It's Like... Riding a Bike

It's hard to find an analogy for learning to ride a bike...


Because learning to ride a bike is kind of like... learning to ride a bike. I vaguely remember riding my bicycle with stabilisers and leaning from one side to the other protected by the two extra wheels. And now, I'm pleased to report that I ride without them - the morning commute would be a little embarrassing otherwise. But, I don't remember learning to ride without them. Honestly though, balance have never been my strong point so I can't imagine it was pretty. I've always been more of a power kind of guy... the skateboard era was a complete disaster.

Anyway, full of enthusiasm, my eldest has decided that it's time he learned to ride without assistance so, stabilisers removed, we headed for our local park. We decided to base ourselves on the grass assuming that the advantage of a softer landing outweighed the potentially more hazardous terrain. For a few minutes I held the back of his seat as we circled trying to find our balance. At some point though I was going to have to let go...

So I let go.. And the bike fell down. Immediately. This pattern repeated and repeated and repeated. After each fall my pep talk was increasingly animated but my son was less and less convinced. But, on approximately the one millionth attempt I let go, and the bike didn't fall... Well it did... But not for a solid 2 metres. In the excitement I flung my arms in the air and shouted 'that's it!! .. You're doing it'. It didn't matter that by the time I'd started my second sentence he was on the floor... We were making progress.

On our first outing the 2 metre mark was as good as we got. But, as far as he's concerned he can now cycle. Bradley Wiggins here we come. If the Olympics introduce a 2m sprint I think we are in with a chance.

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