Aunt and Uncle are serious about their cycling. They both race many amateur races each year, have bikes worth millions of pounds and spend many days of their lives in the saddle so when they said “Come for a bike ride with us” we whispered OK….. then spent the next few days wondering how far behind they would leave us.
Then came the day and a seven mile forest cycle. Boy set off at a blistering pace for the first 100 meters then came the first of what was to become a familiar refrain “How much further is it?” So while Wife, Aunt and Uncle took the lead I took the boy. Aunt and Uncle doubled their 7 miles by coming back and checking on our progress and speaking words of encouragement to Boy. Wife did a sterling job of calling for Boy from a distance – sensible lady knew I would swap places in a heartbeat. One small hill took us 5 minutes of cajoling and encouragement to climb. My pain came not from the cycling but from keeping up the constant stream of encouragement. Then all of a sudden (perhaps it was a group feeling that we were only a couple of miles from the end) the whinging stopped, determination set in and Cyclist Boy emerged. He shot down the last hill, sprinted up the final mountain and glided; racing to the finishing post to arrive there first…….
I’m still working this one out in my head. Opportunist or Planned Masterstroke….I can’t decide.