Today’s ride started and ended at The Pheasant – those pedalling were the two Johnnies, Rod, Maurice and Martin. Sadly, it wasn’t long before the first incident of the day materialised when Rod’s chain misbehaved whilst changing down to the granny cog on the front whilst applying much pressure on the pedals. Result, a chewed up granny which resisted the efforts of chief mechanic Maurice to beat it back into shape with a chunk of wood and so Rod decided to head back to The Pheasant to seek a new granny. Shortly afterwards, just outside John T’s lovely house in Widdington, Maurice declared a puncture which was mended in John’s garage whilst the rest of us enjoyed a coffee prepared by Bridget. Thanks, Bridget!
On we pedalled through potholed lanes admiring the autumn colours when Martin thumped into a deep pothole at full pelt whilst behind Maurice, who had pointed it out but Martin was not paying attention, as usual. Result, loud swearing, threats to sue the Council, a dislodged water bottle and handlebars but, luckily, no other damage to bike or rider. A stop at The Yew Tree in Manuden proved coffee-less as the staff were busy eating and so we set off for Rickling instead. Incident no. 4 then emerged – a serious noise from the front forks of John T’s bike which turned out to be a leaf situation only. Sub-mechanic John B was able to dislodge said leaf with the help of the stem of another leaf, of which there were many to choose from. The Cricketers in Rickling was a splendid stop and the friendly landlord was a keen cyclist. We all agreed a return visit was necessary.
Then it was back for a delicious lunch at The Pheasant via Arkesden, Duddenhoe End and Chrishall, to end a very pleasant but incident filled autumnal ride. Thanks to Maurice for organising it, who announced over lunch that a grand total of approx £1,000 might again be raised for charity this year.