More detail here of a cyclists typical tearoom which must have added sparkle to their teastops. Charlie always seemed to be perpetually broke, (financially speaking), but still they ordered meals everywhere though I suspect that some of the meals were just bread and butter. My cycling started in the early 1950’s and any idea of being able to wash the road dust off at teaplaces was long gone (doubtless due to fully sealed roads), but the other change was that we carried our own sandwiches (no one could afford to buy a proper meal anyway).
It rained all day today but that didn’t matter because our hero has a new cape ! However, as the day wore on the benefit of having a cape or not became of little consequence because they became wetter and wetter due to following activities of a nautical nature. Two hours in a rowing boat in heavy rain? – no thanks.
What a surprise, Charlie chasing away from the Clubrun and taking a wrong turn.He must have sorely tried run leaders with his antics, darting ahead and then perhaps getting lost or getting to the tea place first. Then he brags about his intricate knowledge of all the roads hereabouts, but it doesn’t stop him turning the wrong way when they eventually reach the main Stretford Road in Altrincham much travelled but which they didn’t recognise.
An evening dash out on his bike to gather some epitaphs spotted yesterday in Rostherne churchyard on his run through the Bollin Valley. I should mention that Charlie has several booklets in which he has copied churchyard engravings and epitaphs seen on his travels, but it is he himself who describes his hobby as a weird occupation.
No wonder he has the blues today. His best friend is away at Wembley, it is raining heavily and he has no cape! But help is at hand. An old Government cape is discovered at home, weighing at least 8lbs (4 kgs) – and that wouldn’t roll up on top of the saddlebag, would it – so off he goes. He must have looked a sight for sore eyes. His promised mate for the day never turned up, so as he says he feels better in Cheshire in the rain, that’s where he heads. So the day wasn’t entirely wasted, but he was home for tea! Discuss !
Charlie, for today’s Saturday afternoon run, only makes it to Belmont, 9 miles distant. Why, you might ask. The answer, it started to rain just after starting, and he hasn’t got a cape !!!!!! And we get a hint of what other interests Tom Idle has, because this weekend he has travelled down to Wembley. Not as I perhaps imagined, for the FA Cup because that was played at the back end of April. No, if it was the Stadium (less than 2 years old) that Tom visited, it was to attend the British Empire Exhibition. Interesting.
At some point in the future years to come, Tom appears to disappear off the radar. Could he have had an interest in going abroad ?
What a difference a day makes, what a different story on the return. One big ‘blind’ from start to finish but with frequent stops they were continually regrouping. I almost got out of breath reading the story and it takes me back to similar days awheel. What is it about cyclists ? If they are feeling fit then they are inclined to let rip and show everyone how it should be done – or so they think. Just one laugh. ‘They were joined by 14 others, two ladies and two chaps from Hindley’. Now what marks out a Hindley chap ? Perhaps it is something in the water ? Not much mention of scenery on the return leg.
Because Charlie’s narrative records all the towns and villages they pass through along the way, it reads like a travel book and takes as long to read ! But that is the wonder of the man, so much detail and so well written. I think his descriptive passages in the middle of the night without their headlamps switched on and just the moon for company are so well put to us you feel almost that you were there with them.
Still no cape for Charlie but only one heavy shower today to worry about. A beautiful day in prospect but he intentionally starts late in order to meet up with his friend Tom Idle. It certainly reads like a perfect summer ride, one that we could all savour. They obviously cannot agree on the details for their joint all night ride for the following weekend, but after much discussion plans are firmed up.