Long haul bike riding and Longford Park visit

N’s had his balance bike for a birthday present in January, but due to weather and having legs that weren’t quite long enough, he’s only been riding it since around Easter.  He took to it really well though, and loves going round the house, garden and farm on it.

Earlier this week we visited a friend of mine (his godmother) up north and because we were only going a couple of days, I didn’t want to trek lots of toys up there (my friend’s baby is only 9 months old), so thought we’d just take some books, a puzzle and some colouring bits in his Trunki.  Instead I decided to take his bike with us in the hope we’d get to the park round the corner from their house.

Just the first afternoon, we opted for a trip to the park.  Good for getting a baby to nap on the move and keep a toddler entertained as well as practicing his bike riding.

I debated taking the buggy as N’s usually too lazy to walk far, but with the bike he’d be more encouraged to cycle the whole way (it’s only across 3 roads but it can seem quite far for little legs).

Longford Park in Stretford is massive for a city park, with lots of different sections.  A playground for under 5s with a small cafe next to it and a small aviary/’petting’ farm.  We visited this time last year, and were able to check out the other areas we didn’t know about this time.

striding from his bike
playing park music

N did get stuck with an older child who obviously needed to have a friend to run round with.  Typically, N just wanted to do his own thing and largely ignored the other boy’s requests to ‘play chase with me’; thankfully he’s not at the stage where he’s blunt or eloquent enough to say that he wanted to play on his own.  I probably get more peeved on his behalf with annoying children than he does though.

As well as the smaller playground, there’s a huge playing field with equipment and climbing ‘rocks’ for older children.  Walking round the whole park eventually comes to a more formally planted gardens, along with some really pretty wildflower areas.

After a couple of hours of playing and cycling, it was time to head back home.  Needless to say, we got halfway and N wanted to be carried.  Not easy when you’ve also got a bike, but having a friend pass me his bike while I put him on my shoulders for a bit got over that worry…until he wanted to ride again.

He’s not used to riding along pavements, so I was on tenterhooks with him riding so close to a busy road, but he was really good staying on the path and stopping to wait for us to cross roads.  Not only did he cycle most of that trip, but we also made it back for a quick trip to the park the following day, and he managed the full way there and back as well.

I got lots of comments from other people asking about his bike and asking how old he was as he was whizzing around being really confident.  It’s a lovely feeling to hear your children be complemented.

After the time at Longford Park, N then spent time in the garden.  I was a big fan of the canvas tent that my friend had bought at a show.  I’d love to get one of these for N as although they’re pricy, they would last for years.  It was a great couple of days, and having some dry weather was perfect entertainment for N.

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  1. What a beautiful park and what a wonderful place to practise his bike riding, it sounds like he is doing brilliantly on it. I love his wigwam too, I think your friend should just send it home with him!, I’d like one of those for myself! 🙂

    1. It’s a great wigwam. I never see anything like this sold at our local country shows, but would love one. I guess we could try and make one, but it’d never be as good as this

  2. That park looks lovely, great for practising on his bike too. My boy would never have sat on the toadstools either, so frustrating when you see that perfect photo opp, I’ve given up now as I know he’ll never stay still! x

    1. The permanently on the move is very annoying when you’re trying to catch them. Thankfully my phone is so quick at taking photos, I can just keep snapping and hopefully I’ll get some decent ones. Most are back views as he never plays facing me!

  3. That looks like a good park to ride in. Lovely wide path. A friend’s son has a balance bike and she says its the best way to get everyone to school and keep the toddler on the right side of happy! Wasps seem so bad this year.

    1. N’s used to riding on grass and gravel which is all we have at home, so a path or road is a real treat. Definitely is an alternative to a buggy or carrying him

  4. Balance bikes are just the best thing. Our 4yo loved his and is now zipping around on a proper bike! Interestingly, the 7yo who never really enjoyed the balance bike is only now getting the hang of his big bike… What a fantastic park, sounds like a lovely outing, and well done to your wee man on keeping up on his bike!

  5. What a lovely bike, and N is doing really well on it by gradually building up his stamina to go further each time. It sounds like you had a great stay with your friend and N had lots of outdoor fun, thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  6. I love balance bikes – and does that count as one of the 50things – a long bike ride. Maybe next time you go back you can get a photo of him on the mushrooms. That canvas tent is lovely.

    1. Ooh, will have to go and check out the 50 things. I was only a bit half hearted before in checking.
      We tried on the 2nd day to go back to the mushrooms, but we got stopped by a rogue wasps nest at the gateway and was advised to go the long way round which we didn’t have time for. Maybe next time

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