Wanky advises on kids ‘n bikes
December 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
I’m a lifelong, avid cyclist. Just tied the knot and the missus is preggers with Boy Number One. Wanna be sure he catches the “passion” if you KWIM. Been checking out the tiny Pinnies, looks like there’s a full Campy model for terrific tykes!! the FP0 model, rated for kids age 7-8. Whaddya think? Starting too late? Get a custom build and start him at 4 or 5? PS: Already picked out the Boy-Man’s name…”Eddy.” Not “Edward” but “Eddy.” Get it????
Many fathers make the mistake of eagerly purchasing expensive bikes and fancy gear for their sons in the hope that they will become passionate about cycling. Instead, after a few half-hearted rides, much berating and lecturing and pushing and cajoling by Dad, the sons throw off all pretense, confess their hatred for the sport, and never ride again. On the other hand, if you simply buy your son an ordinary bike at the appropriate age and allow him to ride around the neighborhood with his friends he will learn to cherish the independence and freedom of a bike. A few years will pass and he will graduate to a larger bike. Soon, his natural inclinations and common sense will reveal to him that bikes are for children, and he will put it away and get on with the business of being an adult and never ride again. You will save thousands and thousands of dollars with this second method. Trust me.
Been there, done that
We’ve got a 3 year-old and I’ve started putting him in a little child carrier to pull behind the bike so that he can get some of the excitement and fun of cycling even though he’s still a tot. It also lets me combine babysitting with getting in my miles, which is cool, eh?
If your young charge thinks it’s fun to be locked into a plastic sweatbox while careening wildly around parked cars, over potholes sans suspension, and with his eye-level about two feet off the ground so that he can gaze at hubcaps, you might want to check and see if he is still in fact alive. If he hasn’t moved in a few weeks and smells kind of funny, that’s a big hint that he might not be.
My teenage daughter will ride down the bike path with me from time to time, but I just can’t seem to get her interested in the roadie lifestyle. The only time we did a “long” 25-mile ride, she hated it. What’s the secret to showing her the beauty of the pain, the suffering, and the satisfaction that comes from tackling endlessly tough and bitterly hard climbs, battling the elements, overcoming adversity in solitude, just her and her machine?
Congratulations: she’s normal. I’m not sure I can say the same for you.
My college-age son is trying to decide whether or not to put off a 4-year academic scholarship to Washington University in St. Louis so that he can go race in Belgium for a few seasons. He’s pretty talented, is already a Cat 2, and wants to make it as a pro cyclist. I don’t ride a bike myself and am kind of flummoxed by the whole thing. I came across your blog because I’m the sysadmin for Wells-Fargo, and numerous of our employees have had their email accounts disabled when they subscribe to your blog, as our porn filter shuts down their accounts due to the profanity, obscenity, and general nastiness of your posts. What’s your take on this?
<concerned>St. Louis Dad</concerned>
An American Cat 2 is to bike racing in Belgium what Michele Bachmann’s IQ is to Abraham Lincoln’s. However, if he devotes himself to a solid doping program, and is disciplined enough to stick with it, and is talented and lucky, after a few years he may get picked up by a 3rd rate local team as a sacrificial domestique. By the time he’s 25 he’ll look like he’s a hundred, and still won’t have learned to speak Flemish despite his Flemish venereal diseases, Flemish illegitimate children, and Flemish credit card debts. The performance drugs like Pot Belge will, once he stops racing, turn him into an addict of their component parts, which are heroin and cocaine. He’ll be completely stupid, aged before his time, dissipated, jaded, and bereft of anything approaching job skills or a work ethic when he finally gets deported. When he comes back to Missouri he will, however, kill it in all the local St. Louis crits. On the other hand, if he goes to WU, he’ll likely wind up with a well-paying job and the expectation of working for a living, raising a family, and becoming a productive member of society. No-brainer, huh? Send me a postcard from Ghent.