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A Pedalling Picnic
What better way to mark the start of both 'National Picnic Week', 'Bike Week 2012', and celebrate our town's annual 'Food & Drink Festival' than by taking part in a pedalling picnic.
We saw the picnic advertised a couple of weeks ago in the festival programme and had been excitedly counting down the days ever since. So when the day finally came around we weren't going to let a bit of rain - well a lot of rain - put us off.
The picnic was organised by our local cycling campaign and was a gentle ride, around 10 miles in total, along a former railway line to Biddulph Grange Country Park, and back. By the time we assembled at the start line and posed for the local press the rain had started to ease off, and it had almost stopped as we were waved off by the town mayor.
As the first part of the ride would be on main roads, Reuben started off attached to the back of my bike using our 'trail-gator' (a recent addition to our cycling accessories, and an item that appears popular with other Little Trekkers). He'd stay connected until we arrived at the picnic site as we wanted to make sure we could keep up with the rest of the group and not miss out on the picnic. However Reuben still earned his food by helping me to pedal up the gradual incline all the way to the picnic site. He received lots of support and encouragement along the way from people around us, and from Orla shouting at him to pedal faster.
The morning's rain was a distant memory as we arrived at our destination with the sun having broken through the clouds and made everywhere warm and dry ... perfect conditions for a picnic.
After eating up and making our way back to the Biddulph Valley Way it was time for Reuben to be let loose on his own, with three miles of traffic free trails ahead of him. Having only seen him cycle short distances on his own before, it was great to see him having so much fun splashing through puddles and trying to outrun his Mum.
Before too long we arrived back in Congleton and re-connected Reuben's bike to mine for our short journey back along the main roads to the centre of town to collect some flags, balloons and other bike related goodies, courtesy of Sustrans; and to sample the excellent local food at the festival. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are glad that we braved the initial bad weather. Reuben has already asked if we can do it again next week.