FRASER and Cooper Heard don't get much sympathy when a head wind is blowing and they're about to head off for the school bus on their bicycles.
"I just suggest they leave five minutes earlier," says their dad, Anthony, a third-generation farmer just north of Willaura in southwest Victoria.
And hooray for him.
I wonder if he's a dying breed of parent who encourages their kids to walk or cycle to school or the school bus stop.
I'm often astounded by those who drive kids to school when there's no need.
Sure, there is often a need: it's wet, too hot, the kids are loaded up with laptops or books, working parents don't have time, and high traffic-loads make cycling or walking too dangerous.
Reasons a mile high stack up on the "can't" side of this argument.
If it's too far, it's too far and that's fair enough, but often it's not too far or too wet or too hot.
Often, parents give in too easily to kids who can't be fagged.
They are not doing their kids a favour. By discouraging exercise they risk adding their kids to the growing number who are overweight and obese.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data show 25 per cent of all children aged five to 17 (2007-08 figures) are overweight or obese, up from 5 per cent in 1995.
And research shows the more your kid lies around watching telly or playing computer games, the more likely he or she is to be obese or overweight.
The Department of Health and Ageing says two hours of this sedentary stuff is the max for kids.
Walking or riding to school is a good way of countering the impact.
I'll risk mockery here and declare that yesteryear's kids were fitter and maybe their daily school ride or walk made them so.
Anthony Heard and his brother and sister cycled about 1.5 km to the bus stop.
His father before him rode 10km on his bicycle. Then he took a pony that bucked him regularly.
Anthony's kids, Fraser, 13, and Cooper, 9, withstand all sorts of challenges on their daily 2km trip down a public road to the bus stop: head winds, frosts, and heavy bags.
One year, Fraser's bike was stolen from the roadside while he was at school.
Undeterred, Anthony set up storage spot where the bikes can be chained.
"It's a public road but it's not used by many other people and I drill the message into them that if a car comes they have to get off on the side of the road," says Anthony.
"The young bloke does grumble a bit about it but we just bought him a new bike.
"Fraser is in his first year of secondary school so we've bought panniers for the bikes to carry his books.
"Riding the bikes keeps them fit and they don't even notice.
"It also gives them a little bit of independence.
"They don't need us to be there to pick them up."
I often see my neighbour, Liz Bell, walking her son Will to primary school three blocks from her home.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world," says Liz.
"That's when you get the really important questions in life, like what keeps submarines under water and how come different countries have different money." (Now there's a globalised 21st century kid).
Fit or fat.
Which do you want your kids to be? Getting them to ride or walk to school or the bus stop could make the difference.