One of life’s great pleasures

A couple of weeks ago I rode 30km with my eldest son, who’s 10. It was the first time he’s ever ridden his Fuji roadie on the road proper. He was a little apprehensive at first; the whole traffic thing and all. But within a minute he couldn’t stop smiling. Nor could I. Even better, just as our maiden father/son ride ended we happened upon not one, but two groups of my regular riding pals. We all headed off to a local cafe for a coffee, which completed my son’s initiation into the lycra-clad road cycling ranks.

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It was a magic moment. Just perfect. Which got me thinking that, as a parent cyclist, surely there are few things more enjoyable in life than riding – proper riding, I mean – with your kids? It’s not just me, though. Every weekend you’ll see mums and dads riding with children of all ages – from footpaths and roads to race tracks and trails – loving every second of the experience. The confidence it gives them. The freedom to explore new places. The closeness to nature. The camaraderie with other riders. And the time spent together without a TV, Xbox or iPad in sight. (Garmins are okay, that’s part of the experience). It simply doesn’t get much better. Before long my other kids will be able to join us out there too, and that might just be heaven on two wheels…

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4 thoughts on “One of life’s great pleasures

  1. I have been very lucky to have a shared love of the sport of cycling with my son, and over the last few years we have ridden several thousand kilometres together. I see a different side of him than his mum – I get to be around when he is pretty chippa coming home from a good ride. It has the other plus that its the perfect reason to be out on the bike – it is family time after all, no excuses required.

    It is even more important now that kids spend so little time outdoors and get so little real life social contact. In some ways its pretty tough being a parent these days, since you have to engage in the positive risk taking activity (in this case mtb racing) with the kids whereas in the past kids would get up to this stuff behind your back, without a parent even knowing about it.

    So good luck riding with your boy, and hopefully his love of the sport will grow and you will have something to share through his childhood , the teen years and into adulthood. You may be waiting for him to catch up now – but one day he will just pass you. I don’t think there was ever a point where out abilities matched – he went from 200 m behind to way out in front almost overnight.

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