23 July. An enchanting birthday evening. 17 miles.

This was to prove an enchanting evening in so many ways. Firstly, it was Sandra’s birthday and she was buying the beers; secondly, we had visions of loveliness never seen before on a ride; thirdly we were once again entertained to Rogers and Hammerstein and various East End songs by the dazzling duo of John T and Julian in The Tally Ho! after the ride.

So five Windmillers comprising electric Maurice, Andrew, John T, Sandra and Martin set forth from The Tally Ho! in Barkway not knowing what lay in store, other than the promise of a beer at the end. Maurice’s recent purchase of an electric bike from a chap in Aldeburgh meant he was soon zooming on ahead at high speed leaving some of us less fit ones gasping for breath to keep up. The route took us through familiar lanes on a delightful circuit via Therfield, Kelshall, Sandon (where we rang our bells as we passed Lyn and John B’s house [corrected with apologies, ed.]) and on to Buntingford.

Barkway circuit 17 miles
The enchanting circuit
Stopping for breath in Sandon

It was just after Wyddial that, on first sight, the vision we had could have been a dream or some kind of stroke brought on by heat exhaustion but, no, on second sight, there really were two very scantily clad beautiful young ladies walking down a track playing loud music, having parked their Mini Convertible near the road. Were they clothed at all, some wondered? Yes, but only in itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis, or perhaps underwear of a similar design. Needless to say, being responsible Windmillers and also having a lady amongst us, there was no sudden braking or U-turns or photographs taken to see if this really was a dream or reality. Such a manoeuvre might in any case have been unwise, according to John T, who claimed to have seen two chaps sitting in the back of the Mini……..

And so on we sped, averaging 12.5mph, until The Tally Ho! finally came into view soon after passing the very brown Barkway golf course. Sandra very kindly bought the beers and we celebrated her birthday by singing a rousing Happy Birthday. It was of course the singing that got John T and Julian going with another splendid rendition of some Rogers and Hammerstein favourites, including of course Some Enchanted Evening, sung to an equally high standard:

We were in stitches listening to Julian’s version of Who Killed Cock Robin?, the words of which will not be repeated here. This is a decent blog.

Thanks to Maurice for planning the route, Andrew for organising us, Sandra for owning up to her birthday and buying the beers and to John T and Julian for the cabaret.

Finally, commiserations to Sandra’s Steve who broke his collar bone at the weekend by colliding with a roadside bank at only 10mph on his electric bike whilst watching combine harvesters at work. Just as well that a similar fate didn’t happen this evening when watching those girls; it could have been an almighty pile up.







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