In praise of…….bike cleaning


After a superb, coached mountain bike session with the JIF kids and Maindy Flyers, Evelyn was reticent to clean her bike. It was cold. The bike was muddy. It would take ages. Daddy does things like that.

It was time to introduce my daughter to the joys of bike maintenance.

Do I have to Daddy?

I’m afraid so love. You do the crime, you do the time.

I gave her my best ‘over the brim of my glasses’ judgmental stare (and I don’t wear glasses).


Come on…….it’ll be fun.

….and you know what? It was fun. Evelyn didn’t just work on her bike. She also worked on mine and then her mum’s. Muc-off was sprayed liberally (perhaps a little too liberally). The brushes were put to good work and the mud came off in clumps. In around 30 minutes all of the bikes were as sparkly as they were before they went out (which means, not very sparkly, but certainly more so than when encrusted with a 2 inch layer of mud). Evelyn concluded her chores by saying:



That was fun.

Of course, this all goes to show, that perception of a task is often markedly different than reality. I’m often guilty of this, particularly in the the depths of the winter and when nothing looks more attractive than a steaming mug of tea and a packet of hob-nobs. For a child, the perception issue is slightly different. She hasn’t yet learn to fully frame the task in her mind,nor learned to favour something a lot easier but far less productive. The lesson for both of us perhaps is that it proved to be unexpectedly enjoyable; quality time that Dad and daughter could spend together on an important and oft neglected task.

It sure beat TV.

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