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25 September. Skidding through 20 miles of busy lanes.

It was already quite murky at 16.30 as Maurice, Andrew, Sandra and Martin set off with lights blazing from the Pheasant on what was planned to be the usual Monday evening circuit, until Martin suggested a slight detour to take in a hill that Maurice confessed he had never climbed. So it was down to Chrishall Grange and then a right towards Ickleton but continuing straight up the said hill bastardo on a terrible potholed surface to the luxury of the Essex border at the top and the new tarmac down the other side. Having completed the first hill, albeit with much puffing and panting, it was tempting to continue straight towards Littlebury up another hill but instead we eased up and pedalled via Catmere End and Littlebury Green towards our watering hole, The Bull at Lower Langley, where a familiar figure in hi viz yellow was waiting for us, namely John B.

Visibility remained poor on this warm, damp evening and the lanes were surprisingly busy with vehicles of all shapes and sizes – we must just have caught the height of the rush hour – and so hi viz clothing and lights are important in such conditions. But this didn’t stop a scary moment for Andrew on the return leg from The Bull (no connection!) when his wheels got stuck in a narrow strip of poor road surface and his combination of steering out of the rut and pedalling at the same time resulted in a spectacular slide of his back wheel which he corrected, scramble bike style, with great skill and didn’t fall off. The only problem was that the skid took him across the road in front of a car which had very conveniently stopped to allow the Windmillers room to squeeze past…………

Here is the offending bit of road, which Andrew re-inspected the following day:

Andrew's skid

Maurice decided to join John B’s off road route back to The Pheasant from Little Chishill, which he later regretted, whilst the others descended further and took the usual, faster route back, by which time it was almost dark.

Cod goujons and chips were then devoured and washed down with some fine ales.

Thanks Maurice for planning the ride and to Lucky Dawg Andrew for his organisation and skilful riding.

The Right Revd Moley Martin

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