Tallulah continues the odyssey that is cycling proficiency today.
I do not, for the life of me, see why they do cycling proficiency in February. Even if it weren’t the wettest February on record, complete with spectacular gusts of wind, random hail stones and the odd flurry of half hearted snow it would still be a bit harsh.
February is not known for its meekness in weather terms. Last year, when we did road safety in school, I distinctly remember doing one session in a blizzard – which made looking left and right more challenging than usual, especially when the driving snow was denting my eyeballs. The three children I was shepherding turned into small snow people, and I was less concerned about being mown down by an oncoming vehicle than being buried by a random avalanche.
Still, the children don’t seem to mind this, nor do they shun cycling in the driving rain. I suspect it is infinitely preferable to learning the eight times table, or what a pronoun is, and there is always the possibility that one of them might crash into a fence and sustain injury. They love being entertained by injury.
The man who teaches cycling proficiency at our school, and who also teaches road safety to our infants, has been doing this particular job for years. I wondered idly the other day, as I saw him wave a small posse of wobbling children across the road, if he was actually the man who taught me cycling proficiency.
I hope not.
Two weeks after I passed my cycling proficiency I rode my bike straight into an oncoming car, nearly killed myself, and almost caused the woman behind the wheel to go into labour.
I still have my cycling proficiency badge somewhere. To remind me what an utter tit I am when in possession of a bike.
I suspect I broke our cycling proficiency teacher that year. This chap must be after my time, although he has certainly been around for aeons.
I imagine that teaching children road safety etc, is about as stressful as being say, a driving instructor or an anaesthetist. I’d like to see the figures on stress related heart attacks in road safety officers.
Our chap does seem very cheerful about his chosen career though, and last year, when helping him with his road safety lessons, I found that he is evangelical about the subject. Which he probably needs to be to get him through days of teaching thirty small children not to hurl themselves under the wheels of oncoming lorries day in, day out. Particularly when 99% of all small children I have ever come into contact with believe that they are immortal and that given a ruck between them and the bonnet of a car, the car will come off the worse, while they will merely bounce to safety.
My wings are like a shield of steel etc.
Still, his enthusiasm for safety on the roads was a bit worrying, to be honest.
His particular hobby horse?
The silent killer in our midst….
Yes: the humble milk float.
With its demon driver, humming briskly down the road at a top speed of, ooh, seven miles per hour – just waiting to see the whites of your eyes before mowing you down under the weight of forty gallons of semi skimmed and a dozen trays of low fat yoghurt.
The next most deadly weapon on our roads?
The Prius – with its ninja skills – gliding into our presence like a shiny shark of death.
Apparently they are ruthless killers. We must be primed for an attack at any time.
I am prepared.
I have sent Tallulah to school today with some rennet. If she comes under fire from a milk float I have instructed her to lob the rennet amongst the milk bottles. It will turn into cheese within moments, thus causing the milk float to become lodged in a giant morass of cottage cheese. This will slow it down sufficiently that she can effect her escape to some high ground.