Thursday, May 7, 2009


Hannah's been riding her bike for over a year now
We decide it is high time to discard the stabilisers
And let her have a go at riding independently
After a few shaky sessions where that front wheel just won't do what it's told
Hannah suddenly nails the balancing act
And she's away - laughing and giggling as daddy struggles to keep up with her
It takes me back to childhood
That feeling of being alive and free as the wind brushed my face
And the ground beneath me passed by in a blur
I still get that feeling as a grown-up
And it makes me sad when I pass another queue of grim-faced motorists
Trapped in their sedentary metal boxes
Maybe they were happy care-free cyclists once too
Maybe they have a bike in the garage
Just waiting for a squirt of oil or a bit of air in the tryes
It strikes me what a big step this is for Hannah
I remember watching proudly as she first learnt to crawl
Then as she took her first tottering baby steps
And in a way this newly acquired skill and confidence is just as significant
It's another big milestone on the path to independence
From the tyranny of the car and the school run
More than that
It's healthy and exciting and fun
And I feel pleased as punch!

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