Saturday, July 15 – Castle Mill

This afternoon we decided on Castle Mill for our destination, so accordingly we started at 2.30pm, a blazing sun on our bare heads. There were four of us, and two were pretty new to cycling, so we were content to go at a modest pace. From Bolton to Sale, and along the Altrincham road to the town itself, and then round a peculiar assortment of short cuts and we were at Ringway. A mile farther on we turned right, by a church, and after ran through some pretty bylanes until reaching the gate, by an awkward stile over which we clambered.

Going up to the Mill we asked for hot water, but were refused, and so returning a little way we encamped on the river bank. Just then came a surprise. A party of three, who had gone on before us came bursting out of the woods towards us. What a merry gang we made, wherever those three go there is sure to be some fun. Minerals were procured, and we had tea together. Afterwards we had a walk along the river banks – five of us. I shall not easily forget that walk. Coming to a little stream, we followed it to the farthest point possible, and it led us through the prettiest little valley imaginable. A little fairy dell was my version of this valley, a perfect kaleidoscope of colour. Returning we discovered a crab apple tree, and for a long time afterwards apples were flying in all directions.

At 7.15 our original party of four started back by another route. It was a perfect luxury riding in that glorious summer’s evening. Coming to Styal, we turned on the road to Northenden, reaching the latter place after rather a bumpy journey, but what matters on a day like this? Along the well laid Palatine road we meandered, then Barlow Moor Road to Chorlton cum Hardy. From there we soon reached Stretford, Barton and home for 10pm.

44 miles, 7.5 hours