Unwrapping our cotton wool kids

A 13-YEAR-OLD Michael Fasher liked nothing better than to jump on his bike on a Saturday morning, ride over the Sydney Harbour Bridge from his home in Newtown to stay with a friend at Avalon in the Northern Beaches and then cycle home on Sunday evening.

Wind the clock forward and allowing a comparable trip for Hugh Fasher, the 13-year-old son of Dr Michael, has become unthinkable due to the increase in traffic in Sydney during the intervening years.

That’s not to say Hugh falls into the category of cotton-wool kids – children who are cosseted by their parents against every conceivable