Charles certainly stamped his mark on this outing. We all know the man for his signature stripey hose – a look he has made all his own – but this Monday he was resplendent in a pair of fabulous new socks; all the colours of the rainbow on a tasteful black background. And the novelty didn’t stop there, back at the ranch Charles had crafted a new charity box, much bigger than the tatty old one, big enough indeed to kennel a large dog.
Was it just me, or was this circuit particularly hilly? Whatever, eleven Windmillers turned out and most, I hope, got back before the worst of the rain later that afternoon.
For the record, the turnout was: Maurice, Andrew, Charles, Rod, Graham, Martin, Suzanne, Jeremy, Lawrence, Victor and Brian. And, for once, we captured everyone on camera. Here’s the photos, fresh back from the chemist . . .
Thanks are due, as ever, to Maurice for the route, Andrew for logistics and Martin, Jeremy, Charles and Victor for pictures.
We have English, Scots and Irish in the team but, to the best of my knowledge, no Welsh. More’s the pity, as this was a St. David’s Day outing.
And a chilly day it was too as a dozen Windmillers set off – some solo, some in pairs – for a 20 mile ride taking in Elmdon, Arkesden, Clavering, Brent Pelham, Langley Upper Green and Chrishall.
Being the Windmill Club, we are always on the lookout for a windmill photo opportunity. But have you noticed the shocking state of the mill at Brent Pelham? An oil painting it ain’t. Erected in 1826, it was adapted in the 20th century to house a water tank, was clad in corrugated iron and – as you will see below – is now in a very sorry state, indeed. Once Roger has finished restoring Furneux Pelham church maybe he can step in and restore Brent Pelham’s mill to its former glory.
For the record, Monday’s riders included Maurice, Andrew, Charles, Nick, Geoff, Rod, Jeremy, Alan, Suzanne, Graham, Deborah and Brian. Poor old Geoff had to repair a puncture but, apart from that, I believe everybody got around just fine.
Thanks, Maurice and Andrew, for organising things. Charles too for hosting the charity box.
Riding past Simon’s house on a chilly February morning, Jeremy and Brian spotted the man himself, togged out in gardening attire, trundling a wheel barrow across his estate.
“Not cycling today?” we cried.
“Weather’s not great . . . lots of pruning to do,” came the reply.
Grateful for a breather after the stiff hill climb up to Littlebury Green, we asked to see Simon’s famous ship’s bell. Found in a junk shop, he had lovingly restored it, built a frame to mount it, and given it to his missus for Christmas. It was indeed impressive; big and shiny. What else is there to say about a bell but could we hear it ring, please? Alas, it was a little early and Simon feared his neighbours would run for their air raid shelters.
Once again, Charles hosted the club charity box – this time without the camera trap. It was here that Jeremy and Brian caught up with Andrew. Admiring Jeremy’s new helmet, Andrew and he swapped some rather alarming head injury experiences. That explains a lot, thought Brian.
This day and age, it is hard to believe there is anyone left on the planet who hasn’t taken a selfie. Step up, Deborah Goodman. Her first ever effort, taken while stuffing a fiver into the charity box, shows she needs a bit more practice.
She reported the highlight of her ride was the slice of scrumptious Victoria sponge handed over the hedge by her friend in Langley Upper Green.
For the record, Monday’s team roster was: Alan, Andrew, Brian, Charles, Deborah, Geoff, Graham, Jeremy, Julia, Lawrence, Martin, Maurice, Nick and Suzanne – all spread out over a 19 mile circuit. Let me know if I’ve missed anyone.
Thanks as ever, Andrew and Maurice, for planning and organising everything. Thanks too, Charles, for hosting the charity box.
A goodly number – I reckon it was twelve Windmillers – turned out on the first Monday of 2021 to burn off their Christmas pudding. Riding either solo or in pairs, the roster included: Maurice, Andrew, Deborah, Jenni, Martin, Alan, Charles, Nick, Graham, Lawrence, Suzanne and Brian. Apologies if I have overlooked anyone; do let me know.
Maurice had devised a 23 mile circuit – with the charity box and a basket of beers tucked away on his driveway at Heath Farm – an ideal spot for our resident photographer to snap passing Windmillers.
Alas, it was much too cold for our photographer to linger longer in the hope of snapping further Windmillers and, saddling up, he was last seen heading up the hill to Barkway.
There was an element of competition in the outing: who could turn in the fastest time on the 7 mile section near Heath Farm? Multiple claims, counter claims and allegations – not to mention dodgy historical data (thanks, Sandra) – appeared on the club’s WhatsApp message board – and I, for one, can’t make head or tail of it. It will all be forwarded to the relevant authorities – British Cycling, WADA, Guinness Book of Records, etc – for validation.
Thanks as ever to Maurice for devising the route and providing the refreshments – and to Andrew for rousing us all off our sofas.
PS Lawrence, poor chap, lost his wallet somewhere between Barkway and Barley so, if anyone comes across it, please shout.
Knowing of the typical Windmiller’s love of mushrooms, following the monster specimens found on 15 October, Deborah very kindly offered to go hunting for more and brought a massive box full of field mushrooms collected from a field near Ashdon, the whereabouts of which is a closely guarded secret. The box was soon emptied and conversations then held about the best recipe for mushroom soup. But a bucket full of bramley apples that Deborah also brought along was not so popular and so Martin took the lot and will be enjoying apple pie for the next few months.
A good turnout of 10 Windmillers at The Red Cow in Chrishall on this pleasant autumnal day meant that two groups of five would cycle separately around the lanes, but exactly where was a mystery to those in Maurice’s group A of Rod, Charles, Nick and Martin. As a result, Andrew’s group B of Sandra, Simon, Deborah and Lindsey headed off first in the general direction of Duddenhoe End, followed at a visible distance by the others. Maurice shot up the first hill on his e-bike towards Hamlet Church but took a left towards Arkesden without waiting for the others in the group who, arriving puffing and panting at the same junction, wondered where he had gone. Seeing some hi-viz jackets by Hamlet Church suggested that might be the way to go but having eventually caught them up there was no sign of Maurice. So there was nothing for it but to phone him and arrange a rendezvous at the two windmills, hoping he was not suffering from being lonely. Meanwhile, Group B continued on their merry way.
This is where the lost souls of Group A went:
Maurice’s route took in Arksden and Clavering whereas Group B went anti-clockwise from Langley Upper Green.
Having reconvened, Group A then met Group B at the muddy end of Violet’s Lane, luckily still passable:
Nick peeled off from Group A on the return leg after Brent Pelham and both groups arrived back at the Red Cow at around the same time, where some stayed to enjoy an outside pint and to put the world to rights.
Thanks to Maurice for planning the route, even if it did result in a lasoo for most of Group A, and to Andrew for organising us.