It takes a brave man to think he can add to a classic song. Cat Stevens’s legendary song Father and Son speaks of the relationship between the two with lyrics such as ” get a girl, settle down ..if you want you can marry” , ahh so here comes the courageous bit. How about if we add “get a bike and learn to ride” , somewhere along Steven’s journey of life. When I became a father, getting Ethan on his bike was without doubt.Just when and how.Even being an experienced and lifelong cyclist left me in a cold sweat, thinking of him on London’s busy roads.Working as a cyclist in a professional capacity only slightly cushioned the impact of the dreaded day when we would venture onto the wilderness of London’s open roads.
I made this video of Ethan riding to school as part instructional and inspirational, so parents may gain courage and comfort in the fact that such things are possible.Ethan learnt to ride when he was 4 years old. He was on roads by the time he was 5 . We are lucky to live in a quiet suberb of london. At first I chose days and times when I new there would be less traffic on the roads. I took Ethan to a local cul de sac where he could get a feel of the road and the be amoungst the enormity of cars and trucks.
I took Ethan out as often as possible, not always for fun rides but as way of getting to the library, shops etc.With every venture I could see the desire to ride getting stronger. Now riding is his accepted and indeed his preferred way to get around.
I must say getting to this point where we are today has not been plain sailing, far from it.There have been many stressfull times for us and still though he looks amazing on the bike , there are times when boys-will-be-boys and the freedom of an open road is too irresistable.
I can only hope that Ethan continues riding throughout his life but if not at least I tried and I will always love him …Dad