With Maurice away, Andrew stepped up and sent out an email regarding the impending Monday evening ride, with a hint that he was hoping we would take pity on him, as he had an early start the following morning to catch a flight from Stansted. Well test number 1 – FAIL – three of us turned out, knowing that Andrew was a hardened traveller and would be fine.
Tom, Lawrence and Sandra met up with Andrew at The Pheasant, discussions about the weather ensued, various comments about what each of the weather Apps were suggesting we were in for, one even saying it was raining as we stood there dry under the mottled blue and white sky with a hint of grey clouds in the distance. We set off with the thought that we may experience a shower or two, well how wrong could we be!!
Heading to Shaftenhoe End, Little Chishill and Langley Lower Green, within 15 mins of setting off, jackets on for the first shower, well for two of us anyway, Tom braving it a little longer and Lawrence advising us he didn’t have any water proofs!! This shower didn’t last long and we were soon too hot again, jackets off. On passing by The Bull, no sign of a certain Specialised bike, perhaps John B knew something we didn’t!!! Test number 2 – was Lawrence correct in his interpretation of the weather – FAIL As we headed up hill to Messden and on to Brent Pelham, it wasn’t long before we were reaching for the wet weather gear again, sheltering under Holly trees outside Brent Pelham church, the rain was relentless. We continued on to Starlings Green and sheltered again under the trees and listening for a change in the tone of the rain drumming on the trees and surroundings, this was where Lawrence asked our opinions on the wet weather gear we were sporting. Test number 3 – Wet weather jackets – Tom and Andrew – PASS, Sandra – partial failure – wet arms, never let me down before, may be a sign of how extreme the rain was though!!
Eventually the rain eased (if that’s the correct term) and we continued back to Lower Langley Green via Clavering, to take shelter in the umbrella that is also known as The Bull. Partaking of some refreshment and making use of hand drying facilities, in a bid to dry Lawrence out a little bit. On leaving The Bull, it was clear Lawrence was on a mission, he took off up the hill to Duddenhoe End, aiming to generate some heat to aid with the drying, on to Chrishall, Heydon and back to the Pheasant, hopeful that there would be a roaring fire – early August really!!! Candle flame was all we had but made the most of. Lovely Scampi and fries too.
All in all a good ride, if a bit wet!!! 19.4 miles. A true test of committment – PASS
Thanks Andrew for organising.