Hoghton Tower is mentioned today, long occupied by the de Hoghton family for hundreds of years to this day, and who had the pleasure of entertaining King James the First I think it was, who famously knighted whilst staying here a succulent loin of beef to be known in future as ‘Sirloin’. The Unicorn Inn as was, in nearby Walton le Dale, a popular cyclists stop, also has a mention. It played a pivotal role in our turbulent past with links to our Jacobite ancestors.
I have never been able to get my head round the number of relatively well off and educated people who were prepared to indulge in plots against the King of the day or even Parliament, and to be beheaded for their pains when found out.
If it was anything like the CTC standard 100 mile rides I experienced, it would be a bit of a ‘blind’ from the start ! The idea is to complete a set distance within an agreed time, but Charlie finishes with so much time to spare that he must have entered the slowest qualifying group. However, he is at the front most of the time and finishes third out of 40 plus riders. Creditable. It serves to confirm his underlying fitness on a heavy bike.
If proof were needed that our Hero’s funds were at rock bottom, we know today. Out again, in April showers sort of weather he gets well and truly wet through. No mention of saving for a new cape, or indeed any mention of any cape forthcoming at all. I think that he must be unemployed or on a college course because over this recent past he has been out practically every day.
Without too much of a pun, this was just a limbering up exercise to Limbrick, which is a small area rather than a place ! It may all have to do with the fact that the following Sunday is the Bolton CTC ‘Century’ ride, where a 100 mile out and home ride must be accomplished within an agreed timescale, so ones fitness is under some scrutiny.
So Charlie wrecked his cape last week and obviously couldn’t afford to replace it, well not just at the moment. And it wasn’t raining cats and dogs, just a persistent drizzle, but nevertheless parental permission to start out was withheld. Just reflect on this. At this time Charlie was just two months short of this 20th birthday but he bows to their strictures on venturing out in rain without a cape. Could that still happen today?
Charlie and Tom seem to have had eveything you can imagine (except snow) thrown at them today weatherwise. A long day too, 130 miles in hilly country and on those old heavy bikes – my heart goes out to them. And Charlie sums it all up – one of the best days awheel he has ever had. But Charlie has such an easy style of writing that it all comes to life as you read his journey on that day. That is what cycling is all about.
We keep commenting on the reliability of Charlie’s bike, but sometimes you do wonder if it is all his bike’s fault. Fixed gear can be very good, though not so fashionable these days, but perhaps more care could have been exercised by the owner of the bike ! But at least he never seems to get depressed by all his misfortunes. I suggest he would have been a definite target for today’s Health and Safety Regulations !
There is no getting away from those chara parties! They seem to be following Charlie around. I suppose before the invention of charabanc’s Joe Public had to rely on railway excursions to places of interest near to a railway station, rather limiting to those of us who know how many places of interest there are. So now we have Charlie battling his way in the cafes of yesteryear trying to get served. But he survived !