The sun streamed through the skylights this morning, in a way that I’d forgotten that it was capable of. Warm shards of light diffusing on the water droplets and casting a glitterball shower around the kitchen. The perfect morning for a family cycle commute.
‘Are we cycling today Daddy?’ asked Evelyn.
‘All of us?’
Yes, love. I cycle every day. Why do you ask?
‘We get extra points if you also cycle to school with us!’
Her face was beaming. A maximum contribution to the school’s big pedal effort. And what an effort; it was a veritable tide of bicycles and scooters as we surfed the 8.50 wave to the school gates.
In my view, the big pedal is an incredibly important and worthy activity. Give a child a bike and I’ll show you a face that is smiling. Take away a car and we all feel a little less hurried and a lot less harassed. Make it a regular feature and you give a child the best gifts a parent can bestow – health, vitality, self-reliance, motor skills, fun – and a fine community gift of quieter, safer spaces unsullied by exhaust fumes and noise. As with most cyclists, I also drive a car and there will be occasional times when using it makes a lot of sense and rare occasions when it is imperative. As for the vast, overwhelming, colossal amount of the time, its far better to share the benefits of cheaper, healthier, more enjoyable alternatives. Every now and then we need to gently nudge our largely myopic and convenience orientated society that this is precisely the case.
I ride a bike. I ride a scooter. I fall off a skateboard. When I have to, I drive a car. Vive la Big pedal. More details here.