30 November. Traditional murky muddy Monday. 22 miles.

Take a look at last week’s blog and compare the difference! OK, last week’s photo of Elmdon church was taken at 12.55pm and this one at 3.25pm but what a difference in the weather. Gone are the bright blue skies and suddenly Christmas is upon us with a tree all lit up outside the church. And the roads are murky and muddy – as traditional as Christmas itself.

There were some doubts expressed about whether or not to ride but Suzanne led the way by cycling over from Abington and then WhatsApping from Elmdon to encourage the doubters to give it a try. And so after a faltering start there were seven Windmillers in all who took part, the others being Maurice, Andrew, Charles, Graham, Deborah and Martin.

The route was a reverse of last Monday’s CAC ride, so no need to repeat the map here. Graham, Suzanne and Martin started AC from Elmdon, suitably socially distanced as there can only be a max of two people cycling together, but it wasn’t long before they spotted a lone cyclist sporting smart stripy socks heading towards them. It could only be Charles and so at that point Martin did a U-turn and cycled with him clockwise whilst Graham and Suzanne continued AC towards Chrishall.

But luckily for Charles and Martin it wasn’t raining much – just a few spits and spots at the start and finish mixed with the mud from farm vehicles to make the roads slippery and to coat bikes, shoes and clothing in a fine layer of filth. Charles was wisely taking it very easy on sharp corners having had a spill the previous Thursday and suffering from bruises as a result. Maurice reported rain when he started at 12.50 and Deborah got wet after starting at 2.40, finishing in the dark and wishing she had started earlier.

Meetings took place between Charles and Martin with Maurice near Rickling and then with Andrew, Graham and Suzanne in Stocking Pelham, outside the rebuilt but unopened Cock Inn in Stocking Pelham, where a planning dispute has been going on for years following the previous Grade 2 listed building being burnt down.

Charles and Martin decided to give Violets Lane near Brent Pelham a miss as it is notoriously muddy but the others seemed happy to give it a go – they must just love wallowing in the stuff.

The homeward leg was uneventful and quiet as we just missed the school run and so no Volvos, Mercs or Beemers to contend with. Luckily no tractors either as we already had more than our fair share of mud. Saying farewell to Charles in Chrishall, thanking him for his kind offer of shelter, Martin carried on and having stopped at 3.25 in Elmdon to take the photo of the church he then met up with Graham and Suzanne who appeared at almost the same time after their AC ride. All three cycled back to Ickleton and Suzanne continued in the gloom to Abington having clocked up another impressive 35 miles – another contender perhaps for the mega distance ride per year award? Mind you, Graham will be hard to beat any year.

Thanks once again to Maurice and Andrew for their planning. Well done to all for turning out.


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