Wednesday, May 10 – Rufford and Parbold

Started at 2.30 for Southport but time was getting on so we thought we would just have a run. Passing through Horwich and Chorley, we dropped swiftly to Euxton, a level run to Croston and then easily to Rufford. At this place we turned left along the Liverpool road. A little beyond Burscough my rear tyre deflated. A close search failed to reveal the elusive puncture, and as a last resort we borrowed a bucket of water. We discovered that it was caused by the little stones that abound in these districts. Repaired, we decided on a homeward route, and after a succession of winding bylanes we reached Parbold, a little village well known for its relatively large hill.

Parbold is a famous ‘Shell’ hill, and the familiar yellow notice proclaims its gradient as one in seven, whilst its height is 394 feet. We managed two thirds of it before we dismounted. Quite a panorama of the surrounding country can be seen from here. After a run we got to Standish where my pal got a piece of iron in his tyre, causing a big ragged tear. After some time we got it right, and passing through Wigan we struck bad, bumpy roads, through Hindley to Westhoughton. A good road then brought us to Bolton, arriving back at 8pm.

60 miles, 5.5 hours