Learning to ride a bike is learning a life skill.

(1 Post)
tomsmatride Wed 01-Nov-17 11:35:10

I remember the day I leant to ride a bike. It was a sunny spring day and I was with my dad at the top of Parliament hill on Hampstead Heath. I had begged him to remove the stabilizers from my bike as I desperately want to ride unaided. He had managed to cut his hand in the process and I felt terrible not only because he had hurt himself but because I now refused to get on the bike. Total and utter fear had taken grip of me. My heart was racing, I was sweating and shaking. Now the stabilizers were off, the bike had transformed into a thing of terror. I was petrified of falling off and there was no way I was getting on the bike. My dad was losing his patience and told me " we are not leaving till you have gone down the hill!", so on the bike I got and down the hill I went. Did I come off, yes. Did it hurt yes. Did I go down again, yes. I still Cycle and have worked in bike related jobs most of my life.

That day I had looked fear in the face and not given up. I felt so happy with myself and so full of confidence that I had overcome an obstacle that I felt was always going to be in the way. I was six on that day and when my daughter learnt to ride she was six. I remember being very proud of her the first time she cycled unaided. It was a milestone moment for me and her. Now she is fifteen and even though she doesn't ride a lot she can. When she goes to uni she will take her bike, when she starts working she will be able to cycle if she wishes and when she has kids she will be able to teach them how to ride. I have done my job as a parent in providing her with a life skill she will be able to use as she sees fit. I love bikes and always will and I hope she will to.

I grew up in London and as we who have lived here all our lives know London is forever changing. Growing bigger and busier, with more people, cultures and diversity. In years to come Cycling is going to play a much bigger role for Londoners. It is already the quickest way to get around and there are more and more people making more and more journeys by bike than ever before. In the future everyone will be cycling, cars will be a thing of the past in central London. The trend of using greener modes of transport is only going to get stronger and cycling with be up at the top. It is far cheaper than the £1320.00 you have to fork out on a zone 1-2 tube pass. It is healthier and you are less likely to get ill as a result of not being exposed to illnesses on the train, tube or bus. People who cycle to work are happier and more productive not to mention fitter and less stressed.

I am now a qualified cycle instructor and teach people how to ride safely on the roads of London, using a system which allows cyclist to become part of the traffic and not just in the way of the traffic. I also teach beginners of all ages and the other week taught a seventy-year-old man how to ride and now he is determined to learn more and cycle safely everywhere, he is truly amazing! You are never too old to learn.

As parents if we don't equip our kids with the skills they need to meet the future then we are not doing right by them. If your child can't ride or needs more confidence, then do something about it.

Hope I haven't ranted too much. I would love to hear your views.

Tom. x

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