Eldest Son plays with model cars like other children, but when he was asked by someone what he wanted to drive when he grew up, his answer was ‘”n Xtracycle!”, no hesitation. As far as he’s concerned a bike is the pinnacle of transportation, closely followed by trains, so yesterday afternoon when he’d finished his homework, and I was failing to put words together in a way that may induce people to pay me for them, we went for a bike ride.
I’ll try not to get too soppy about this, but there really is nothing like going for a bike ride on an autumn evening with a small person, with the sun setting and the leaves turning golden-brown. You get the sights, smells and sounds that you just don’t get in a car, the ability to stop when you see an interesting bug and the fact you know you aren’t harming anything you drive past, and you’re giving quality time and teaching life-lessons as you do it.
We followed the cycle path around the top of the valley which separates our village from the rest of Ostfildern, so we could use as much sunlight as possible, and see more tractors. There was only one at the time, ploughing a narrow strip field alongside the path, so Eldest Son was treated to a close-up view of ploughing. We carried on to the main point of the journey, which is to go and see the horses at one of several local stables. I thought that would be the end of the journey, but Eldest Son decided he wanted to go off-road, through the woods. So we wiggled back down into the valley and home.
On the way I made the mistake of suggesting that he’s a bit small for his bike. His eyes lit up: “Can I get a bike with an Xtracycle? Then we can go touring toigether, with a tent, and…”
I know he’s but one in a generation who are growing up in cars, but it still gave me hope.