Sunday, September 24 – Dane Valley

Bethinking myself of the river Mersey (boating) at Northenden, I hied off at 10.30am with a slight wind behind me and the sun appearing shyly at intervals. Taking yesterday’s route I reached my destination in just over an hour and enquired as to the possibility of an hour’s boating. “Certainly”, came the answer: “Will you have a skiff?” I replied in the affirmative, because I did not really know the difference. When I saw the craft I nearly fainted. Just room for one, and only about three inches separated my dry clothes from the river. First my knees were in the way, then my hands caught each other – the oars were intended for a coal barge I am sure, and every move sent a wavelet over the bow. I would gain confidence, then rock slightly and my heart would rock, so after three quarters of an hour of this I came out of the boat and immediately vanished.

Following the windings of the river, I came to the Cock Hotel at East Didsbury, and running through Cheadle, came on to Wilmslow road. At Handforth, I turned off for Dean Row, where I had a wayside lunch, afterwards going via Adlington to Macclesfield, where I joined the Leek road. Along this pretty highway I sped through Bosley to Rushton. Then turning sharply around by a pub on the left – I forget the name – I climbed a tortuous hill, round a few sharp bends and down a still more tortuous hill, and I arrived at Dane Valley, a crescent shaped dale, some miles in length. I walked a couple of miles to Dane Bridge, then shoving the bike across a few fields, I came to the main road. Crossing this I ran first down then walked up a very long hill which took me to the top of the moors above Congleton. A terrific down, and I was in the town. Now I took Congleton road via Siddington to Nether Alderley, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow where I had a pal to meet. Together we started back, loaded with apples, and after some trouble with his carrier that kept slipping, we ran through Styal, Northenden, Stretford, Barton and home for 10.20pm.

85 miles, 11.75 hours