Thirteen Windmillers on a Thursday outing is a record turnout – not to mention an overtaking challenge for the hard pressed motorists of north Essex. You can just imagine Radio 2’s Sally Traffic, “We’re getting reports of a rolling road block of cyclists near Stansted Airport”.
Thankfully, Maurice had selected a relatively traffic free route as – followed by Keith, Ken, Nigel, Sandra, two Brians (Brummie & Yorkie), John T, Andrew, Martin, Lawrence, Tom and Vernon – he led us out on a 34 mile circuit around the lanes of north Essex.
Squeezing past the beer delivery lorry at the Fleur, we headed out of Widdington and through Henham and Debden Green, before stopping at Thaxted for a windmill photo opportunity.
Back on the bikes, we headed for Great Bardfield – stopping for yet another windmill themed group picture at Gibraltar Mill – before heading to Finchingfield, where we pulled in for coffee and cake at Bosworths Tearooms. We suspect someone there is soft on Martin, singled out as he was for generous lashings of clotted cream.
Leaving Finchingfield, we headed for Little Sampford and, returning again via Thaxted, we took a more southerly route back to Widdington, stopping only to retrieve various belongings of Andrew (hats) and Martin (mobile phones) that we found scattered along the roadside.
Returning to The Fleur de Lys, Landlord Chris moved not only heaven and earth, but also large tables to accommodate our noisy gang. We enjoyed a hearty lunch, good beer, wide ranging conversation and Nigel’s novelty ringtones.
Thanks, Maurice, for planning an excellent route. And Andrew, for getting us all organised.