Saturday, February 11 – Hale Barns and Ringway

Started about 2pm on a bright afternoon.  Our destination was to be Castle Mill in Cheshire and we made excellent progress until we reached Barton Bridge on the Manchester Ship Canal.  A large ship, the ‘Essex’ of London, was running in, and for 20 minutes we were delayed.  Turning on to a ‘short cut’ which should have brought us to Sale we got mixed up at Urmston, and after wandering through a cemetery we had to turn back and begin all over again.  My pal became engrossed in a football match at Sale, and when I did pull him away it was getting late.  Near Altrincham my pal announced that he was feeling ill.  So we dragged him to Ringway where we tried to get a warm drink.  The afternoon had gone bitterly cold and windy and we could not get a drink.  We trekked to Hale Barns, no, back to Ringway, no, we were out of season.  Back now to Altrincham where we got a drink, brightened up, and set a rare pace.  I kept feeling my left pedal wobbling but took no notice.  At Barton I tried to tighten it but the spindle was stripped.  At Walkden it dropped off altogether and I had to manage the best way I could.  Rotten luck to begin the year with, I thought as I arrived back, I hope this won’t last.

40 miles, 5.25 hours