Almost as if to plan, the first weekend after the start of spring arrived with glorious sunshine. So it’d be wrong not to get out on the bikes with the family and some friends. This is first ride we’ve had for a while as family, rubbish weather and busy weekends have meant we’ve not had chance.

Our friends had joined us on their tandems, kids in the stoker position. I was on my cross bike, with our youngest attached with the ever useful FollowMe Tandem. While our eldest rode on his bike.

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Our eldest having a ride on one of the tandems

I must admit, now our kids are growing up, having tandems to get about on would be great. It gives you a bit more range, the kids feel either contributing and you’re able to take them onto roads without worrying. They do take up an awful lot of space though.

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On the Bridgewater Way, towards Edge Lane, Stretford

We headed south from Stretford Marina, along the Bridgewater Canal, until we reached the link to the Trans Pennine Trail, near Hawthorn Road. Fortunately, construction work on the path has been long complete. It’s now improved and less of a slope than it used to be, so it’s a bit easier for the kids. Not as much fun though.

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Negotiating the barriers under the Bridgewater Canal and Metrolink line

We passed under the Bridgewater Canal and Metrolink line and headed towards the Mersey, on the path parallel to the canal. Once at the Mersey, we joined the path and headed eastwards towards Didsbury.

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Joining the path along the Mersey

We followed the route of the Mersey as it meanders through Chorlton, Northenden and Didsbury. Passing under more Metrolink bridges, the Princess Parkway and the M60 twice. Once at Didsbury, we rode to Fletcher Moss Park to enjoy the sun and a lunchtime picnic.

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Picnic in Fletcher Moss Park

If you follow the route along the Mersey, the quality of the path can be pretty variable. There’s a number of stretches with quite large stones that can be a bit tricky, especially for the kids. There’s also a few sections where quite deep sand has been put down. On a fatbike this wouldn’t be a problem, but on 38c cross tyres, it’s a bit more of a problem.

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Cross bike and our youngest’s bike, using the FollowMe Tandem

Finishing our picnics and ice creams, we got on the bikes and headed back along the same route. Though as it was now the afternoon, it was considerably busier with people making most of the sun.

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