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30 December. Balmy last ride of the year. 31 miles.

Global warming? Bring it on is what one Windmiller who shall remain nameless was heard to say whilst pondering whether to go for bare knees or not on this exceptionally warm day for late December, with 15.5 C being recorded at one stage. All due, apparently, to a hot stream of air coming up from the Canaries and so perhaps Prof Simon, currently sunning himself there, had something to do with it, maybe with antique bellows knowing him.

Meeting at our Pub of the Year, The Chestnut Tree in West Wratting, was an opportunity for Maurice to present cheques to Deborah and Charles in respect of the charities they work for – £500 to the Samaritans and £250 for Pets as Therapy – as part of the overall distribution of £7,000 for 2021, a record sum in the history of The Windmill Club. Deborah and Charles are shown receiving their cheques in the above photo. This is an amazing feat during a time of on / off lockdowns due to Covid but wouldn’t it be good if we could match or better it in 2022? Thanks are due to all members for their great generosity in 2021.

Getting in a caffein fix before the start

Setting off after coffee and having ordered their lunches, Maurice led Group A with Andrew, Rod, Charles, Suzanne in tow whilst Martin was accompanied in Group B by Deborah, Jenni, Howard and Brian – 10 in total wanting to reduce their post-Christmas waistlines – although there was a fair amount of mixing and matching at times on the return leg.

The route took us through familiar lanes down to Finchingfield, passing Jamie Oliver’s smart new residence on the way, and back via Radwinter and Bartlow:

Although pleasantly balmy there was a strong head wind on the outward leg but a blissful tail wind to shunt us up the long climb from Bartlow to West Wratting (the second highest village in Cambridgeshire at the giddy height of 120m).

Our leaders, Maurice and Andrew, showing us the way – there or back? Not quite sure.

Not only were we starting from our pub of the year but we also stopped at our coffee stop of the year – Winners Tearoom in Finchingfield where, once again, we were given a warm welcome and enjoyed excellent coffee and cakes. This certificate was awarded to them in recognition of the service they provided to hungry and thirsty Windmillers in 2021:

Brian peeled off in Bartlow to head back for a lunch appointment and Andrew also couldn’t make lunch, leaving 8 Windmillers to enjoy another excellent meal at The Chestnut Tree, washed down with great beers and softdrinks.

Maurice with Rachel and Peter of The Chestnut Tree, winners of the The Windmill Pub of the Year

And here endeth the year. That was the year that was, it’s over let it go and let’s look forward to a Covid-free New Year.

Huge thanks, once again, to Maurice and Andrew for organising our rides and the all important hospitality venues that go with them. We are lucky to have them. Keep it up, chaps, you’re doing a good job!

Martin

One reply on “30 December. Balmy last ride of the year. 31 miles.”

Was that a typo? surely ‘barmy last ride of the year’. It’s been 24C here for the last two weeks but today dropped to 14 and I have had to put on long trousers. Have complained to the tourist board. Good to hear you have been enjoying the Canarias air 2nd hand.
Here, beer is rubbish and I’m running out of teabags, but otherwise baring up.

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