Yet another glorious sunny, frosty January day greeted the group of 6 cyclists, Maurice, Andrew, John B, Ken, Rod and Sandra outside The Black Bull, Balsham for what would be a 30 mile circuit. Although frosty the temperature at the start seemed quite comfortable. It soon became apparent that it was colder out there than we had thought. Leaving Balsham heading towards West Wickham, half the road was covered with a layer of ice, water running off the fields onto the roads had frozen, forcing us to ride on the wrong side of the road to avoid this hazard. In places where the water had splashed up on to hedges/verges it had frozen there too, care needed to be taken all the way around.
Leaving West Wickham heading towards Withersfield – Rocket Rod took off leaving us trailing behind, we rained him in when he was about to head off in his own direction, not the planned route for the day. Onwards to Great Thurlow, Little Thurlow, Great Bradley and East Green, where we turned to get the sun on our backs and headed towards Kirtling. Shouts from behind that my reflectors were too bright and now dazzling Rod, I was about to stop and put some mud on them to dull them down when I realised it wasn’t my bike reflectors but my night vision cycle tights, sorry Rod too cold to take them off!!!
On to Upend and Silverley where we added a little bit more by missing a turning and the shouts from Maurice behind, having to turn around to come back, never mind only an extra half mile or so. Silverley to Saxon Street, should we be concerned, quite some time spent looking at a map and then the Ordnance Survey is brought out, are we lost? Then with some authority, yes we know where we need to be heading and we set off again to Woodditton and Dullingham for a longed for coffee at The Boot Inn and a welcome warm by the wood burner. Suitably warmed up again and it was time to head towards West Wratting and back to Balsham, only 8 miles to go and downhill all the way we were assured. One of the long drawn out hills took it’s toll and stretched the group out, Ken took off on a mission to get back, all you could see was his red jacket way off in the distance. Rod’s jet pack was failing, Maurice hung back to make sure Rod was ok, he caught up, took a swig from his bottle, well we don’t know what is in that bottle but apparently he had a new lease of life and flew back to the Black Bull. I don’t think dope testing is compulsory for leisure riding yet but would love to know what’s in that bottle!!
Back a The Black Bull and birthday boy Brian joined us and welcomed us with a birthday drink, very kind, thank you. Huge thanks to Maurice for organising another lovely trip around some wonderful countryside.