After a week or two of roasting heatwave, I decided I would have a cool ride, so, at 11.15pm on Saturday night, I started out. The night was pitch dark and my two bob Lucas only gave a tiny yellow patch of light. At Leigh, I picked up with one chap returning from work, and rode with him to Lowton, where I turned down a well known bylane for Warrington. I was now alone on a pitch dark road. My tyres hummed pleasantly on a good surface, how quiet I felt. Winwick was in darkness, but I found hundreds of people on their doorsteps in Warrington, it was a dark town alive! And then I left the town behind me as I ran through Stockton Heath and on to the highway beyond, climbing steadily.
A lit window or two told me of the approach to Stretton. A little beyond I stopped ‘to survey the world’. It was all my own tonight – this morning rather – the great open road belonged to me, I was not lonely for I had a machine with me, yes, the finest kind of machine in the whole world. I rejoiced in my mount as I swung along silently. Acton Bridge, Weaverham and Cuddington drooped away into the darkness. Soon rain began to fall, fine drizzling rain that wet me through, but I did not want the encumbrance of a cape or hat – the former I carried for occasional usage, the latter I never carried, wet or fine. Almost before I knew it, I was across the Northwich-Chester road, and heading speedily for Tarporley.
I felt fit for anything and wide awake, and I fairly put ‘em round. At Cotebrook I turned for Eaton, and then took the bylanes, dark bylanes, with ghostly looking trees in the misty rain. Tarporley was a dead town when I entered at 2.40am. Taking the road towards Nantwich, I stopped for ‘lunch’ in a hedge, but the rain also stopped. Highwayside and Barbridge faded behind and at Acton near Nantwich the grey sky foretold of dawn. Nantwich was a deserted town, and taking the road for Middlewich I soon left it and reached Crewe, the railway centre. People were about, the first I had seen since leaving Warrington. A short six miles brought me to Sandbach where I inspected two Saxon monoliths in the market place. Followed a sleepy run to Holmes Chapel, Knutsford and home for 9.15am.
110 miles, 10 hours
Pingback: Did Charlie see anything at all ? | Charlie Chadwick