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13 February. Jemima Puddleduck – where were you? 26 miles.

Sandra would have loved this ride. Not since she led us through puddles galore a couple of years ago have we seen anything remotely comparable until this ride. And it was windy too at times which Sandra would have enjoyed even more!  So it was Mucky Maurice and Donald the Ducky Dawg who were instead jointly responsible for leading just seven Windmillers through deep puddles, streams and fords as we navigated our way through the lanes to Thaxted and back, starting from the Fleur de Lys in Widdington.

This is where we went, the southerly route out and the northerly route back:

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The weather had not been kind since Storm Ciara hit the UK a few days back and with Storm Dennis on the way it was not surprising that we had quite a small turnout for a Thursday. But, luckily, we found a window of relatively quiet weather and no rain which resulted in a very pleasant ride with blue skies at times, even if it meant cruising through the puddles with legs raised in the air to avoid getting a soaking.

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Getting ready for the off. Note Roger’s smart new fireman’s outfit he got for Christmas.
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Hi viz Lawrence extracting a mega thorn from his Schwalbe Marathon before departure

Accompanying Maurice and Andrew were Roger, Lawrence, Graham, Nigel and Martin. Besides the mega thorn which Lawrence had plucked from his front tyre, he also discovered his speed down the steep hill from Widdington towards Elsenham to be faster than intended due to his rear brake not working. A stop in Henham soon established that the problem was due to gunge in the mechanism and a few quick tweaks of the handle soon got it going again.

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Lawrence outside Henham church looking happier now that his rear brake was working again

Despite the detritus on the roads there were no other mishaps or punctures, and so we made steady progress towards Thaxted where excellent coffee and cakes were consumed in Parrishes.

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Outside The Guildhall in Thaxted, built over 600 years ago by the Guild of Cutlers

The return trip was uneventful, and shorter, but involved a pleasant detour up to Little Henham before climbing back up the steep hill to Widdington where it was good to be joined for lunch by Ken, Charles and Brian, Ken having cycled over from Ickleton. Graham also cycled to and from Ickleton and claimed to have already clocked up over 700 miles in 2020 so far!

Back at base

The contest for the muckiest man at the end of the ride was won by Roger followed closely by Andrew.

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The Windmill Knights at their round table in The Fleur de Lys
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Hands up those who thought that Today’s Soup was Buttered Bread!!

Thanks to Maurice and Andrew for both planning an identical ride, Andrew for his organisation and the Strava map, and Brian for the lunch time pic.

Martin

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