I blame the the 24-hour news cycle for this (link via Instapundit)—kids stuck inside all day because parents are afraid of shadows. I remember as a kid spending hours outdoors with my friend Duke wandering around the forest surrounding his home up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The only thing we worried about was getting back in time to watch Batman and then getting back in time for dinner.
Heck, I walked home from school more times than I care to remember as a kid (and one time, I walked to school because I missed the school bus and didn't want to get into trouble). And when did it become Florida law mandating bicycle helmets for 15 or younger? I never wore a helmet. Nor knee pads, elbow pads, or gloves. Yes, attempting to skid the tires but having the bike shoot out from underneath and ending up with a bad case of road rash hurts, but it also teaches a valuable lesson—skidding a bike is stupid!
I also learned how to ride a bike in three days, but that was purely self defense on my part. My uncle would sit me on my bike, and shove hard. Losing my balance, I had two choices—turn into the closest large obstacle (telephone pole, corner mail box, a large rose bush) and crash headlong into it, or roll onto a four-lane road and crash headlong into traffic.
Fun times indeed.
As insane as some of the stupid things I did as a kid, parents today are just totally insane.