That’s me above, on my fourth birthday. That was my present. I don’t think I’ve ever regarded as fondly any bike I’ve had since. In fact any I’ll own in the future either. Not even a whizz-bang carbon thing or a sophisticated titanium affair or any of that other stuff.

I  met a chap at university who had never learnt to ride a bike. I was aghast. It seems unimaginable that riding a bike can be absent from a persons childhood; at times it seems that’s all me and friends ever did. At first we were allowed up to the cobblestones at the end of our street, but no further. But then it became the park, and beyond. We whizzed around in our little gang, exploring the nooks and crannies of the small world around us.

Not much has changed, even as grown ups we want to roam the countryside, be the first up the hill, to find new roads to ride. Only we stop for tea and cake, and our bikes now cost more than our pocket money could ever afford.

They say you never forget your first love – do you remember yours?

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