If all goes well I hope to become a grandfather later this year for the first time. Cycling aptitude is not an inherited given but then again look at Wiggo. It was, of course, another era but pre-war my Dad was an avid cyclist and even courted my Mum by bike; as a baby I was immediately inducted into bike ways by travelling in a small, boat-shaped, aluminium sidecar fixed to the side of their tandem.
Like most kids I’m sure I would have soon found my way to a bike but in our house it was the only form of transport; not through choice Dad would battle to work by bike in all weathers until after I left home at the age of 18. It was and still is, however, a special moment when the first bike comes along. My sense is and I may be wrong, that even in 2016 children remain enamoured by the arrival of their first bike; it is a seminal moment that spells a freedom and excitement that even a smartphone or X-Box cannot match.
In my case it was a red and chrome trike, with 15” or 18” spoked chrome wheels probably (though I’m not sure) at about the age of four or five, either for Christmas or my birthday. My range was limited – by Mum and Dad – there were no gears and in reality it would not have gone very fast but it nonetheless marked the first phase of my then nascent cycling life. It wasn’t long before my cycling ambitions changed – it was after all in the genes?
To be continued …………………………..