If Roger’s birthday had been publicised in advance, the Fleur de Lys in Widdington might have been crammed even further with Windmillers at the end of the ride but, even so, it took two tables to fit everyone in. A large turnout of 14 Windmillers – Maurice, Andrew, Sandra, Keith, Ken, Brian, birthday boy Roger (sporting a Val d’Isere induced suntan), Ric, Simon, Deborah, Nigel and Martin – and joined later by Vernon and John B, meant we kept the kitchen staff very busy.
The weather was perfect for cruising through Essex lanes to the Blue Egg café at Great Bardfield and back. Setting off at 9.30am, the quiet route that Maurice had devised took us on a figure of 8 via Henham and Thaxted on the way out and Debden on the way back.
After a safety briefing about keeping in groups of 4 / 5 to enable cars to overtake, we set off down the hill from Widdington towards Henham and found the roads to be unusually quiet. Then it was through to the outskirts of Great Easton before heading north to Thaxted and on to Little Sampford before reaching the Blue Egg, famous for its cycling fans and the size/quality of its scones. Would Keith manage two we all wondered? But, alas, he could only consume one which was hardly surprising. It was gratifying to see other scone consumers, including Deborah and Martin putting the cream on top of the jam, Cornish style.
The Blue Egg gave us their usual warm, efficient welcome and we were soon enjoying good coffee, scones, toast and other goodies, cheered on in the knowledge that it was Roger’s birthday and free beer would be on offer later on:
The return leg via Debden resulted in one group taking the on-road route back to Widdington whilst others look a left down Rook End Lane and then off-road along a dry track, cutting some of the corner off. So the mileage of some could have been another mile or so, except for Ric, Brian and Sandra who all cycled to and from Widdington clocking up another 35 miles or so each. Congratulations to all of them.
Back at the Fleur de Lys, we celebrated Roger’s birthday in fine style whilst enjoying an excellent lunch.
Thanks to Maurice for a great ride, to Roger for the drinks and to Andrew for his organisation.
Martin (whose daughter Jessie produced a sixth grand daughter for Martin and Penny later the same day)