It could easily have been a day for watching a T20 game of cricket, such was the fine weather, but cycling 20 miles in a starting temperature of 20C on a February day seemed just as good a way of having fun on a nice evening, and a good excuse to show off some knobbly knees. And it was fun from start to finish, albeit a bit cooler at the end.
Four Windmillers took part in the ride, Maurice, Andrew, Nigel and Martin, assembling at The Tally Ho! in Barkway at the later time of 3.30pm due to the lengthening evenings (and opening times). Maurice was astride one of his trusty pedal bikes, the one that toured Sccotland a couple of years back, and off we set to take in some glorious views of the surrounding countryside. As it was such a nice day, two other Windmillers, Sandra and Graham, were cycling to Dunwich, clocking up at least 80 miles in the process.
Here is the route taken:
It wasn’t long before Andrew called a halt in Therfield saying he was suffering from overheating, which enabled a leisurely look at The Fox and Duck and almost time for a pint had it been open.
Not much later, on the high ridge heading westwards another stop was made to admire the view which included a herd of approx. 100 deer, including several Albino, in a distant field about half a mile away:
Then we wound our way through the lanes to Sandon and admired for the first time the buttresses holding the church tower up, speculating as to when they were built – answer, sometime in the 17th Century.
Continuing on towards Buntingford, past Lyn and John Bagrie’s house, we sauntered along quiet roads, except for crossing the busy A10, taking in the sights and sounds of an early Spring. What a contrast to the Beast from the East at the same time last year. We paid our respects to Visions of Loveliness Lane outside Wyddial and then decided on a detour via Anstey and Nuthampstead before arriving back at The Tally Ho! just as the temperature was dropping like a stone. The fire inside the pub reminded us that winter is not over just yet.
Soon after arriving we were joined by Bridget and an Australian friend who was living and working in Paris – a keen cyclist, conversation soon got around to his club and The Windmill Club organising a get together by meeting half way between Le Havre and Paris and exploring the rolling countryside west of Paris. Une idée magnifique! Oui?
More locals then poured in including Lyn and John Bagrie and so soon the pub was heaving and a jolly time was had by all. Nigel regaled us with some hilarious tales of his regular night time rides, sometimes in minus C temperatures, when repairing punctures by torch light make our day time efforts look pale by comparison. Rumour has it that Saleesha will be dishing up some chips on future Mondays.
Thanks once again to Maurice and Andrew for organising the ride.