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Thursday, 28 Jan. Back in the saddle for 30 miles.

On a crystal clear chilly day, five hardy souls comprising our leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, Brian, relatively new boy Tom and Moley Martin set off from the Pheasant at 10.00am on a 30 mile circuit via Barkway, Therfield and Sandon, stopping for a coffee in Buntingford and then back via Anstey, Meesden, Langley and Chrishall. The full route can be seen on the Mapometer link above.

Here is a photo taken by Brian of the gang of freezing pheasant pluckers near Therfield:

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…but things improved once blood reached the extremities.

The second stop was caused by Tom having a puncture in his rear wheel but instead of offering to help we watched in awe as he swiftly changed tubes and removed bits of flint, but not, however, in the stipulated 4 minutes. (Has anyone ever achieved this magic figure?) It was the general opinion that Tom had passed his first ritual test:

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Then, by an amazing coincidence, Moley Martin recognised that the heavily pregnant lady in the coffee shop in Buntingford was in fact his daughter Jessie who happened to be meeting someone there. She would have been in good hands should her babe have decided to join in, what with assorted tyre leavers and spanners and puncture repair kits to hand, but she said she would have declined our services. Here she is with unborn Acorn enjoying our witty company:

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And so back to the Pheasant via more splendidly quiet and picturesque lanes for a warm welcome by Ollie, Alison and Simon, when printed copies of our 2015 blog were examined critically. ‘You call yourself a publisher?’ rang out around the table. It was great to have Kell join us for lunch.

Thanks, Herr leader Maurice, for a great ride.

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