Little did I know, back in February when I took my son for our first bike ride together, that a few months later I would be sat here, writing my first blog post for Feva Star Seat. Up until then, I had pretty much given up on getting my son near a bike.
I hold a strict "no helmet, no ride" policy with my kids. Not because I want them wrapped in cotton wool, but because the roads are very different today, than they were in my childhood. I remember my father bringing home a matching pair of helmets for me and my brother, a polystyrene shell with a Lycra skin stretched over the top. I also remember how un-impressed we were about it at the time. We had already been riding for a number of years, why on earth would we need one now. Well.....they have certainly saved a bump or two over the years, possibly more severe injuries.
Today, cars are faster, there are more of them and there is a great self entitlement attached to driving these days, it is treated as a right, rather than a privilege by many. Of course I don't want my children to suffer any injuries as a result of falling off, but I want them to have a sense of resilience about them, and thats what i mean by not wanting to wrap them up in cotton wool. No the reason I want my kids to wear helmets, is due to a lack of trust in other road users.....I digress.......
Up until February we had tried pretty much everything, but he hated all things bike. He liked watching me on mine, but screamed if I went near him with a helmet, screamed if we tried to put him in a rear seat and screamed when we strapped him into a trailer. We had tried bribery with sweets, promises of gold, riches and endless treats, but nothing worked and I began to feel it was doing more harm than good and decided to stop pushing it.
A few months later we were in rural South Africa for a friends wedding. During the outdoor reception on a scorching hot day, I was chatting away enjoying the first G&T of the day, cool and icey it was just what we needed in the 35+ degree heat. My son started tugging on my clothes "Daddy daddy, daddy come and look at this, what is it daddy what is it?"
I made my apologies to the couple I was chatting to and agreed to come and investigate with the boy. He found a bike, a very nice bike, in fact it was the custom labelled Specialized Epic that belonged to a grinning Simon Lamond of Cape Epic fame. A lovely guy with some fantastic stories to tell. My son quickly had enough of his stories and once again started with his barrage of inquisitiveness.
"What is it Daddy?"
"Its a seat son, you can sit on it while daddy rides his bike"
Si stepped in with a fantastic child orientated pitch of the seat to my son.
"We can go for a bike ride daddy?"
"Yes son, but you will have to wear a helmet"
(I thought this was the line that would see me sipping once again on my nice cold G&T within a few moments)
"OK Daddy, I wear helmet!!"
"Here we go" I though to myself, wincing as I clicked the helmet buckle together under his chin, awaiting the screams I had become accustomed to during this ritual...but there were none!
I got on the bike, lifted my son on to the Feva Star Seat and buckled him in. Off we went, on our first ever "cry-free" bike ride. Now.....when I say cry free...what I mean is that my son wasnt crying.....that was a win.....no it was me...I got choked up and tears of joy began to roll down my face as he squealed with delight "I love bike rides daddy, I love bike rides!!"
I couldnt believe it, he we are miles from home, in a strange place, on a strange bike enjoying our first bike ride together in 3 years. The Feva Star Seat was found!...it was chosen by my son...the end user, the product manager, the happy kid out for a ride with his dad. It is his seat of choice for cycling with me and the image on this blog post was taken on that bike ride, and now takes pride of place on the kitchen shelf at home!
And so we brought the Star Seat home with us, back to the UK, packed full of features (which you can see on this website) but all of them aside, in the hope we can share this fantastic product with the world, and possibly help others that may find themselves in a similar position to myself, struggling to find the best way to take your child on a bike ride and the best kids bike seat for the job.
I hope you choose the Feva Star Seat, because it changed everything for us!