School Daze

skull and crossbones valve cap

I’m pleased to say this was on one of the little girls’ bikes…

I was helping out at the village school bike picnic again today, which means I’ve spent the rest of the day in a state of nervous exhaustion on the sofa after helping lead three separate three-mile rides with eight kids apiece, not to mention trying to get 24 kids on bikes safely round three blind bends on the road to the recreation ground when one of them had his handlebars on crooked and rode into a bush (just as the headmistress was taking his photo, which probably made for a great shot, although not the one that will be appearing on the school website) and one of them proved quite capable of steering himself into a bush unaided. Oh and it turns out that when a driver is warned to pass slowly because there are a lot of kids on bikes around the bend, they will assume that the big bunch of kids is all the kids there are, and then accelerate round the last bend only to meet the stragglers bringing up the rear which, inevitably, includes the one who can’t steer his bike and so he’s halfway across the road… fortunately no children were harmed in the making of this blog post, although one parent helper is pretty angry and I imagine one driver is even now getting cold sweats over what might have happened, or at least I hope they are.

Fortunately, this being the village school, all the other vehicles we encountered, tractors included, were driven by someone related to one or other of the kids in some way so we saw some extremely patient driving, and the rest of the day passed off more or less like the last one, although we have a new iBike officer who has banned bell ringing except in an emergency; I expect she gets quite enough of bike bells in her line of work. We took them up a stiffish hill and then let them have their heads on the descent and that was, apparently, the most brilliant thing ever, to the point where they were quite prepared to tackle the hill again to have another go.

I also got a bit of an insight into the life of the average farm child. We were admiring some pedigree Suffolk rams, which turned out to belong to one of the older boys (his personally, that is, not his family’s). In fact half of them seemed to have their own animals – sheep or cattle – which they breed and show. That puts my childhood ambition to have a pony firmly in its place…

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5 Responses to School Daze

  1. Elizabeth rich says:

    Despite the worries this sounds like a very rewarding day! Good for you!

  2. disgruntled says:

    yes indeed, it’s always worth the effort because the kids enjoy it so much

  3. Andy in Germany says:

    Hmm, so it is good for them, the environment and they love it…

    You’d think the message would get through, wouldn’t you?

  4. […] instead of that, I give you this lovely piece of writing instead, which reminded me of my day out last week with the kids from the village school (I’d given them a similar pep talk at the top, apart […]

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