The plan was to have an early start and finish to allow Deputy Dawg Andrew to scoot off on his hols but it didn’t quite work out like that. Lawrence was running late and so it was 11 Windmillers who set off from the Fleur de Lys in Widdington on a clockwise circuit to Puckeridge and back – Maurice, Andrew, Vernon, Sandra, Keith, Chris, Tom, Roger, Deborah, Simon and Martin. Here is the route taken:
Was it the rain the day before washing mini axe head flints onto the road, choice of tyres or just bad luck that caused four punctures en route, with Deborah suffering one in both front and back wheels? Most probably it was the rain, as has happened before, but there is always talk of Schwalbe Marathons at such time, in which company we are convinced that Andrew holds shares.
Tom was the first to get a puncture but he was so far ahead of the peloton that he already had his front wheel off by the time the others arrived. Although not breaking his personal record of 5 minutes he was soon on the go again:
Then it was Deborah’s turn in Much Hadham but some willing helpers soon had her front wheel off and a new tube inserted whilst the others pedalled on towards Puckeridge to place their orders for coffee and cakes.
At this stage of the ride we were around 30 mins behind schedule but there was more in store on the return leg when Deborah got her second puncture, this time in her back wheel, when Tom, Sandra and Vernon once again came to her rescue and fished out a mini flint before fitting a new tube.
Finally, it was Vernon’s turn, not long after leaving Rickling, his tough Continental Four Seasons tyres also showing that they are susceptible to our local flints. Meanwhile the others were already on their first pint back at the Fleur as the familar puncture repair team again swung into action:
Tom, Sandra and Vernon will definitely be up for the Puncture Repair Team of the Year Award at the Christmas lunch.
And so it was 1.00pm, an hour behind schedule, that we finally all assembled at the Fleur de Lys for yet another wonderful lunch. Sadly, having arrived late, Lawrence set off to find us without success and so was unable to join us for lunch, having returned to the Fleur by 11.30am.
Thanks to Maurice for planning the ride, not knowing of course that all those nasty flints were out there to get us, and to Andrew for organising us. Hopefully Andrew didn’t miss his boat.
PS. This must be a record for puncture pics on a blog. Ed.