Sunday, March 11 – The Trough of Bowland

As we did not like the club runs today, two of us decided to break away and go on our own.  At 8.45am we were off along Chorley New Road.  A good wind pushed us along and soon we had left Chorley and were heading speedily for Preston.  Through Walton le Dale and off via Preston to Broughton and Brock we sped.  The day was bright, the road easy, and everything seemed in our favour.  From Garstang to Galgate, then up to Scotforth, and then we were dropping into Lancaster, having covered the 42 miles in under 3 hours.  Then came a climb up to the Williamson memorial, another steep drop and we were walking a terrific hill.  Then down again, pedalling slowly, for there are some nasty corners on this moorland byway.

A halt was called for lunch at a little Inn, a well needed wash was supplied, and after lunch, a smoke, a rest, then the road again.  We tramped uphill for two miles, right over the rolling moors, with a fine view of Morecambe Bay and the surrounding hills towards Kendal.  Gee! it was glorious as we stood on a tower admiring the hills around.  Again we rushed down and soon came to Marshaw, a little hamlet tucked away.  Now we were following the windings of the River Wyre, pushing hard against the wind, then up again for another mile until we came to the Trough of Bowland itself, the scenery was magnificent and the little plain surrounded by immense hills looked awe inspiring.  Now we had an easy five miles to Whitewell, and leaving that pretty place we soon gained the road to Whalley.

Taking last Sunday’s road via Hodder Vale to Mitton, we reached Whalley and then Copster Green where the club was staying for tea.  Again a wash, then an eating competition, and our host kept us merry with some tales.  A Burmese skull was brought out for us to admire (?).  Starting back again we skirted Blackburn and took the moorland road to Belmont via Tockholes.  Another grand run in the dark along a poor road with the wind whistling, and walking and riding alternately we came at last to Belmont road and then the village.  Here we had a warm drink whilst waiting for the rest (about 12 of us).  From Belmont we dropped into Bolton and soon reached home.  My first century of the year, today’s run will long be remembered as one of my best runs for fine, moorland scenery.                                                                   102 miles,  13.5 hours