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9 October. Sunset boulevards. 17 miles for most, 35(?) for Tom.

With the evenings drawing in at the rate of half and hour per week, it was good to enjoy one of the last summer-time Monday rides before the clocks go back on 29 October. So it was that Maurice, Andrew, Sandra, Tom and Martin gathered at The Pheasant at 4.00pm for a very pleasant cruise around the lanes as the sun sank slowly towards the horizon. Tom rode all the way from Stapleford to join the others, and back again in the dark looking like a lighthouse on wheels and clocking up a very respectable 35 miles or so compared to a leisurely 17 miles for the others.

Andrew thought up the route on the spur of the moment, knowing that The Bull would be visited but not quite sure how we would navigate our way there. But he could have done it blindfolded as he led us firstly to Elmdon and on to Arkesden, Clavering and Meesden before arriving at The Bull where the usual warm welcome was received. Another welcome sight was John Bagrie who arrived by car, having been too busy with chores to get on his bike.

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Stopping for a breather near Arkesden
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Wot a sunset! Looking towards Nuthamsted. A large herd of deer shot across the road just afterwards.

Conversation in The Bull somehow got around to discussing John’s favourite off road route from Little to Great Chishill and the benefit it has in avoiding one of the three hills encountered by road. Some had done it before and were willing to tackle it again whilst others were wary but did not wish to be labelled wimps, your writer included, and so took part too. The track was steep initially, necessitating a dismount by some who shall remain nameless, and then became rutted and slippery which made the potential views across delightful countryside hard to take in. Thank you John! You’re on your own next time, but Lawrence might be willing to accompany you on his new cross bike with knobbly tyres.

Back at The Pheasant, the bikes spattered with mud, we enjoyed the usual large helpings of cod goujons and french fries before heading back to whence we came in the pitch black.

Thanks to Andrew for guiding us around the sunset boulevards.

Revd Moley Martin

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