A friend called on me tonight at 8pm, for a bit of a spin. I have got out of riding o’nights recently, so for a bit of a change, I turned out. A strong wind blew us along Chorley New Road to Horwich, where we decided to carry on through Lever Park. Passing Hall Barn, we reached Rivington village, and joined the rough moorland road that runs over to Belmont. For a mile we tramped uphill between high banks, then we were able to ride a little. Passing many fork-roads and crossroads, each darker than the last, we started to climb once more ‘into the everlasting hills’. The dark silence was impressive, broken now and then by the chattering of some moorland stream, whilst against the black, stormy skyline, the shadowy form of Winter Hill rose nearly1,600 ft on our right. At length came a steep, stony pitch, with an awkward bend to the left and a ruined farmstead on the angle. Walking over this ridge, we looked behind, where, on the lowlands stretching away into industrial Lancashire, twinkled a million lights proclaiming Bolton and its ugly satellites.
What commercialism was hidden under this mantle of darkness! Again turning, we found it possible to ride, though our wheels often skidded into deep ruts, or the tyres bumped over stones. Came another fork road – we were now 1,062 ft above sea level, and the wild moorland desolation seemed to get wilder as we started to drop towards the cluster of white lights that heralded Belmont. The descent was harsh, and often steep, calling for hard braking, whilst the narrow road continually twisted and wound around numerous hillocks. Then dropping to the level of a reservoir, we soon reached the main street of Belmont. Now came a run against the wind along Belmont road, dropping at length to Astley Bridge, and traversing the streets of Bolton, we reached home at 10.30, after an exhilarating run. 21 miles
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