Thursday, May 15 – Ashley

What a glorious day it is.  Not a breath of wind, a warm sun and the sky is of a deep blue, with light, fleecy clouds lazily resting on the horizon.  As previously arranged, I have to meet Tom tonight at the ‘Old Cock’ Hotel, Stretford, when we will make definite arrangements about the coming weekend.  Together we were to ride through the night to a little Warwickshire village tucked away in the heart of England.  The day has been bright and sunny, the evening calm like an ideal summer day, but before Barton was reached, large raindrops made themselves felt.  It was only a passing shower, however, and soon it was dry again.  A ship delayed me at Barton, and consequently I thought I was late, so I accelerated.  I was amazed to find that when I reached the rendezvous, where Tom was waiting, that I was 20 minutes inside time.  We started at 7.15, down Stretford road towards Altrincham.  At Sale a terrific downpour drove us beneath some trees, but like its predecessor, it soon quit and just beyond Altrincham we found the roads quite dusty!  From Bucklow Hill we took a bylane that wound round Rostherne Mere, and then towards Ashley.  In a gateway by a wood, we halted for a chat – its called a Woodbine!  How calm and peaceful everything seemed to be!  We could not come to any agreement on Meriden, so we carried on through Ashley to Castle Mill, along by the Bollin, then over a gate, and uphill along a pretty lane, emerging at Ringway.  Brooklands Drive took us to the Cheadle – Altrincham road, along it for a short distance, then through a pretty wood, just skirting Northenden, then Wythenshawe to Baguley, and Sale again.  Again we stopped at Stretford, and here agreed to make the all-night pilgrimage to Meriden on Saturday evening.  Here I left Tom, and came home via Barton and Worsley at 10.45pm.                                                                    47 miles