I should know better, really
And of course, the weather gods caught up with me this morning, when the primary school at Nearest Village was having their cycling day, which traditionally takes place in the pouring rain
When I first started doing this, the school was tiny and it was (in retrospect) a piece of cake although it didn’t feel like it at the time. Since then a shiny new building has encouraged all sorts of additional enrolment, and there are now a massive 40 kids at the school and all of them were raring to go (we had to disappoint the two P1 girls, one of whom had only come off the stabilisers a week ago, that they couldn’t come on the main ride, although they did still get to do a bit of riding on the road to get to the playing field and back).
We’ve settled into a bit of a routine with these rides. There’s a route which does a bit on the road and then veers off via some farm tracks so they can struggle up the ‘big hill’ at their own pace and then whizz down the other side and fall off at their leisure without any traffic to worry about.*
Rain emphatically did not stop play, although we kept things moving so nobody was hanging around too much in the rain (riding in the rain was fine). These are Scottish kids and very much not made of sugar, although the head teacher did decree that the heating could go on for the afternoon, despite it not yet being October. I was glad to get home myself and light the fire and collapse on the sofa for the rest of the day
Even better, the headmistress, after years of me encouraging her, has taken to cycling over the summer and promises that next year she will join us on her bike. In the end, it was a week in Cumbrae that converted her – I really must visit; there seems to be something in the water there as people go as convinced bike sceptics and come back having spent a week cycling everywhere. She has problems with her knees so has increasingly found it hard to walk much, so she’s thrilled to have rediscovered the bike. ‘It’s given me the outdoors back’, she said. And then admitted, ‘I should have listened to you years ago.’
If only the council would follow suit, I’d be a happy woman. Perhaps I should just arrange to send all of them to Cumbrae. And maybe leave them there.
* Turns out, if you stick your legs out wide on the downhill bit and then miss putting them back on the pedals, you can do quite a spectacular tumble all on your own. Fortunately no broken bones, much to the other kids’ disappointment, as they were hoping for at least an ambulance