Saturday, March 1 – CTC Paperchase

During yesterday and this morning, there has been a very heavy fall of snow, and a blizzard was blowing this afternoon when I started for the Beehive Inn, for the club run.   We anticipated some keen fun in the snow and on the paperchase, and after giving each of us sealed envelopes bearing the name of the teaplace, the hares started.  They are two fast riders, so we only gave them five minutes start.  It was hard going, when we entered LeverPark, (following the trail) for the snow constantly clogged the wheels.  It soon got us in a tangle (nine of us, all told), taking us down a snowed up track to four cross-roads near Hall Barn.  Each took the route he or she fancied, and thus the hounds became split up.  I followed a false trail; but later struck the real one, and signalling to two others to follow, I made towards Rivington.  In the village, at the cross-roads, I stood puzzling over the most likely of two, when one of the hares came out of a gateway.  Two of us took up the hill after him, but he sprinted off in front, dropping me, then the other chap.  At the Belmont–Chorley– Horwich cross-roads, we parted, and I followed a hopeless route which led me through deep untrodden snows, around both of the Anglezarke reservoirs and back again.  At last, at 4.30pm, baffled, I opened the envelope, and found the tea place was Mytton’s, Belmont.

It was a glorious walk – for I could ride little – over the white moors, with the glistening ridge of Winter Hill on my right, and the long, swelling moorlands below on the left, to Belmont.  I had a struggle to get to the isolated farmhouse, which is set above 1,000 feet above sea level, and I found I was the last in.  After tea we had a social evening by the fire, five of us staying to supper, and leaving the farm at 9.30.  We found that outside a frost had set in, freezing the snow on the bikes hard.  The chain looked like a ghostly string running round, and when passing through the town, we evoked some stares from the shivering people.  I got home at 10.10pm, after one of the best and most amusing club runs I have yet attended.

37 miles