A large gang of 12 Windmillers gathered at The Pheasant at 9.30am for a 6th Anniversary ride which was meant to be around 30 miles in total. But thanks to the offer of coffee and beer at our leader Maurice’s house, an advance posse of riders cut the corner at Meesden and missed out about 5 villages and headed straight for Barkway. Maurice and the others followed, offering map reading classes to the first group. This is the route that should have been taken:The effect of the short cut was a delightful lengthy coffee stop at Maurice’s and a tour of his workshops and vehicles which never cease to amaze the non-mechanically minded Windmillers amongst us. It was good to see Linda looking so well and we are very grateful to her and Maurice for their kind hospitality. Maurice also showed us his archive file of almost every ride since the club was formed, who the riders were and the cash collected, not to mention his evil guillotine used for chopping our analogue maps into shape.
With an anniversary to celebrate, it was important to have suitable photographic evidence. This is the group outside Maurice’s house:
A stop was then made at THE windmill at Great Chishill on the return journey uphill to record the largest number of members ever recorded in front of our club symbol:
So, after just 24 miles, back at the Pheasant we were warmly welcomed by Ollie and joined by Vernon, Lynn B and Bridget whilst Simon slaved away in the kitchen preparing yet another splendid lunch. This was to be our last lunch at the Pheasant to be attended by so many Windmillers before Ollie and Simon hang up their aprons in early May, as Maurice, Andrew and Keith were planning a Cornish trip the following week. It was therefore an opportunity to thank them for their wonderful hospitality, food and drink since the club was founded 6 years ago. We all wish them a very happy retirement and hope to see Simon in his lycra on our future rides. Maurice has since presented them with a cheque for £250 from the club for their chosen charity The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
A huge thank you also to Maurice for founding the club in the first place and organising the majority of the rides, and to Deputy Dawg Andrew for his assistance in getting us to the various starting lines on time and also planning rides. In the absence of both of them next week, Sandra is in charge but might have an interesting time keeping us warm and dry given the weather forecast.