One of my best friends became a dad on the first of January this year. And so begins our (his and mine) experience of nurturing a die-hard motorcyclist. His father is an avid motorcyclist, and his best man - me - is one too. Mom rides too, so there's no hesitation from her side either.
Do not mistake this as something an overbearing parent would do. Far from it. We intend to give the little boy ample space to make his own decisions and opinions. We'll just strategically place motorcycles in the immediate vicinity, so that there's one always at hand if the little bloke should choose to go that way.
Little toy motorcycles have begun to make their way into the child's crib, all certified for his age of course. His little wind up toys make bike sounds and whenever my friend's bikes are started up, the child is coincidentally always within earshot.
Plans are afoot to build/buy a small motorised two-wheeler when he begins to walk. Something displacing 30 cc or less should do for now. Trainer wheels will be fabricated and fitted till the time he can balance himself and the tiddly motorcycle without them.
Helmets and other protective riding gear for kids are nearly impossible to find here in India. I sense great potential here, if there are others around thinking on our lines. Friends and relatives living abroad will be apprised of the task at hand. All hands on deck, we could do with all the help we can summon.
And if he grows up averse to motorcycles, dabbling in ballet and theatre instead, we will still be happy and proud of him. His dad and me will be content turning grey and old, fettling with our metallic horses. 'We tried our very best', we will tell ourselves, content that we at least attempted to raise the next Mike Hailwood!