• Michelle Vernal

Easy Riders

Have you no shame Mum? My oldest son looked at me with my cycle hat perched on my head trying not to laugh. It’s not the first time he’s made this inquiry. He asked me the same question at the supermarket when I struck up a conversation with a stranger in the cereal aisle just before Christmas. And as for having no shame, he doesn’t know the half of it. He really doesn’t. Anyway back to the cycle helmet, on this occasion, we were going for a family ride on our new mountain bikes. The bikes, a Christmas present, are our way of getting us out and about as a family while the boys are still of an age to want to be out and about with us. We reckon we have a small window of time before it all gets too shameful to be seen having fun with your parents. And back to the shame thing again, our oldest didn’t know how lucky he was because I talked his dad into buying a new helmet when we purchased the bikes. Honestly, the military hard hat thing he had going on previously really was shameful. Dad’s Army springs to mind.

So, moving on to the family bonding session…

Five minutes into our bike ride which follows a purpose made track for about 10km the younger son pipes up with ‘I’m thirsty.' This doesn’t bode well as we’ve all forgotten to bring water bottles. A few moments later having conned him into thinking there is an oasis halfway around the track he rides into a tree. This is thanks to the lycra man taking his mountain biking very seriously blatting past him shouting “Right!” on the skinny little track.  With only a few more upsets and several pee behind shrubs stops on same son’s part (yes, I agree this need to pass water was surprising for someone dying of thirst) we made it to the ‘oasis,' a stagnant pond, picnic table, and no water fountain.

That was when we decided bribery was the best course of action if we were to make it back to the carpark. It was Magnum ice-cream’s from the car park kiosk all the way. What I’d like to know is when did the regular sized, exorbitantly priced ones become the same size of the mini-Magnums? Now that is shameful, in my opinion.

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