Manifold Trail on the Follow Me Tandem and Croozer

Manifold Valley
We took a trip up to Waterhouses which is one end of the Manifold Trail, between Ashbourne and Leek.  We’ve been here a few times, walking, cycling, rollerblading and also unicycling (a long time ago!).  It’s an old railway line, turned walking/cycling trail, ideal for family bike rides as almost all of the route is off roads.

Follow Me tandem
This was the first outing with our new setup.  Previous cycling trips consisted of one tandem with the double Croozer trailor on the back.  The Fireman being four and quite heavy can no longer fit in the trailor so new new arrangement is The Cyclist on solo bike with a Follow Me Tandem attached on the back to tow The Fireman on his Isla bike. I am now towing the trailer with The Farmer and all other child related paraphernalia.
In the Croozer
We cycled the full length of the trail from Waterhouses to Hulme End and back totalling 17 miles (and don’t I know it!).
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The Cyclist did some research about different ways of towing The Fireman. We could have looked at something like a Trail Gator but we were concerned about the strange angle it put his bike at and would often see families out riding with child lolling about behind them.  The other option was one of those trailor bike type of things with just a rear wheel, the front being a bar attached to the adults bike, they seem far more stable but then you don’t have the option of letting your child ride on their own bike. The Follow Me Tandem seemed like our best option, stability and the choice to ride his bike when he wanted.

The Fireman rode about 2 miles on his own, then we re-attached him, thankfully really, as we were freezing. The puddles along the trail were still frozen as were my toes and fingers for the entire journey. At least the cold temperatures meant a quiet day on the trail as it can get quite busy along there.
Thors Cave
We past Thor’s Cave along the way, The Farmer was very excited at the sight of ‘mountains’ especially with a big hole at the top. I remember taking trips up here as a child, I loved it, it must have been the start of my love for the outdoors.
Hulme End cafe
At Hulme End we ate our well deserved lunch at The Tea Junction Cafe.  Very nice and very friendly cafe.  Delicious oatcakes and amazing brownies *dreamy face*

.Oatcakes

Mmmm, cheesey oatckes.

We headed back, temperatures slightly warmer, but exhaustion was setting in for me, even though I found it hard and was cursing for the last 3 miles, I know I need to keep doing it and regularly as I’d love for my boys to be keen to get out on their bikes. I will just keep the thoughts of those brownies in mind and push through the pain :-)

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