. I have a whole bunch of excuses but they are all pretty lame.
There is only one solution, I suppose, and that is to actually pull my finger out and teach them. Of course, if it was that easy I would have done it already. Right? I think I am too much of a softy. I want my children to love me. I don’t want them growing up only to recall in vivid sepia tones how their Dad promised not to let go of the bike, moments before they crashed into a telegraph pole or thorny bush. Oh gawd. I know exactly how this is going to end.
Oh well, on my bike, I suppose.
*Handbook may be a figment of my imagination.
Do you have something to confess?