WHEN James Wheeldon heard about the new BMX track that was to open near his workplace he was sceptical of the decision, fearing the effect it would have on the area.
But after less than a fortnight of the track opening in Hilsea next to the lido, James has been proven wrong – mainly thanks to his son Alex.
But it has been fine and nothing like I thought.James Wheeldon
He said: ‘We were thinking there would be groups of kids hanging around and break-ins at work. But it has been fine and nothing like I thought.’
Once three-year-old Alex visited the freshly-built track last week, James’ view changed completely.
Alex asked his parents to take his balance bike to the track and, once there, showed himself to be a fearless rider.
James said he took his time to conquer every hill and turn and even had some assistance from the boys and adults also using the park.
Mum Marie said: ‘There were quite a few teenagers there at the time.
‘They were making comments like “he’s better than me”.
‘They thought he was really decent – they loved it.
‘Two teenagers came off their bikes and helped push him round the track which was really sweet.’
Alex now wants another bike for his birthday and visits the park every day.
James added: ‘If we don’t let him go he talks about it all the time; he wants stories about it before bed.
‘He sets a good example and wears his helmet every day when he visits the track. He fell down the other day and was saved by his helmet. He was OK, he just got up and carried on.’
The family now wonders if his younger brother will follow in Alex’s footsteps.
James said: ‘He copies everything Alex does.’
As previously reported in The News the new £80,000 BMX track was opened by leader of Portsmouth City Council Councillor Donna Jones on October 16.
It is designed to help people of all abilities to practise their skills and took five weeks to complete.
It is free and features a mix of trails and jumps. The park was built by Clark & Kent Contractors, the firm responsible for the London 2012 Olympic track.