I take my sons to France to visit my family around Christmas time.
This year my eldest was given a very special Christmas present – an old bicycle pump – and not any bicycle pump but his great grand father’s. A Zefal competition equipped with a Campagnolo valve he used in the ‘70s.
It was a special moment for everybody in the room. Looking at my son holding this old battered object; the inquisitive look on his face; the silence in the room and the questions that followed; the story telling that ensued; the tale of an amazing man who cycled all his life and taught me about values, how to enjoy the simple things in life, how to climb mountains, ride a bike, be kind, considerate, resilient.
This pump has no monetary value but an invaluable sentimental value. It has taken a proud place in my son’s bedroom and become a vehicle for teaching him and his brother about values and how to enjoy and cherish the simple things in life.
We called it Maurice after my grand father. Maurice was a very talented young cyclist who was a member of a French club in the 1930s called the ESNP and raced for the Cent-Bas-Sports team sponsored by les cycles Clement Boyaux Barreau. He was described in an article dated 1939 written about him after winning a race as a very fit, talented and promising young rider who had to cut his career short after being mobilised and sent to fight in the Second World War. His love of riding remained and he cycled until well into his 70s.
Looking at my sons’ smiley faces when riding their bikes I think of Maurice, the old bicycle pump, and how simple things in life really are the best …
Words and photos by @carinesinsta