As you may have gathered by now, I quite like cycling, and it seem this may be starting to rub off on my two boys.
As it stands, the one year old has decided to focus on mastering walking before he takes on the challenge of cycling unaided; a wise move, I suppose. Practically speaking walking, at this stage, is of far more use to him.
As it happens, a quick comparison between my youngest boy’s early walking style (small, wobbly steps, and an intermittent lack of balance) and that of your average cyclist mincing around your local café on cleats shows that he is clearly developing the early habits of a bike rider. His upper body certainly bears an uncanny resemblance to the fat and muscle free torso of your average Tour de France contender and to complete the picture, as a committed nappy wearer he can appear, at times, as if he’s sporting a pair of cheap bib-shorts with ill-fitting padding.
Throw in the perfectly hair free legs and I’m starting to thing we might have the makings of a future pro-cyclist on our hands here.
As for the three year old, he has been walking expertly and with authority for over two years now, and has long since mastered the pedal-free balance bike, drawing admiring glances from parents and fellow children alike with his swooping sorties up and down the paths of the local park.
The fact that his bike is a rather fetching red and black Specialized model has my fellow local cyclists flinching and standing to attention like hungry meerkats in search of a meal, and throwing envious glances in the direction of this three year old boy and his two wheeled pride and joy.
This behaviour does them no credit, but it’s understandable; even without pedals, it’s a nice bike.
Not only is the three year old showing early signs of the kind of bike handling skills that would put Chris Froome to shame, he’s taken something of a shine to watching pro-cycling on the TV. Of course, the slow burning tension of a three week Grand Tour is currently beyond the grasp of his limited attention span, but he does enjoy a good sprint finish, and he has developed an innate ability to pick out Bradley Wiggins bobbing around in the middle of a pro peloton with impressive accuracy.
Talking of Wiggins, during our family day out to Leeds to watch the start of the 2014 Tour de France, we didn’t have the heart to tell the boy that his hero had been unceremoniously dropped from the Sky team, and so we had to maintain the charade that Wiggo was around somewhere but he’d whizzed past so quickly we couldn’t see him.
He seemed happy with this, and thankfully lots of free stuff was being handed out to take his mind of the lack of sightings of Sir Brad.
Obviously, we haven’t yet broached the subject of Wiggo’s impending retirement from road cycling. Perhaps we need to ween him off his favourite knight of the realm and find a new hero.