Last Sunday we were booked to take the new track to Grange Park Community Gardens in Ribbleton, Preston.The day before we were at the Shropshire County Agricultural Show, alongside people doing some Japanese drumming, Shropshire’s own Animal Man and the local horse and hounds amongst many other things. We had a very busy day, with an early start and a late finish and Sunday morning found us a little weary. Our spirits were lifted on arrival at the gardens when we met Franc, who had booked us. Franc made us a cuppa and started telling us all about the gardens and why he had booked us.
We were there as part of the Big Bike Revival, a nationwide series of events organised by the CTC. The idea was for people to get their unused bikes out of the shed or garage and put them to use. Although Grange Park is principally a community garden, giving local people the chance to grow or buy their own vegetables and garden plants, Franc has set up a small workshop so that local children can learn how to fix their bikes. They also have the chance to buy reconditioned bikes.
On Sunday we were there along with a local representative from the CTC who was helping the kids to fix punctures and do other repairs. One of the first things they had to do was make us all breakfast on the bike smoothie maker. Once they had done this they were able to have a go on the pump track. Whereas on Saturday we had hundreds of children and as such they were only able to get ten minutes on the track, the kids on Sunday were able to spend a lot of time on the track and with some instruction from us were able to really get the hang of riding the track without pedaling. We had a great time and it was really rewarding to see all the kids enjoying the track, with a special mention to Chloe, whom we persuaded to leave her stabilisers and try a balance bike so she could have a go on the track. We even had some of the grown ups having a go although they soon realised it wasn’t quite as easy as the kids were making it look. Fuelled by the smoothies and burgers and hot dogs from the BBQ the kids gave the track a really good test.
It was a fantastic day and Franc deserves a lot of credit for all his hard work, the community are very fortunate to have him and the other volounteers. We are back again this Sunday, the 31st May so if you live nearby get yourself along.