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17 March. 10 men good and true go biking.

OK, it’s usually 12 men good and true  but they don’t make bikes for that number. Instead, here is what our 10 men on 17 March might have looked like a few years ago:

10 men

From the right, we have Squadron Leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, John T, John B, Wee Jimny Ken, Rod, Two Scones Keith (with a warm welcome back from his trip to South Africa, Mozambique and Portugal), Brummy Brian, Tom and, bringing up the rear,  the Right Revd Holy Moley Martin. Contrary to rumours beforehand John B was not using crutches to help him get up the hills, having had an accident skiing recently but, fortunately, not too serious.

Setting off at 9.30am,  these Pheasant Pluckers rode for 33 miles in an anti-clockwise direction via Barkway, Sandon, Cromer (the Herts not Norfolk version), stopping for coffee at a very attractive, in all respects, farm shop in Ardeley and then returning via Nasty (nice village, actually), Buntingford and Barkway, before the final roller coaster ascent to Great Chishill. The weather was dry but chilly and it was good to have Kell join us for lunch back at the Pheasant.

17 March
Our route, above, and a very fine windmill near Cromer, below:

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In Sandon we paid our respects to the village goose which was allegedly shot dead in February by an evil gang. According to one newspaper report: 26 Feb 2016 – A village is in mourning after a goose was killed in a drive-by shooting.The animal, simply known as The Goose, was slain with an air rifle by a gang in what sounds like the most British thing ever. It happened in the tiny village of Sandon in Hertfordshire, and residents are sure …. . And the Daily Mail said a reward of £27,500 had been offered to catch the criminals but, on the other hand, other reports said:

Sandon goose update: Post-mortem examination concludes …

http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Sandongoose-update…/story.html

4 Mar 2016 – A post-mortem examination has concluded the goose that was reportedly shot in Sandon is more likely to have died from natural causes.

Whatever the cause, a mausoleum was quickly established by the locals in a disused phone box and here we all are paying our respects, but we should perhaps have removed our helmets:
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And here is another tear jerking picture:

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By the time we reached Ardeley for coffee we had dried our eyes, only to weep with laughter at this tangle of farming wires, which was more reminiscent of New York or Delhi:

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The homeward leg made Moley feel at home:

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and soon afterwards we were tucking into a splendid lunch at The Pheasant:

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except for poor Rod who was suffering from a spot of cramp which, fortunately, did not last long:

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All in all, a terrific ride on a chilly Spring day. Thanks, Maurice, once again for organising it and Deputy Dawg Andrew for keeping us all informed. It was good to have 10 men good and true out for the ride.

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