Today I pootled. Pootling is good. Pootling should be a sport in its own right – particularly as it can be done across a wide range of activities. If it became an Olympic event it would make sport so much more inclusive and I might stand a chance of winning gold, as I am very good at pootling. So today I pootled on my bike from the secret location I am staying in, to the secret location’s nearest town. This town is made for pootling – it has a wonderful pub selling Golden Plover and Wagtail Ale and, more importantly, it has a crazy golf course. So the bike is now tethered behind the pub, the Wagtail Ale is flowing, the golf clubs will be purchased when I get to the point where I feel that I am able to aim in a suitably crazy way and I will then walk home, forgetting to take my bike with me and therefore making it impossible to cycle to work tomorrow.
One of my reason’s for pootling was because I was riding alongside my son, who, sacrebleu, does not and cannot ride a bike. En route into town I turfed him off his perch on the pannier and offered him the reins. He took them, wobbled, cursed and then handed the bike back to me with a conclusive comment “it’s not my fault – you should have taught me to ride a bike”. He is at the age where everything is my fault and everything I do is stupid and I accept this as it’s apparently hormonally inevitable that all parents have to realise at some point that they are universally despised. It is however a little unfair, as I bought bike after bike of various sizes, took him on child trailers round reservoirs in holiday locations, and badgered him endlessly about his friends ability to balance on two wheels. His dad even had a go and his dad’s sporty, although he prefers oval balls and mud to round wheels and lycra. But there was a glimmer – a tiny glimmer of interest there this morning. For a moment I think he saw the appeal of the freedom, speed and sense of achievement that you can get from cycling. I have no idea how to teach an almost-adult to ride when he so obviously has no sense of balance, but I will try. If I could get my son on a bike as a result of 30 Days of Biking, it would be a momentous achievement, it really would. But for now, I pootle to the bar in the pub and ponder what a poor parent I am.
My secret location.