by Alan Ferrie
Yes or No was the question poised to the Windmillers at 2:50 by Andrew on Monday afternoon. Andrew had spent the early afternoon studying meteorological websites and to be honest they did not look too promising for a dry ride. Not wishing a repeat of the previous Monday when a late call resulted in some cyclists not seeing the late cancellation and turning up. Andrew requested that the group made the call to go or not.
Within a few minutes of the question being poised there was a unanimous yes for the ride.
Andrew made the GO call at 3:15.
At 4:15 Andrew, Maurice, Deborah, Rod, Charles, Jeremy, Simon and Alan gathered at the Red Cow. It was clear from Windmillers dress that there was a range of opinion on what type of weather they might encounter. Ranging from shorts and shirts to a full wet suit get up.
At 4:30 Andrew made another GO GO Go call this time in the style of the recently departed Murray Walker and off we went.
The route was a reverse of last weeks Monday ride Great Chishill, Little Chishill, Langley Lower Green (by passing the Bull), Butts Green, Upper Langley, Duddenhoe End, Littlebury Green, Catmere End, and Elmdon.
The tail end of the group had gone less than 200 meters from the Red Cow car park when the first Stop call was made.
Jeremy had a front puncture. The front of the group had gone ahead but the stop call reached them before they had gone too far up the road.
This unplanned stopped allowed discussion among the front of the group as to what of type of pine tree was at the corner of Palmers Lane and Abrams Lane. Simon told us about the new technology in Android phones that enables users to photograph a plant and Google will find the name. As nobody had an Android phone we will have to wait for another day to find out what type of pine tree it is.
While the discussion on the local flora was taking place Jeremy set about fixing the puncture only to find that the replacement inner tube was also holed. Fortunately Deborah had another inner tube only for Charles to announce that it too was faulty. By this time Alan who had been in the front of the group came back to find out what the delay was, after all we are all seasoned cyclists who can change a tyre in less than 5 minutes!
A third inner tube was produced from Alan’s saddle bag, but before it could be fitted, it was found that the second inner tube was in fact fine. The fitter admitted that they had made made a technical error??
Within a few minutes we were all off again.
Very soon afterwards very dark clouds appeared and it was clear that the rain which many of us had been tracking before we set off was coming our way. In fact looking around after the Little Chishill hill there appeared to be rain showers everywhere and especially in the direction we were heading.
As we passed through Lower Langley we were passed by a van and car who had obviously been taking tips from the local rally school as they felt the need to use both the road and verge to pass us by. The car narrowly missing a head on with another car coming round the corner.
Somehow either by clever route planning or just good luck we managed to miss most of the rain with only one shower cloud giving us a gentle wet kiss as we passed through Roast Green.
The rest of the ride was enjoyed by everyone in fine weather and with no more impatient drivers. We were about 2 miles from the end just before Elmdon when the second Stop call went up. Alan had a puncture in the rear tyre.
Rod and Charles stayed behind while the rest of the group sped off to the get the drinks in from the Red Cow and chips from Pimp My Fish.
Rod ,Charles and Alan arrived shortly after the others and enjoyed their well earned chips and beer.
Thanks to Maurice for planning another excellent ride and to Charles and Rod for helping with the punctures and to the weather for not drowning us.