Tuesday, December 19 – Rivington Moors

Owing to a work accident, I have had to quit cycling for a couple of weeks, but the doctor has now pronounced me fit, so my period of inactivity is at an end, and this afternoon saw me off again on board the old bike. It was only to be a short run and I picked, for the most part, a hilly route. A howling wind faced me as I pushed up Chorley New Road, through Horwich, and on to the Millstone Hotel, where I turned right up a long steep hill. A mile further on, I dipped down at a terrific speed to Rivington Village. Then uphill, walking, for the best part of a mile before reaching the rolling moorlands.

I managed a ride now and again as I climbed between round peaks and by ruined farmsteads, babbling brooks, clean, sweeping valleys and – everything real moors possess. It was a real joy, as I mounted the last hill and saw the winding pathway threading its way towards me. Round a ridge, up, down, then I was hissing along on a none too good road towards Belmont. For ten minutes I held my breath, expecting some of the loose stones to chuck me, or skidding round one of the numerous bends, then a wary crawl down an unride-up-able road into Belmont.

One and a half miles down Bolton road I turned up to the top of the hills (Scout road) where I sat on a rock for some time, admiring the misty aspect. Then against the wind downhill to Collier’s Row, then up to Bob’s Smithy and across the main road. Another breathtaking rush, still another, down Markland Hill, and across Chorley New Road to Lostock. I finished the run from Deane in a downpour of rain at 4.30pm.

24 miles, 2.5 hours