20 April 2023. Hot Rod’s 80th birthday ride

It’s not often an 80th birthday is celebrated but to do so for an active Windmill Club member made this a very special day. It was difficult to believe that our very own Rod, also known as Hot Rod on account of his powerful e-bike, had reached this grand old age and who has every intention of continuing to ride for another 10 years at least. Well done Rod, you’re an inspiration to us all!

And so it was that 10 Windmillers comprising Rod, Maurice, Andrew, Ken, Jeremy, Ric, Simon, Deborah, Charles and Martin gathered at The Pig & Abbott at Abington Pigotts to have coffee and place lunch orders for Pat’s pies and other delicious dishes before setting off on a figure of 8 route devised by Rod which took us to Biggleswade and back.

Le Grand Depart with birthday boy Rod in the middle

Andrew had bad memories of one of his first ever Windmill Club rides from The Pig & Abbott when he suffered a major puncture, only to discover that within 100 metres of the start the same thing happened again. Off came his rear wheel in remarkable speed, aiming to beat the 4 minute puncture repair target, but the valve appeared to be loose so it was tightened up and the wheel went back on in probably less than 4 minutes and the tyre pumped up. All seemed well until an inspection of the tyre revealed a mini flint which when removed resulted in a loud hiss of air. Off came the wheel again, 8 minutes having come and gone by then, and a new tube inserted which resulted in a total of around 12 minutes before the second group could really get going.

Andrew attacking his puncture just 100 metres from the start

Ken was also seen heading back to the Pig and Abbott as he had forgotten something saying he would catch us up in Ashwell by taking a short cut. We were also worried about Simon possibly taking the northbound slip road to the A1 at Edworth, a road he has been known to cycle along previously, but we all arrived eventually at Jordan’s Mill near Biggleswade for coffee, with warnings to padlock bikes securely as this was a favourite place for thieves to nick bikes whilst their owners were having coffee.

Bedfordshire is a funny place. Parts of it are very beautiful but other parts are a bit drab, particularly the busy bits near the A1 such as Biggleswade. But after turning off the busy B1040 towards Potton we were soon cruising through some lovely villages en route to Guilden Morden and Steeple Morden and then to Litlington and Abington Pigotts.

Back at The Pig & Abbott it was good to sit in ‘our’ dining room and be served wonderful food by Pat and her staff, washed down with fine ales and assorted drinks. A hearty rendering of ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung for Rod who was also served with a large chocolate cake sporting a large firework.

Apologies for not being able to include as many photographs as hoped for, or the map of the route; WordPress seems to be playing up or is it me?


PS. Now upgraded to Premium so with luck more photos / maps can be uploaded. Here goes:

Just as well no one ordered puds

And this is where we went:

Yippee, it works.

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