The weather forecast was for sunny intervals with occasional heavy rain; enough to deter all but the most hardened of Windmillers. So it was that Maurice, Andrew, John B, Ken, Rick, Rod and Brian headed out from Steeple Bumpstead to explore North Essex and the Suffolk borders.
We were all packing wet weather gear and Ken, fearing the worst, had left his shiny new machine at home, opting instead for his trusty old, all-season boneshaker. We were prepared!
But somehow – and with a lot of nimble, last minute route adjustments, Maurice, steered us some 37 miles around the showers and led us back – dry! – to the Fox & Hounds for lunch. How does he do it?
Along the way we stopped for coffee and cake at Buckley’s Tea Rooms in Castle Hedingham, where John B was seen – somewhat sheepishly – sipping an orange juice. And they say Greene King shares have had a turbulent week.
At this point, Rick, having already cycled an additional 20 miles to join us at the start, peeled off homewards while the rest of us continued on through Maplestead, Pebmarsh, Lamarsh, Henny Street (where we thoughtfully made it up to John by stopping for a quick one at The Swan), Middleton, Gestingthorpe and the Yeldhams, before heading back to Steeple Bumpstead for the Fox & Hound’s special combo of black pudding, bacon, asparagus & poached egg. A couple of beers later we were debating Brexit with the locals while the rain fell like stair rods outside. Ah, the English summer!