A large gathering of 23 Windmill Club members and spouses met at The Pheasant on 14th December for a sumptuous Christmas lunch, prepared by chef Steve. Andrew ‘Deputy Dawg’ was our Master of Ceremonies and his wife Lindsey collected the cash. Here are some pics of the happy occasion:
After lunch our MC thanked the staff of the Pheasant for an excellent lunch and all those present for attending. Keith had only just arrived back from Barmy Army duties down under but did not appear to be particularly jet lagged. Andrew went on to say what a good year it had been for the Club and then introduced our leader Maurice.
Maurice said how wonderful it was that the club had raised over £1,500 for charity in 2017 and thanked all members present, and those unable to make the lunch, for their contributions to this amount. £250 had been given to the Cystic Fibrosis charity, £250 to the Eve Appeal – the UK’s Gynaecological Cancer Research Charity, £750 to Macmillan Nurses and £250 to the Great Chishill Windmill Preservation Society.
Andrew then introduced Martin who gave a summary of the year from the Club’s blog which he, Brian and Sandra had contributed to throughout the year. The key highlights were:
- No. of rides since 5th January: 73 – grand total for 2017 likely to be 76 once pre- and post-Christmas rides have taken place
- Total distance: 2,135 miles
- Av. distance / ride: 29 miles
- Longest rides: 2 days in Norfolk, total 87 miles, + Ely 53 miles
- Shortest rides: several of 17 miles from the Tally Ho! in Barkway
- No. of pubs visited: 23
- Most frequented pubs: The Pheasant (24), the Tally Ho! (10), the Fleur de Lys (11).
- Largest no. of riders: 12 (Anniversary ride, 20th April)
- Smallest no. of riders: 2
- Deaths: 2 – Kell Ryan and Charlie, Andrew’s labrador
- Illnesses and ailments: lots but mostly recovered. Best wishes for a speedy return were given to Rod, who was present, and to new member Nigel who had recently had an accident on a ladder.
- Bike accidents – none, other than 3 minor falling offs
Martin also awarded various prizes:
- Falling off prize (in the sense of both falling off a bike and having a bike fall off a car): Vernon
- Puncture prize: Martin – 3 on the same day including an inner tube supplied by Brian that exploded
- Dodgy bike prize: Andrew, for having gear problems and a cheap Chinese pedal that snapped in half . But few running repairs on the whole.
- Getting lost prize: Lawrence – 3 times.
- Going AWOL prize: Maurice – twice, but on reflection John B might have been a nominee too
- Smallest carbon footprint prize: Rick and Tom jointly, for often cycling to the start point
- Flashiest new bike prize: jointly to Lawrence – lime green machine with knobbly tyres to defeat potholes- and Chris for his mean red speed machine
- Getting out of a skid without falling off or being squashed by oncoming motorist prize: Andrew
- Off road prize: John Bagrie
- The most number of bikes and riders that can fit into or on a 2004 VW Golf prize: Brian
- Photographer of the year prize: Brian (sometimes lying on the ground to get a good shot)
A weather report was also given – mostly sunny except for a couple of cold days and one extremely wet day – and thanks were given to all those who had owned up to having a birthday and who had therefore bought a round of drinks, which excluded Martin whose excuse was his January birthday. The fauna and flora around our delightful lanes was also mentioned.
Martin also thanked Andrew for being ‘secretary’ and always getting us to the starting line on time. He was presented with a special Chilean Sauvignon Blanc for cyclists.
Andrew then rose to his feet again and presented Maurice with a large hamper of drinks and food to thank him for all his work in starting the club in 2011 which has raised over £5,000 for charity to date and given so much pleasure to members. His route planning is legendary, somehow always managing to arrive at a pub for lunch between 1.00 – 1.30pm. Maurice was quite overcome and thanked all those who had contributed.
Finally, Andrew presented a golden pedal award (actually a standard pedal sprayed with gold paint) to Sandra who had hardly missed a ride all year, had organised rides, blogged rides and ridden the most miles, including several sportives. Martin was also presented with the Clubman of the Year award for helping out Vernon by riding a tandem with a blind man on the back 80 miles from London to Cambridge, to raise money for Camsight.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.