Saturday, 17 October 2009

In The Beginning: Part 2-Showboating Little Girls

Last time, as i delved into my closet of skeletal biking tales, i mentioned three people have attempted to teach me to ride.

My Mum tried alone whilst my mates dad and brother worked in tandem (see the bike related pun).

However despite the expertise and strength of two grown men, they failed...whilst this does ruin the end of the story, hopefully you can learn more from my journey. As most children won't tell you why they're so embarrassed to be learning or failing, I can outline every gory detail.

The attempt began one afternoon after school, my school friend's dad, was attempting to fill my fatherless void and help out my mum by teaching me to ride a bike, when I came round for a play-date.

Whilst being a very nice gesture, it was news to me, I had no idea or intention of learning. Instead I had planned on some particularly epic adventures with my mates action men, or producing another installment of our worryingly named radio show 'Rude Radio'. With highlights including us interviewing each other, whilst one of us pretended to be Briney Spears, talking to listeners (in an old woman's voice) about her menstrual cycle.

Amazing what you learn on the playground.

So soon I was stood in the middle of the park, staring at my mates intimidatingly large BMX. Although I was much taller than my friend at the time (he has since shot up to a tower 6'4") the towering size of the bike only meant one thing to me, a bigger fall.

According to a friend on mine, whilst working at Halfords most parents always purchased a large bike their kids could 'grow in to' my mother applied the same logic to clothes, that saw the same space invaders hoody dutifully serve me for four years! Although this theory is easier on the back pocket, especially as we still wade through recession, perhaps a smaller, cheaper bike from a bootfair is better. Especially if your child is still knee-high to a grasshopper.

Back in a chilly park in Kent, the first of a few attempts at riding failed miserably. So my mates dad and brother, held me at either side and tried to run along with me as i pedalled. Now two problems occurred here-

1) The aforementioned puppy fat was too much for my 50-year old teacher and his chain smoking son. Which lead to much heavy breathing and mumbled profanities as they waddled along beside me.

    2) Soon another attempt was abandoned, to my great relief. I recall my mate's dad saying, 'keep practicing Laurence' as I got into my mum's car, I smiled and said I would...Then turned my back on learning for ten years.

    I think another three pearls of wisdom can be drawn from this trip down memory lane:

    1. DON'T neglect to tell your kids when you plan on teaching them, especially if their previous attempts have been riddled with failure. If it's something they really don't want to do, don't just drop it on them, especially with a relative stranger.
    2. AVOID buying a huge bike for your kids to grow on to, even though it may seem cheaper, if it's too big and intimidating, they'll never learn and the bike will never get used.
      Maybe share a smaller bike between a group of parents at school??
    3. MOST IMPORTANTLY go somewhere secluded, this was one thing my dear old mum did get right, no one likes having their faults on display in public...


    George said...

    Sorry, you and your mate talked about what on the radio?

    MUMMY said...

    So that is what you were up to in your bedroom!