Author Topic: And so it starts...  (Read 585 times)

And so it starts...
« on: 23 February, 2024, 10:33:29 am »
This made me a little angry and despondent this morning.

Grandson Ham (5) loves cycling, he loves his new bike. He loves riding in the bike trailer. He thinks driving in the car is boring, something I do nothing to disabuse. This morning he had been staying with us and, because reasons, he didn't have his bike with him. Normally we would just go to school (about 1.5 miles) if not on bikes, in the trailer, I suggested this and he said no, lets go in the car. Bearing in mind he wants to go in on bike/trailer whatever the weather I asked him why. Apparently trailers are only for babies and some girls made fun of him. Fucking five year olds. What hope is there?

Coda: I had suggested driving to his house and riding the 200m to school, he then suggested trailer to his house, then ride to school  :thumbsup:

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #1 on: 23 February, 2024, 10:43:55 am »
Coda: I had suggested driving to his house and riding the 200m to school, he then suggested trailer to his house, then ride to school  :thumbsup:
Well at least he's got good ideas.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #2 on: 23 February, 2024, 11:37:59 am »
I suppose there's a childish visual logic in equating a bike trailer with a pushchair or pram.  He needs a response, perhaps along the lines that it's as comfortable as a car and granddad's the engine (I'm sure you can improve on that).

Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #3 on: 23 February, 2024, 12:23:04 pm »
Years ago, when my eldest was in secondary school, he used to cycle in. I'd quite often ride with him, as I could do a slightly longer commute to my work swinging past his school (and it was semi-rural, so nice roads).

He told me that some of the other kids had been teasing him about needing his dad to ride in with him. Apparently his response was "He doesn't need to, and doesn't always, but my dad likes spending time with me..."   ;D

Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #4 on: 23 February, 2024, 08:03:05 pm »
Good lad - that's what I told him to tell you!

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 08:56:49 am »
I would report this to the school - not for the sake of punishing the culprits, they’re only 5, they don’t know any better. My ire would be directed at the school for not doing enough to educate the kids that the world is going to shit and we all need to make more responsible transport choices.

Riding in a bike trailer should be seen as the cool option compared to riding in a car. Schools need to do their bit to reinforce this message.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Kim

  • Timelord
    • Fediverse
Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 02:25:39 pm »
I suppose there's a childish visual logic in equating a bike trailer with a pushchair or pram.

Riding in a bike trailer should be seen as the cool option compared to riding in a car. Schools need to do their bit to reinforce this message.

You're not thinking like a 5 year old:  The cool option is riding your own bike/scooter/whatever, because that involves Control, and therefore signifies Independence and Grown-Upness.

Being driven around in cars is normal and ordinary until you're an adult, and is therefore neutral.

A tandem or trailerbike may occupy some practical middle ground?

Cudzoziemiec

  • Ride adventurously and stop for a brew.
Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 02:59:42 pm »
It's clear from what Hamlet chose that going to school by bike is not a problem, it's only being seen in the trailer that gets him teased. Tandem is an interesting (but presumably only theoretical) idea; round here I see a lot of kids as big as 9 or 10 being taken to school on cargo bikes, either on the back of something like a GSD or sitting in the compartment of a boxbike or Christiana trike. Obviously you need electric assistance when they're that big (and even for a five-year old if you have to get them up St Michael's Hill!). But again, not on the list of options in this case.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 03:24:59 pm »
Being driven around in cars is normal and ordinary until you're an adult, and is therefore neutral.

Yeah, ok, I see your point.

So perhaps rather than trying to make kids perceive being transported by trailer as cool, the focus needs to be on changing perceptions of being transported by car to make clear that it is not cool.

Ham is doing his bit and the school needs to make sure it is doing what it can to normalise sustainable travel choices in tender minds. Aside from anything else, they have a duty to address the bullying aspect of it.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 05:21:40 pm »
I would report this to the school - not for the sake of punishing the culprits, they’re only 5, they don’t know any better. My ire would be directed at the school for not doing enough to educate the kids that the world is going to shit and we all need to make more responsible transport choices.

Riding in a bike trailer should be seen as the cool option compared to riding in a car. Schools need to do their bit to reinforce this message.
To be fair to the school, they do encourage alternative travel. The school has a "safer streets" prohibition to cars at the beginning and end of the  school day, they've provided ample scooter/bike parking under covers for the large number of children who use it. This is Forest Gate, after all, the last refuge for the Hackney wannabees-but-can't-quite-make-it. There are numerous Bakfiets-a-like, but relatively few trailers.

Maybe I'm just reading too much into it, I dunno. When he got out the trailer (smiling) I said, "That was fun. wasn't it?" Yes. "Well then, the jokes on those who made fun of you, because you had more fun, didn't you?


Re: And so it starts...
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 05:31:00 pm »
... they have a duty to address the bullying aspect of it.

I suspect given the low level impact (mostly now he will have his bike so won't be a practical issue) it's of more benefit as a learning point, especially as the word "bully" came up in a story the other night, he asked me what that was (he always asks when he hears words he doesn't know) and I struggled a bit with the explanation, tbh.