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2 September. Record ride? 34 miles.

20 Windmillers cruised into Finchingfield in three separate groups to take over every available seat outside at Winners Tearoom on what could be a record ride for the Windmill Club. And Maurice joined us for lunch which made a total of 21. What an amazing turnout!

Assembling once again at the fabulous Chestnut Tree in West Wratting at 9.00am to have coffee and place lunch orders, the groups setting off included Andrew, Brian, Sandra, Ric, Charles, Ken, Victor, Roger, Rod, Graham, Alan, Jeremy, Howard, Mike, Tom, Lawrence, Jenni, Geoff, Simon and Martin. And to think we could so easily have several others join us, were it not for holidays, this says a lot for the club.

It was great to have Lawrence with us, borrowing one of Maurice’s e-bikes for the day, and at the end there were still five blobs left on the battery indicator, having completed the circuit in eco-mode. Mike joined us too but chose wisely not to accompany Graham to the start from Ickleton which would have meant riding via Finchingfield and having breakfast in Haverhill. Brian, Ric, Victor, Tom, Jeremy and Howard also rode from their homes, clocking up many more miles / km. Well done to everyone.

Here is the route taken, anticlockwise:

Winners coped well with the invasion and dished up excellent coffee and cakes with great efficiency. A feature of the ride were the extraordinary smells that surrounded us, not just of the coffee but those of the harvested countryside – a mixed fragrance of freshly combined and ploughed fields which nasal buds were still able to detect despite frequent lateral flow tests for some.

The first stop for Group B on the return leg had to be Finchingfield’s windmill:

The route then took us up a quiet lane to Helions Bumpstead, passing Jamie Oliver’s new abode on the way:

Jamie Oliver’s country pile with his iconic white Ford Capri in the foreground. No jokes, please, about Essex girls and Ford Capris!

Simon also came across a classic pile of rusty junk somewhere en route which took his fancy:

Parts of an old Ford Capri?

Meanwhile, Andrew made a stop in Castle Camps to admire this RAF war memorial:

Back at The Chestnut Tree, the beer flowed plentifully as thirsty and hungry Windmillers arrived for lunch. And once again we were not disappointed.

Maurice was still feeling a bit bashed and bruised from his accident last week but threatening to be back on his bike very soon. There’s no putting that man down.

Thanks to the team involved in planning the route – Howard in particular – and to Andrew for organising the record turnout. Also many thanks to photographers Charles, Brian, Graham and Simon.

Martin

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