Do you remember the day you learned to ride a bike?
I do, vividly. I remember everything from the slow, creeping realisation that my Dad wasn’t holding the saddle of my bike anymore – funny how our first hint of betrayal leads quickly to our first delicious taste of triumph – to the exhilaration of knowing that I was riding my bike all by myself.
My eldest child cracked riding a bike early, thanks to one of those quirky training bikes that have no pedals. He flew around on that like a mad thing from the age of three, then took to a bike with pedals like a duck to water before he turned four.
But with his little brother we made the mistake of introducing stabilisers – they are the devil’s work. He wouldn’t be parted from them. Until today.
Watching your kid master the art of riding his bike must be one of life’s loveliest gifts. To me it’s even sweeter than witnessing first words or steps, by virtue of the fact that most of us remember what that moment feels like. It’s the sense of empathy that makes it magical.
In honour of this momentous day here’s a little pep talk from a dude clearly still high on the experience of flying without wings – or riding without stabilisers – for the very first time: