Saturday, July 14/15 – Crewe and Sandbach

After a week or two of roasting heatwave, I decided I would have a cool ride, so, at 11.15pm on Saturday night, I started out.  The night was pitch dark and my two bob Lucas only gave a tiny yellow patch of light.  At Leigh, I picked up with one chap returning from work, and rode with him to Lowton, where I turned down a well known bylane for Warrington.  I was now alone on a pitch dark road.  My tyres hummed pleasantly on a good surface, how quiet I felt.  Winwick was in darkness, but I found hundreds of people on their doorsteps in Warrington, it was a dark town alive!  And then I left the town behind me as I ran through Stockton Heath and on to the highway beyond, climbing steadily.

A lit window or two told me of the approach to Stretton.  A little beyond I stopped ‘to survey the world’.  It was all my own tonight – this morning rather – the great open road belonged to me, I was not lonely for I had a machine with me, yes, the finest kind of machine in the whole world.  I rejoiced in my mount as I swung along silently.  Acton Bridge, Weaverham and Cuddington drooped away into the darkness.  Soon rain began to fall, fine drizzling rain that wet me through, but I did not want the encumbrance of a cape or hat – the former I carried for occasional usage, the latter I never carried, wet or fine.  Almost before I knew it, I was across the Northwich-Chester road, and heading speedily for Tarporley.

I felt fit for anything and wide awake, and I fairly put ‘em round.  At Cotebrook I turned for Eaton, and then took the bylanes, dark bylanes, with ghostly looking trees in the misty rain.  Tarporley was a dead town when I entered at 2.40am.  Taking the road towards Nantwich, I stopped for ‘lunch’ in a hedge, but the rain also stopped.  Highwayside and Barbridge faded behind and at Acton near Nantwich the grey sky foretold of dawn.  Nantwich was a deserted town, and taking the road for Middlewich I soon left it and reached Crewe, the railway centre.  People were about, the first I had seen since leaving Warrington.  A short six miles brought me to Sandbach where I inspected two Saxon monoliths in the market place.  Followed a sleepy run to Holmes Chapel, Knutsford and home for 9.15am.

110 miles, 10 hours

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