A couple of times recently on the hills near us I've passed a 'couple' out cycling and chatting. Not unusual, except one of the couple is a very small child, perhaps three or four years old and accompanied by dad. Both times I've seen them they've been near the top of a long hill, maybe 2-3km long at 3-4%.
OK so it's not the Alps but it's long enough and steep enough that I know plenty of people who would be puffing and panting, or cycling at less than walking speed! The little girl, on the other hand, looks completely happy, legs spinning around, and no sign of being hassled by the whole thing. Amazing to see!
So after passing them during my ride this morning I was wondering at what age a child could reasonably start 'proper' cycling (and why my own children don't show such enthusiasm...)
By sheer coincidence while I was out somone had posted a comment on this site , talking about their training to enter the Lake Taupo Cycling Challenge, 160 km and apparently very hilly. They are entering, they said, 'so that I will get fit again', after a while spent off the bike due to health problems.
All perfectly normal of course - except the writer is 81 years old! You can see his blog at My Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. (I would guess there aren't so many 81 year old bloggers either...). Very best of luck!
But this also got me wondering - is there an age at which we should expect to hang up our bikes and stick to watching television and doing crosswords, or can we expect to just keep going and going? Does anyone know any enthusiastic cyclists less than three years old or more than 81 years old?
And if the little girl I pass keeps cycling until she is 81, what kind of bike might she be riding in the year 2088? Would we even recognise it as a bike?