Archive for December, 2012

Xmas 2012

Alex has organised a snack for Santa and the reindeer…

All ready for Santa...


… and lo, Santa must have taken the mince pie …

Five minutes later




Xmas 2012, a set on Flickr.


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So yesterday I had Stephanie (aged 4) with me when I nipped into a bike shop to pick up a new lock. Steph starts looking to try out some of the bikes. Fine with me, she’s the right age.

A friend of hers from nursery is there, getting a basket… for her scooter. Said friend points Steph away from the bike she was looking at and towards “the girls bikes”. At this point I am starting to bristle, and not just because I still have my Movember growth.

The idea of “girls bikes” has always annoyed me. Painting it pink is one thing, but we then have three things that are missing from every “boy’s bike” in the shop:

  1. Baskets
  2. Tassles coming out of the handlebars.
  3. A “child-carrier” seat on the back for a doll.

An example with a basket.   If baskets were there because “they’re actually quite practical”, why do none of the boys bikes have them? Presumably because boys won’t have handbags when they grow up.

An example of the rest (that Stephanie tried out). To quote the description: “And with a doll seat and tassles its perfect for any little girl”. Obviously they have never met Steph in all her many disguises…

Apart from aesthetics, my problem with tassles is that I was told at a young age that you don’t put lots of doofers hanging around your bike that would get into the moving parts. A dolly carrier may be a nice toy but bikes aren’t toys. Distractions? Great when you are learning to cycle on Cambridge’s narrow roads. Anyway, a child seat actually prevents you from dismounting the bike by swinging your leg over the seat, as I have found out to my pain whilst having the real thing mounted on my bike over the last 5 years. But of course demure little girls wouldn’t be dismounting like that, would they?

So, sorry local bike shops (of which there are many in Cambridge) but unless you can do better then our Xmas shopping is going to Argos for one of these,  which, whilst billed as a boy’s bike, would suit Steph’s current Pirate obsession. Oh and here it is in “girl”.

When are we going to get a range of children’s bikes that will encourage girls to grow up into the mighty Victoria Pendleton?

Victoria Pendleton

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