I took Maria out on the bike seat on Saturday. It ended up being quite a tiring journey.
A couple of weeks ago I had taken her down to the river Irwell at the border of Prestwich and Salford and she patiently waited whilst I maintained an NCN route 6 sign which had become overgrown with grass. She had been promised a trip to the playground so we stopped at a little one in Philips Park. Not a bad one actually, good choice of swings (she likes to try out more than one per visit) slide was wet but she’s gone off slides for the moment and there were some of those animal on spring things too.
On Saturday I decided to venture a little further afield and took her along the Outwood trail as I knew United Utilities had been doing some work along there and part of the deal was that they would re-surface a section of the NCN 6 trail (it’s slightly better, but nothing to drag your 30 month old daughter out to see). My plan was to find a playground along Ringley Road on the way back. Now I could tell Maria was getting bored as we progressed along the trail as she’s usually quite chatty on the bike. The trail was quiet, just 4 horses and no dog walkers. I prompted her with a few "What can you see?"s but the blank reply was "trees", fair enough, there wasn’t much else to pass comment on.
Anyway, the rough trail took a lot out of my legs and once back on a road I started looking for the promised playground but to my dismay there wasn’t one. We had to cycle another 3 miles towards home to find one – Victoria Park. She never complained bless her.
The Victoria Park playground (excellent little roundabout, seesaws a little stiff and good selection of swings though most seats partially melted by local Chavs) is right by the tram line and last week the Bury tram service resumed after the 40+ year old track had been replaced over the previous 3 months. I was amazed how quiet the passing trams were. They made less noise than passing cars, though admittedly at the point there were passing me they probably were close to Besses o’th Barn station and doing under 30mph.
I’m looking forward to taking one into town, maybe they’ve also added a bike carrying caboose as well to turn it into a truly integrated and wonderfully green transport solution? Err, probably not, and I bet the prices will go up in the next couple of months too.