Due to rain in the morning (an unusual experience these past few weeks), a late start of 2.30pm from the Pheasant was arranged which successfully dodged any further precipitation. What appeared to be a shortish ride on paper turned out to be a surprising 36 miles, taking in Audley End, Saffron Walden, Sewards End, Debden, Henham, Rickling Green, Arkesden, Duddenhoe End and back to the Pheasant:
The Puff of Windmillers comprised our leader Maurice, his deputy (Dawg) Andrew, Captain Keith Pugwash, Marmite Tom, John B the shepherd boy, Botanist Rick and the cardinal sinner himself, the very right Revd Moley Martin. At Wimbish we called in at a very pleasant garden centre / nursery café with the somewhat strange name of The Mutton and Kipper, neither of which was consumed, but the staff were friendly and the coffee / tea excellent.
The shepherd’s Bishop’s Finger ale was, however, the cause of much merriment:
There was a very strong tail wind from the west resulting in a possible record average speed of nearly 17mph from Great Chishill, not bad for a group of oldies (with the exception of Cap’n Pugwash). And thanks to Maurice’s devious planning, the route back seemed devoid of headwinds resulting in an overall average of 15 mph for the 36 miles. Almost every village pond was seen to be dried up with the exception of this one in Henham, which the local ducks were clearly relieved about:
And, for those interested in churches, here is one in Rickling Green that we frequently ride past at speed but rarely stop to admire its beauty:
The 2.30pm start meant we timed our arrival back at the Pheasant at a perfect time!
Thanks to Maurice for his superlative planning and to Deputy Dawg, his pet poodle.