Saturday, 2 April 2011
My Granddaughter is Now on 2 Wheels
Claude Butler Windsor
Last Thursday week my eldest Granddaughter, Aimee came to visit me for the day. Our conversation got around to her learning to drive.
For her 18th birthday last June I put aside enough money for all of her driving lessons, up to and including the driving test. She didn't want the money in her own bank and instead asked me to keep it and transfer the money each individual time that she booked a lesson.
To cut a long story short, she has managed from June last year to now, to get through 4 driving instructors and only 10 lessons. The reason for this is that she loathes driving. Her excuses each time has been, she hates the instructor, but the truth is she doesn't want to drive. She knows that the moment she passes her test there is a car sitting on their drive that her Mother, my Daughter has told her she can have. And from then on she will be forced to drive herself to and fro work etc,.
Whilst I was trying to explain to her, that her choices are, to either get stuck in and get her test or start going to work by train or bus and stop causing a fuss about expecting her Mum and Dad to ferry her everywhere, she said she would love a cycle and take her driving lessons at a later date.
As the bike shop is just a very short walk from me we went up just to have a look see at them.
As it happened he had a beautiful town and country ladies bike in stock and Aimee had a little test ride on it. She came back glowing.
Now I knew that there would be big problems if I told my Daughter that Aimee wanted a cycle and put off learning to drive. But the girl was so excited by now over cycling that I wanted to treat her to this bike.
I made Aimee promise that if I bought her the bike with some of her driving money I had put away, that she would take at least one driving lesson a week and stop buggering around. Get a driving instructor and stick to it.
We then phoned her Mum, who instantly hit the roof. But after a little bit of a conversation and explaining that Aimee had promised to continue with her driving, Sarah agreed that as long as I was aware that Aimee wouldn't use the bike and it would be a waste of money, then let her (Aimee) do what she likes.
Funnily enough my Daughter came around to the idea to such an extent that she told Aimee to take an old mountain bike that had been sitting in their garage for 4 years and part exchange it.
The following day, Friday, Aimee walked the old bike down to me (in too bad a condition to ride) and we popped along to buy the bike. I must say that the chap was very generous in his part exchange deal. I ended up only having to pay for the bike itself which was £229, and all the bits, such as basket, pump, lights, security chain etc, all fell into the part exchange deal. In all I saved about £70.
Amiee is over the moon with her new bike.
Since then she has ridden down to visit me 3 times in the last week, even though 2 of those days it has been pouring with rain. One of those days was because she needed to take the bike back to the shops for a couple of adjustments in riding position and the other 2 days her and I went out for a ride together.
I don't, at this point, think she will use it to get to and fro works as that is a good 10 miles away, and she has yet to build up her confidence of riding on busy roads. But if desperate she can use the cycle to get to and fro the railway stations each end to save her Mother having to ferry her everywhere.
I do have an idea though, that she is going to prove her Mother wrong when she said that "Aimee wouldn't use the bike" as her backside has barely been off the saddle so far.