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9 December. Time just pedals by – 501st Windmill Club blog features 30 mile Therfield ride.

It came as quite a surprise a week ago to be notified that 500 Windmill Club blogs had been published since the inception in May 2015. Doesn’t time just pedal by? This is therefore the 501st and what better way to celebrate than for 12 Windmillers to cycle around some of our quiet lanes, or so we thought, on a circuit from The Fox & Duck in Therfield, with coffee to look forward to at The Golden Fleece in Braughing – two of our favourite pubs in one day. Is this a record?

Group A – Maurice, Victor, Charles, Brian and Howard set off promptly at 9.30am followed a few minutes later by Group B – Andrew, Rod, Simon, Graham, Sandra, Martin and, finally, Geoff who arrived just as we were setting off but who soon caught us up – did he switch to turbo mode on his e-bike we wondered?

This is where we went:

Quiet lanes? Usually, yes, but Group B witnessed three crazy drivers after only a short distance – one in Reed who screeched past with cars coming in the opposite direction, only to stop shortly afterwards, and then two in Barkway, one of whom scraped past Andrew before pulling into a petrol station. Maurice later reported having a similar experience in Group A. What’s happening? The start of the Christmas rush perhaps? All the more reason to cycle carefully, wear hi-viz, use lights on these dark days and keep a beady eye open for daft drivers.

Pulling in at The Golden Fleece for coffee provided an opportunity to warm up on what had been quite a chilly ride so far. The coffee and lemon drizzle cake were excellent but we were sorry to hear from Peter of several cancellations due to the latest Covid scare. What a tough time it is now for those in the hospitality business, with no Government support any more. Let’s hope they all survive. But Peter can rely on the support of The Windmill Club on 15 December, thanks to all taking a lateral flow test before attending.

Happy Windmillers at The Golden Fleece

Emerging from The Golden Fleece after a longer than usual coffee break saw the sun emerging too from its slumber and so the return leg was delightful. Both Groups stopped at different places to admire local sights – Group A at Cromer windmill, where the centre of attraction was not the windmill but a fine lady on a fine horse called Charlie.

Victor, Charles, Howard and Brian all chatted up Charlie and his owner – on their way across country to Mill End according to Victor, not Banbury Cross. No signs of rings on her fingers or bells on her toes.
The lady said she wouldn’t swap her horse for a bike, not even Maurice’s e-bike.

Group B, meanwhile, stopped to admire St Nicholas’ Church in Great Munden which was looking splendid in the winter sunshine with its Norman North wall and a 13th century South facing aisle:

Andrew leading the prayers for forgiveness outside St. Nicholas in Great Munden, but God wasn’t listening. It turns out the church is a private building owned by a mate of Maurice! It’s in fine condition – good place for a Windmill Club party? https://hertfordshirechurches.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/st-nicholas-great-munden/

Charles reported a near collision with two birds of prey, which he regretted not being able to video, but that would have been preferable to meeting another impatient motorist. As it was, the return leg to Therfield was peaceful and quiet with time to soak up some nice views:

The vast expanse of Moor Green
Maurice deep in his beloved North Hertfordshire

Back at The Fox & Duck, having negotiated the familiar flooded dip just before Therfield, we were afforded a warm welcome and tucked into the usual excellent fare.

Graham set off back to Ickleton after lunch, having started at 7.30am, mentioning in passing that he had clocked up an amazing 13,000km so far this year. Well done, Graham! You’re up for at least one award at the Christmas lunch.

Thanks as always go to Maurice for planning the route and to Andrew for his organisation.

Martin

2 replies on “9 December. Time just pedals by – 501st Windmill Club blog features 30 mile Therfield ride.”

As ever always enjoy reading your blogs and your various adventures – would very much like to do the ride you did during November around Cambridge – could you possibly send me the link? I have looked on various maps but can’t get the same detail.

Many thanks

Sue

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