Saturday, November 17 – Belmont

Today was stormy, cold and windy, when I started at 2.15 for Deane, Lostock and Horwich, fighting the breeze every inch of the way.  Turning into Lever Park, I began a scramble up the steep sides of Rivington Pike in a hailstorm.  By the time I had climbed to the Bungalow, there was about two inches of snow on the ground – the first of this winter.  Dropping down the hill, I discovered I was on the wrong track, so I had to climb a rough path back again.  It was now 4pm, and I knew I would not get far today.  I was 1,200ft above sea level when I started down for Belmont through the snow.  My brake would not grip the rims owing to the wetness, and so I had to scrape my feet along the floor as I rode.  It proved a nerve-racking ride down into Belmont.

Climbing the hill in the village, I left the houses behind, but stopped at a gate opposite the reservoir, and passing through it, I took an awfully slushy track to Mitton’s farm, where I decided to have tea.  It was much warmer in here, before their fire, than being outside.  The tables were spread for the Wingates CC potato pie supper, which, however was not due until 7.30pm.  After tea I spent half an hour before the fire, then, taking again the slushy track, joined the main road at 5.30 and turned my wheel towards home.  It is tough work riding through half melted snow with a useless brake.  Home for 6.15pm.

26 miles, 4 hours