This year for Christmas Dev got his first “real” bike. Living in New York has made me less than interested in him owning bike but the missus and I buckled down and got one anyway. It was a somewhat testosterone driven decision because I know somewhere in my man-brain that a kid should have a bike at his age. The issue for me is safety. People zoom up and down our otherwise quiet residential blocks all the time. It’s not like when I was five years old riding my bike through the lazy Florida streets. Someone jumped the curb the other night over here and plowed through a fence. Luckily the house on the lot was just being built. Around here drivers like to honk their horns as they speed through intersections. I personally didn’t even get another bike once I moved to NY almost 20 years ago because this city was a bit over the top with the way they ignored cyclists (plus I was po’). The only way, it seems, to have good safe fun on a bike is to go to a park.
We have a great park near our home. I will not describe it fully because I do not want to see you there – I like the peace and quiet that it offers on almost every day and you may disrupt that. (I’m kidding! Mostly.) Anyway, it’s a few acres of rural oasis in the middle of the ‘hood. The only thing is that to get there I have to load Dev’s darn bike into the car because walking is 25 minutes of five lane boulevards and waiting for lights to change and mean drivers who would rather see you beneath the wheels of their SUV than you safely across the street – and driving is five minutes. Once there I have to find the right spot, to start teaching.
The boy can’t ride very well, not even with training wheels. That part doesn’t bother me as much today, as of this writing, as it did last week when I first figured out that he couldn’t ride very well. For some reason he can’t keep his feet on the pedals and he can’t turn a corner on an upright bike. At first I didn’t get it. I figured that balance was the only thing that you needed to teach a kid, not the funda