Tuesday, November 6 – The Moors at Night

Tonight was a glorious November evening, no moon, a clear sky with myriads of stars, set like billions of pin-point lights in a black setting, dead calm, and a sharp, nippy frost in the air.  This is certainly not typical of November.  I am unable to resist a ride, so I started off via Lostock to Horwich.  Turning right at the Millstone Inn, I climbed steeply, the gradient bringing me off the saddle.  A level stretch, then I swooped down between the lakes.  From here I had a good view of the lower lake, which, between the low hills, and the ‘hump’ of Rivington Pike, reminded me strangely of Llyn Ogwen, in the Nant Ffrancon pass in North Wales.  From Rivington village I started to walk uphill, the road was black, and the oil lamp gave just a little yellow patch of light.  The shadowy masses of moorland, silhouetted against the starry sky, put a romantic touch into the walk.  Again I was in Wales, mentally, I began to pick out the rounded peaks…  there was Moel Siabod, my road was the Vale of Mymbyr, desolate yet grand.

Then I passed a farmstead, its feeble light wavering, again I was walking, until I turned a ridge.  Another farm was deserted, ruined like many others nearby, whilst right below, across the blackness of Lever Park, were the lights of Horwich, Blackrod, Adlington and a host of other villages.  I was again riding but still climbing, until I came to the summit, 1,062 ft above the sea.  Then the down, I flew, then realising the danger of the gradient, and the loose surface, I eased off.  The lights of Belmont appeared, and soon I was in the village.  The main road brought me home for 9.15pm.                                     22 miles, 2.5 hours