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Military Response

Monday the 8th August. 18 miles

With Maurice being out of action a volunteer was required to plan and lead this ride. Up stepped Charles, with many years of service in the Army he was confident this would be an easy assignment!

At the appointed location (the Red Cow) 15 minutes prior to the selected departure time 16:00 hours. Riders Alan, Martin, Nick, Rod, Sandra and Simon and observer Maurice met up in the car park. A few minutes later they were joined by Charles who had brought along some additional military reinforcement in the form of his brother John (ex RAF).

John is usually based in Wimbledon and cycles on Hampstead Heath. Charles had persuaded John to join us on the ride. It had not started well with John making a crash landing as he got on his bike on Charles’s drive. But he is made of tough stuff and elected to proceed with the ride.

Peloton on parade.

At exactly 16:00 Charles led the peloton out the car park. Announcing that any late comers would have to catch us up.

On leaving the pub car park we turned left which was a deviation from the planned route. Not to worry as a turn down Chalky Lane got us back on track.

One mile down the road we realised that Rod was not with us. His chain had come off at the bottom of Bury Lane. The rest off us pulled of the road and waited. After a few minutes Charles went back to find out what was going on. About 5 minutes later Rod appeared with Graham and Charles. Getting Rods chain on turned out to be complicated that simply putting back on. It had become jammed. Fortunately Charles being prepared got his rubber gloves out and got the chain and managed to free it without getting his hands covered in oil.

Bike repaired and with a full peloton we set off.
After a few miles and a few hills we stopped again as realised thatJohn had dropped off the back. It seems the hill around here are a little more challenging than Hampstead Heath. Alerted to the fact John was not as fast up the hill Charles was able to give his brother a helping hand to get up the hills.

The ride wandered about the Essex lanes with everyone enjoying the warm late afternoon sunshine.

As we made our way along the ride the group members set their own pace resulting a few gaps. As the tall enders Alan, Charles and John descended Long Lane we came across Simon and Graham by the roadside. Simon had a punctured tyre, unfortunately he had changed his choice of bike at the last minute before the ride and had forgotten to attach his saddle bag.
Simons bike was of a certain vintage and did not have quick release wheels and so tools were required to remove the wheel. As it was the rear tyre that had punctured it was all a bit messy. The wheel was removed and the tube replaced with a spare from Graham’s bike, which was not idea as Simon’s bike was a tourer. So a skinny tube was used. Graham was on a tight time line so he headed off home and John started on his way back to the Red Cow leaving Charles and Alan helping to sort out getting the bike on the road.

Once the bike was road worthy again Simon’s hands were covered in oil. Charles hands remained clean as he had his trusted rubber gloves on. Simon was struggling to get his hands cleaned with dock leaves. Charles came to the rescue again with sun location which proved to be an effective if expensive way of removing oil from hands.

Off we set again, only to stop again Simon had an other puncture. As we were just a mile from home Charles decided the best course of action was to nip home and get his car to rescue Simon. Alan and John sped off to the pub.

Charles and Simon arrived about 10 minutes later with Simon’s bike on the back off the car.

Over the next 45 minutes and a couple of pints we filled in Maurice with the rides events.

Thanks to Charles for organising a lovely ride and his support helping John up the hills and fixing the mechanicals. It maybe a few weeks before he volunteers to lead another ride.

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Four cyclist and a Walker

24th April 2022 20 miles

The four cyclist Alan, Andrew, Charles and Nick departed from the Red Cow at the appointed hour. The actual number who were going to ride had fluctuated through out the day. We had thought about calling off the ride but as it was a nice day and it was the first ride after the clubs 11th birthday ride we decided to go ahead.

With Maurice being away the ride was led by Andrew.

The ride took us down and through Duxford, Hinxton, Ickleton, Littlebury Green, Elmdon and back up to the Red Cow at Chrishall.


The four riders

The ride passed without incident or really of anything of note until we were passing the meadow between Hinxton and Ickleton, then one of the cyclists spotted a familiar looking walker. Yes, it was Martin who, only a few hours before hand had dropped out of the ride, claiming he had a zoom meeting to attend.

Martin the walker, looking sheepish.

The cyclists greeted Martin with calls that he should be on his bike. Martin smiled back sheepishly, like a young lad having been caught doing something.

Friendly banter was exchanged with Martin over the river. After a few minutes (much to Martin’s relief) the cyclists headed off.

The ride passed without any further thing of note.

Thanks to Andrew for planning and leading the ride.

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What time to cycle?

Duxford 19.2 miles.

That was the question occupying the minds of the Windmill cycling group over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of January. We may have officially retired from work but with grand father duties, committee membership plus the many other things of everyday life getting a time to ride on Monday the 10th of January was proving problem After many what app messages a time of 12:30 was agreed which would allow Grandfather duties to be completed and if we rode fast meetings to be attended.

At the appointed time Alan, Andrew, Charles, Debra, Graham, Martin, Rod, Sandra and Victor met outside The Plough at Duxford.

Once agreeing that we should cycle as 2 groups we set of on route in a snake like fashion. However within a few miles we managed to sort ourselves into 2 groups.

Like the previous Monday in which the route seemed to encompassed every hill in the North Essex Hertfordshire boarder, which were many. The route took in all the hills in the South Cambrideshire area which were few. In fact there was only one hill of note on the planned route. That was Chapel hill at Haslingfield which is steep, but short

The route took in Whittlesford, Newton, Harston, Haslingfield, Barrington, Shepreth and Fowlmere.

There were no incidents of any note to report. In fact for a change the only wildlife of note which was identified by Sandra was a Fieldfare, and that was only its call.

I am glad to say with a combination of start time and cycle pace that we managed to accommodate most people for the ride.

Thanks to Martin for the route and to everybody who rode for another enjoyable ride.

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Rainy Days and Mondays

4th October Planned route length 20 miles

Inspired by Martins last blog on the monday rides and the weather I have decided to scatter a few song titles in this blog. (a few off them may have been slightly changed to fit. How many can you spot)?

In 1970 Creedence Clear Water asked Have you ever seen the rain. Well on monday the 4th of October 2021 as Alan, Jenny, John, Maurice, Nick and Simon set of from the Old Bull at Lower Langley there were no signs of rain other than a Few Fluffy White Clouds.

The 20 mile route was to take us through Barley, Anstey, Brent Pelham and back to the Bull at Lower Langley.

On route just passed Maurices house we picked up Rod, who because of the fuel situation decided to leave the car at home and to pick us up on route.

Smiles before the rain

Rod ’s pictures before the rain.

As we set off up towards the Joint we could see A Change was Gonna Come. Sure enough Rain started falling. Those not wearing water proof jackets quickly stopped to get them on. With Large Rain Drops Stared Falling on our Heads Nick sped off up to Barkway. Once we caught up with him we found him sheltering in a bus stop. Asked why he stop there he replied I can’t Stand the Rain.

After a few minutes sheltering in the bus stop we agreed that the rain was not going to stop and the best approach was to Make it Through the Rain. Passing by the golf course and looking south west we could see Hard rain was going to fall. Sure enough Down Came the Rain it bounced off the road and dripped in through our waterproofs. At this point there was No Singing in the rain and certainly No Laughter in the Rain.

At Anstey we took the collective decision that we did not want to be Fools in the Rain so in order to get back as fast as we could we would truncate the route.
At Meesden the temperature dropped and the rain turned to hail, stinging any exposed skin.

Approaching Nicks house Maurice asked, if any of us wanted to Shelter from the Storm. At this point we were all thinking Who is going to stop the Rain. However as we were all wet through and starting to feel the cold we decided to carry on back to the Bull.

Coming down the hill into Lower Langley the rain stopped and the clouds parted allowing us to See clearly the Bull Now that the Rain was gone.

A few wet cyclist squelched into the Bull to drink a well earned pint.
If not the most enjoyable ride we have ever been on it was certainly one of the most memorable.

For those who went on the ride it was generally agreed that that was the heaviest rain that we had ever cycled.

For those wondering what the song titles were (poetic licence was used on some) here is a list.

Rainy days and Mondays. The carpenters

Have you ever seen the Rain. Credence Clearwater

Fluffy White Clouds. The Orb

A Change is gonna come. Sam Cooke

Rain. Madonna

Rain drops keep falling on my head. B J Thomas

Down game the rain. Mitch Murry

I can’t stand the rain. Tina Turner

Singing in the Rain. Gene Kelly

Laughter in the Rain. Neil Sedeka

A Hard Rain is going to fall. Bob Dylan

Make it through the rain. Mariah Carey

Fool in the Rain. Led Zeppelin

Shelter from the Storm. Bob Dylan

Who is going to Stop the Rain. Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

I can see clearly now the rain has gone. Jimmy Cliff