E-bikes are great but, boy, when they go wrong they are difficult to fix, as Maurice found to his cost again today. And without a bike AA to call out who do we rely on in times of a breakdown? An off-duty Windmiller of course, which was indeed the case in the middle of Elmdon when Maurice’s rear hub disintegrated resulting in an extremely wobbly wheel that stood no chance of getting back to Barkway.
And so it was that having set off from the Tally Ho! at 2.30 pm on what could prove to be the darkest ride of the year, Maurice, Andrew, Sandra, Keith and Martin had time to take in some fine views before Maurice’s hub began to complain.
On we went without a hitch until Elmdon where Sandra, Keith and Martin waited for some time before Andrew appeared announcing that Maurice had suffered a hub failure. But then Maurice arrived, gingerly, saying that his steed would go no further. Initial thoughts were that a volunteer might head back to Barkway and rescue Maurice and his bike but that would have meant leaving him in a bus shelter for 45 minutes in the cold December gloom. But then thoughts of local Windmillers Ken and Elmdon Simon were had and after a couple of phone calls Ken was found delivering Christmas cards in Ickleton which he promptly finished and rushed back home and sped up to Elmdon to offer his services, having not removed his golf clubs from the back of his car. Before he arrived who should drive past but Simon who also offered to help but as Ken was already speeding towards Elmdon, Simon decided to take advantage of Ken’s taxi to the Tally Ho! and climbed in with Maurice leaving Maurice’s sick steed to be collected at a later time.
Whilst all this was going on the remaining Windmillers carried on towards Duddenhoe End , spotting a fine herd of deer en route including an Albino, and then through the usual lanes to the Langleys, Meesden and Anstey.
Here is the route taken:
It was almost dark when after 19 miles we entered the Tally Ho! to find Maurice and Simon (who we were of course surprised to see) already propping up the bar but no sign of rescuer Ken who had to get back, presumably to deliver more Christmas cards. A convivial evening it turned out to be, with possibly two new recruits from behind the bar, Pete and his wife Maggie, who were helping out whilst Saleesha and her husband were away.
Thanks to Maurice for planning the route even though he was unable to complete it, Andrew for his organisation and Ken for his sterling rescue service.