Life has taken a few twists and turns of late, losing a parent is a difficult and consuming process and it’s very easy to forget that your own health and well being needs some attention now and again, my usual method is to ride my bike. I’d managed to get out a few times during the last few weeks but it was far from enjoyable, too many things spinning away inside to allow the soothing pedal strokes to do their job.
Today was different, the funeral had been and gone, the relief palpable, some space inside opened up and along with a decent weather forecast, the day to ride arrived. My initial plan was to head to the sea, being beside the sea is where I feel most at home these days, but an eighty mile day was probably a bit more than I can chew right now, I didn’t want to do the usual so I rethought my plan.
The ever enchanting stories from Mr Charlie Chadwick came to mind and I knew where I was going….the opposite direction to the usual, out along the canal to Leigh, its about 15 miles of peaceful canal tow path, punctuated by stopping to chat to the fishermen and occasional dog walker. The wildlife was active today, numerous Jays, lots of raucous Magpies and two Kingfishers to accompany the curious stoat who stopped mid path and stared at me.
I took a quick detour off the towpath to visit the Lancashire Mining Museum, lots to see there on a future Grassupthemiddle tour, back over the bridge and onto Irlam Moss, its a quirky odd place, benign today but with a feeling that something not right could happen here (a bit like Pomona Docks).
The small rough surfaced lanes eventually lead to Four Lane Ends Farm, often mentioned by Mr C himself…
Onwards toward Irlam next. I plodded on to cross over Warburton Bridge and then headed towards the TPT and familiar territory…
…an obligatory stop at the bench for ten minutes contemplation.
Before I knew it I was home, cheese on toast in hand, mug of tea ready to wash it down, it was a brief thirty miles of respite, perfect for right now.
Words and pictures – Steve Makin