'No I'm not tired, Daddy. Are you tired?'
'I'm not tired Son...'
'Are you having fun, Daddy?'
It was four in the afternoon, we had been on the road since eleven and I was bloody knackered.
The bikes are brilliant. I had been a little concerned about the gears on Alex's bike. He's never had a bike with gears before and now he had 18 to deal with. He has a triple sprocket and a six speed cassette so on his left grip selector he has a choice of one to three, and on his right, one to six. He had no trouble at all.
'I'm in Two - Four, Daddy, what are you in?'
'Two - Five, Son'
Gear mechanisms on bikes have come on a long, long way since I had to pedal myself anywhere. Most bikes back then had Sturmey Archer 3 speeds if you were lucky, and a basket on the front if you weren't. If any of us had problems today, it was me. Rather than a twist grip, I had levers only I hadn't spotted two of them. There were four. Consequently I had changed all the way to top (mine has 21 gears) and couldn't figure out how to change down again before I fell off. So yes, much to Alex's delight, Daddy was the first to crash before we'd even properly set off.
Once we got going, though, it was a delight. First we cycled to the site, but that wasn't nearly far enough so we cycled back again and then on to the petrol station on the main road where a man had to show me how to use the airline so I could fill the tyres to the correct pressures. We had a sticky bun and a stimms each but were in no mood to call it a day so we carried on to the golf course. This gave us miles of tracks to play on so play on them we did. All of them. The rumble of thunder and a darkening sky warned us of an impending downpour so we decided to head home. We got there but Alex still wasn't tired and it wasn't raining so we carried on to Rico's place to have another fizzy drink (I was feeling faint by this stage). Of course Alex had to show them our new bikes.
'Official Blue Bulls training bikes,' I said. All the South Africans I have met support either the Blue Bulls or the Sharks rugby teams.
'Since the Bulls were kind enough to give us a couple of their official team training bikes,' I continued, 'Alex and I felt we should start supporting them; we have all the team kit at home as well.'
'Hang on, the Bulls sent you these bikes?'
'No, they sent them to an address in South Africa, a pal sent them up for us. Is the bar open? I'm gagging for a tonic water...'
I'll allow time to let that sink in. I'm on for the best play ever so I don't want to strike at the first twitch of the fly...
|'Well of course the apprentice does all the work, how else will he learn?'|
|I did my 'bike first then started on Alex's. He'd have been off on his own otherwise!|
Note the patented empty paint tin frame stand.
|'Daddy knows what he's doing...doesn't he?'|
|Looking like a bike now and yes, Son, those are the gears|
|Cambodia is a small town in Baden-Württemberg noted for bicycle production and Mohnkuchen|
|Indian Chief and Indian Scout|
The easy way to distinguish between the two bicycles is to note that Alex's has a side stand.
|A very chuffed little boy.|
|He's cycled three million miles and he still has the energy to run!|