I'm not describing the stages of a child here, I'm describing the stages of a parent with a child on a bike.
When they are little you get to walk along beside them while they ride a trike or push along on a walking bike, then they get a bigger bike and they get a bit faster and you find yourself almost jogging to keep up. Then there is that slightly frustrating stage when they aren't quite fast enough for you to be on your own bike but you find yourself almost running to keep up with them.
I now have the absolute joy that my own poor neglected bike can finally come out again as my son has managed to get up enough speed for us to cycle together.
We are extremely lucky to live in a place where school, shops and friends are all within easy walking or cycling distance and for the most part on safe footpaths and cycle paths. I'm reliably informed by my 8 year old that walking is the most boring thing on the planet ever ever ever….but suggest going on his scooter or even better getting out the bikes and all thoughts of the car and it's comfy seats rapidly disappear.
His discovery that he could get a badge first at Beavers and now in Cubs for bike riding has increased his enthusiasm even more, so he's practising his basic bike maintenance and making a poster about road safety on a bike so that he can add a cyclist badge to the collection on his uniform sleeve.
We don't go on any epic bike rides, but our bikes make trips around town more interesting and now it's my car that feels neglected – but I think that's the better and cheaper option.
Jill is PECT’s Environmental Education Co-ordinator, and she has written on the topic of cycling to tie in with this year’s Peterborough Green Festival, which will be held on 23-31 May 2015.