My parents were fortunate they didn't have to teach me how to cycle because my older cousin taught me, and incidentally, we were on a summer trip in Peking, Communist China, circa 1979.
I taught my eldest how to bike. He hasn't stopped since. His bicycle is his best friend in Geneva. He goes around town, often alone, around the lake, or with me. I rent my bike for the day for free from the City of Geneva.
Last time I rode a bike for the distance was with my husband to be, on Block Island, Massachusetts, circa 1997. Little did I know that my son would be my bike buddy, 15 years later! While I missed the younger ones I left home because they couldn't do the distance, the eldest said: "don't worry mommy, it will be their turn soon enough."
We left the house at 230pm and I signed the bike off at 7pm. That meant we didn't get off the saddle for 4h30 mins! I stopped only to take photos and drink water. We rode through the city of Geneva and took a hill, to the outskirts of the city.
I knew where we were heading, as Petit Lancy is the neighborhood I lived in for three never ending lonely years at boarding school. Florimont was on the bike route that was mapped up for us. I cycled down memory lane, told my son I knew every nook and hook of the neighborhood and we cycled on, direction Onex.
Onex is divided in two by a large avenue whose bus route I have taken. On the right hand of the avenue are all the "projects" housing. Shabby gray soviet style housing for lower income. I had traversed these safe neighborhoods to visit doctors or to take my kid to soccer camp.
What I discovered today was the left hand side of the avenue. Pristine countryside and villages, at a two hour bike distance from the city. We passed hay stalks, horses and cows. We stopped at water fountains near churches. We discovered a road that bent between vineyards. My son rode up the hill the touch the sunflowers. Only eleven, he spoke of "swiss paradise".
I thought he would complain and make us uturn home because the hills were steep and the distance far, but he wanted to complete the whole bike route and that is what we accomplished. A little under 40 kilometers and a great afternoon.