Our six year old decided that she wanted to cycle to Craigie's Farm on her own bike. It's about 7.5 miles each direction, and moderately hilly - mostly downhill there and mostly uphill back. She's done about 2/3rds of the route before, but not the final push, and she remembered that there was a big hill at the end. But she still wanted to do it. So we loaded up the trailer (for berries and groceries) and the toddler + two childseats, so we could swap him between bikes. Amazingly, for once we didn't need to pack raingear. If you're curious about the route, keep an eye on the innertubemap because I've been asked to blog about it there.
We were planning on having lunch at Craigie's after picking, so I didn't pack any rations beyond a banana, two water bottles, and a couple of danishes that I'd picked up on an early morning farmer's market run. But we wanted to get going quickly, so we didn't stop to eat the danishes, thinking we'd have them en route.
But you know what? Kids are great. She pedalled away valiantly with no complaints or demands for 'breaks'. So we got out to Craigie's in no time at all, climbed the last big hill - and had two hungry kids. As I locked up the bikes, I suggested the kids go sit at the picnic tables provided for dog walkers, and fed them their quick snack before we went off to pay our 'entry fee' to the pick-your-own polytunnels.
We get to Craigie's about once a year. It's a big event for us. We pick lots of fruit, have lunch, and then go home and make jam that we enjoy all year. I may only go about once a year, but I follow them on twitter and facebook, and encourage all our friends to go out there too, whether by car or bike.
So, it was a real downer to have a manager-type come over and tell us off for 'bringing our own food'. I explained that I was just giving the kids a snack, and that we were about to go pick and then have lunch. This cut no ice. Apparently, we were setting a bad example, and should have 'stopped in a farmer's field'. If we'd come by a car, we could have sat in the carpark and stuffed our faces, but then we wouldn't have had a hungry and well exercised 6 year old to feed, would we?
In the end, we decided not to let them spoil our day. We picked berries. We had lunch. We cycled home.
But we spent less in the cafe and shop than we would otherwise have done. I'm hoping the jam won't leave a sour taste in our mouths, but I refuse to let it spoil my pride in my fantastic cycling daughter.