21 March. A chain reaction ride.

Deputy Dawg Andrew led the way, hotly pursued by John B, Lyn, Bridget, Tom and Moley Martin, down to Little Chishill and then up the steep hill in the Langley direction. But only four riders climbed the hill, puffing and panting as they did so. Where were John and Lyn B? John appeared eventually to announce that Lyn’s chain had snapped at the bottom of the hill and so not wishing to leave a damsel in distress we all descended the hill to discover that it was well and truly bu*****d. We happened to be next to a footpath leading back to Great Chishill and John, wishing no doubt for brownie points, gallantly offered to swap bikes with Lyn and push her bike back to the Pheasant.

This chain reaction meant that the rest of us had to climb the hill for  a second time except for Lyn, who firstly had to get to grips with John’s gears…….. And so we continued towards Langley where Lyn and Bridget took a shorter route home whilst the lads returned via Clavering and Arkesden.

At Duddenhoe End we stopped briefly to admire the little Hamlet church:



Then it was full speed back to The Pheasant to meet up with the others and to warm up in front of a roaring fire and to consume some fine beers and goujons. The mileage was 17.5 for the lads and around 15 for the lassies.

Thanks, Deputy Dawg, for organising this chain reaction ride. Now let’s hear you sing it Diana Ross style!


17 March. 10 men good and true go biking.

OK, it’s usually 12 men good and true  but they don’t make bikes for that number. Instead, here is what our 10 men on 17 March might have looked like a few years ago:

10 men

From the right, we have Squadron Leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, John T, John B, Wee Jimny Ken, Rod, Two Scones Keith (with a warm welcome back from his trip to South Africa, Mozambique and Portugal), Brummy Brian, Tom and, bringing up the rear,  the Right Revd Holy Moley Martin. Contrary to rumours beforehand John B was not using crutches to help him get up the hills, having had an accident skiing recently but, fortunately, not too serious.

Setting off at 9.30am,  these Pheasant Pluckers rode for 33 miles in an anti-clockwise direction via Barkway, Sandon, Cromer (the Herts not Norfolk version), stopping for coffee at a very attractive, in all respects, farm shop in Ardeley and then returning via Nasty (nice village, actually), Buntingford and Barkway, before the final roller coaster ascent to Great Chishill. The weather was dry but chilly and it was good to have Kell join us for lunch back at the Pheasant.

17 March
Our route, above, and a very fine windmill near Cromer, below:


In Sandon we paid our respects to the village goose which was allegedly shot dead in February by an evil gang. According to one newspaper report: 26 Feb 2016 – A village is in mourning after a goose was killed in a drive-by shooting.The animal, simply known as The Goose, was slain with an air rifle by a gang in what sounds like the most British thing ever. It happened in the tiny village of Sandon in Hertfordshire, and residents are sure …. . And the Daily Mail said a reward of £27,500 had been offered to catch the criminals but, on the other hand, other reports said:

Sandon goose update: Post-mortem examination concludes ……/story.html

4 Mar 2016 – A post-mortem examination has concluded the goose that was reportedly shot in Sandon is more likely to have died from natural causes.

Whatever the cause, a mausoleum was quickly established by the locals in a disused phone box and here we all are paying our respects, but we should perhaps have removed our helmets:


And here is another tear jerking picture:


By the time we reached Ardeley for coffee we had dried our eyes, only to weep with laughter at this tangle of farming wires, which was more reminiscent of New York or Delhi:


The homeward leg made Moley feel at home:


and soon afterwards we were tucking into a splendid lunch at The Pheasant:


except for poor Rod who was suffering from a spot of cramp which, fortunately, did not last long:


All in all, a terrific ride on a chilly Spring day. Thanks, Maurice, once again for organising it and Deputy Dawg Andrew for keeping us all informed. It was good to have 10 men good and true out for the ride.


10 March. When the cats go skiing…….

Opinion in The Pheasant was divided: were we three disheveled men and their carers? No! We were the Windmillers: John T, Tom and Brian back from a 35 miler and joined for lunch by Bridget – aka Mrs John T – and Lynne, Mrs John B.

Rod, sensible chap, had peeled off for home before the long slog up the hill to salvation and sustenance at Great Chishill.

Thanks to John for mapping out an excellent ride taking in Fowlmere, Shepreth, Orwell, coffee at Wimpole, Kingston, Barrington and Haslingfield – though not necessarily in that order.


Journey’s end.


Two Dawgs and a Maurice go Cycling

Monday 29th Feb 16 – Deputy Dawg Andrew, Husky Andrew & Squadron Leader Maurice set of from club HQ The Pheasant  for a very pleasant 20 mile ride passing  Nuthampstead, Meesden, Brent Pelham, Starlings Green, the two windmills,  Langley Upper, Duddenhoe End and Chrishall, only to be met by the Right Reverend Holy Moley cycling in the opposite direction. Moley taking some essential exercise after a heavy lunch at the Worshipful Company of Stationers.

After a successful ride we were welcomed back to HQ by slow puncture Simon and Deputy Dawgs Dawg. The lights were on on the pub and all and sundry enjoyed a well deserved refreshment follow by goujons and chips.

Much to the approval of John Bagrie no photographs were taken on this excursion 🙂




Going going gone, to Willingham.25 Feb.

On a bright but cold morning, nine well wrapped members gathered at Trumpington Park and Ride at 9.30am to ride various distances from 30 – 40+ miles. Brian and Tom had already ridden from Shelford / Stapleford and it was good to have Howard join us again, who lives in Cambridge. Others included our leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, Ken, John B, Rod and the Extreme Right Reverend Holy Moley Martin.

The route that Maurice devised was to the auction rooms at Willingham via Granchester, Cambridge, Cottenham and Rampton, and back via the guided busway to Milton, through Mill Road back streets to the Railway Station (thanks Tom!), and then the busway again back to Trumpington. Cycling alongside the river on both the outward and return journey was a great pleasure except for Rod who crashed into a bollard on the way back. Rod, we hope your leg and bike survived the crash without too much damage. As you did not make a detour to A&E at Addenbrooke’s we assume you escaped relatively unscathed, but it was quite a bang.

Here are some pics of the gang enjoying the route through Cambridge:

PhotoScan 25.2.16

The auction rooms at Willingham were last visited in October 2015 and  was remembered for its wide choice of extra strong beers (presumably to encourage higher bids). But, this time, it was mainly coffees and cakes  because it is easy to fall asleep on the very smooth cyclepath alongside the busway.

We said farewell to Howard near Histon and to Tom near Addenbrooke’s and then some stopped to examine the busway crash that happened on 22 February, luckily with only a few injuries to passengers but as it had careered across the pedestrian / cycle path it could easily have been a lot worse. The general consensus was that it was driver error, which has since been confirmed, but a flaw in the design could easily result in a similar occurrence.

The busway south of Addenbrooke’s. Drivers need to aim their buses back into the guided section after crossing an open stretch like this at 50+ mph.
The scene of the busway crash, but luckily Deputy Dawg was not involved. The bus came to rest after crossing an open stretch and hitting a feeder guide into a new guided section, bouncing back and forth a few times until veering across the pedestrian / bike path. Nasty! 

An excellent lunch at The Queen’s Head in Newton then followed, the menu not having changed in living memory.

Thanks, Squadron Leader, for planning the route and Deputy Dawg for keeping members informed of what’s happening.


Heading for the hills. 22 Feb.

A small group of four comprising Squadron leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, Husky Andrew and Moley Martin re-commenced riding on a Monday afternoon, leaving The Pheasant at 3.30pm and riding 21 miles in glorious weather, with Maurice choosing as many hills as possible, until the end at 5.30pm. The route was via Heydon, Elmdon, Littlebury, Wendens Ambo, Littlebury Green, Duddenhoe End and Chrishall:


A stop had to be made outside Audley End House to admire the view, but some posers spoilt it:


Then it was onwards and upwards and downwards and upwards and alongwards and downwards and alongwards and upwards and downwards and upwards and, finally, alongwards to the welcome sign of The Pheasant where a roaring fire and good ales were awaiting us.

Thanks, Maurice, for putting us though our paces.


18 Feb. Yummy mummy ride



After a delayed start due to bad weather that did not materialise, eight fit chaps set off from The Pheasant at 2.00pm for a 27 mile ride in lovely weather in the direction of Shelford, via Chrishall Grange, Fowlmere and Thriplow, ostensibly to see the daffodils.The large contingent comprised the Squadron Leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, John B, John T, Ken, Brian, Tom and Moley Martin, but their real destination was their favourite coffee stop in Great Shelford where it was impossible to find a table inside due to an equally large contingent of yummy mummies and their offspring, but never the twain did meet (to quote Kipling). So we were forced to sit outside and cool off:


Then Brian led the way to Sawston via the bumpy bike path, after which it was a pleasant meander through to Whittlesford Church via a new bike path and on to Ickleton via Hinxton where Ken and Moley, having started from Ickleton,  left the others to continue their ride back to The Pheasant.

Thanks to our leader for organising such a yummy ride.




15 Feb. Chilly but pleasant lanes.


A 10.00am start in a temperature of 2.5 C saw four stalwarts venture out on a circuit from The Pheasant via Heydon, Littlebury Green, Arkesden, Lower Langley and Little Chishill, clocking up 19 miles in the process. Squadron Leader Maurice led the way with Deputy Dawg Andrew, John B and Moley Martin in cold pursuit, with thoughts of a roaring fire at The Pheasant and nice beer already in mind before reaching Heydon. Moley had his usual gardening gloves on for extra protection but those didn’t prevent the cold reaching his other extremities, as he discovered at one ppoint in the ride.

The hoods in Arkesden
Nice backdrop, shame about the foreground. Note the gardening gloves.

But by the time we were climbing the final hill warm glows had spread comfortably and all enjoyed an excellent lunch in front of the fire. It won’t be long until Monday afternoon / evening rides can recommence due to the lengthening days.

Thanks, Maurice and Andrew for organising the ride.


11 Feb. No wasps at Wimpole

Our squadron leader Maurice led a party of 7 others comprising Deputy Dawg Andrew, John B, John T, Brian, Tom, new member Rick (welcome!) and Moley Martin on a glorious circuit of 35 miles from The Pheasant to Wimpole Hall via Barkway and Steeple Morden and back via Barrington, Fowlmere and Heydon:

Bike ride map 11.2.16

Thanks to Deputy Dawg, you can also view the route here:

Although a bit nippy to start with, after an overnight frost, warmth reached our extremities by the time we got to Therfield after which it got decidedly hot. The sun shone throughout and, being February, there was not a wasp in sight at Wimpole, unlike our last trip there in August 2015 when Maurice’s scone and jam was the centre of attention for the Wimpole wasp population.


Bulls eyeing up the heifers.


Wimpole Hall in all its glory



Not a wasp in sight, but any of these guys could sting you

The return trip was only about 15 miles but orders for beer were taken on the ascent to Heydon and these soon disappeared down the thirsty throats of the Pheasant pluckers, followed by an excellent lunch.

Thanks, Maurice, for an excellent ride.


Thank you letters from EACH and Khandel Light

Here is a thank you letter from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices for the £400 cheque that The Windmill Club sent them after the Christmas lunch in December, and also another copy of the letter from Khandel Light, which received £600.

Let’s raise even more for charity in 2016, so give that bike a spring clean and come on out for a ride! Each ride costs just £2.00 and it’s amazing how it all mounts up to such worthwhile amounts for charity at the end of the year.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices DocScan

Windmill Khandel Light DocScan







4 Feb. Drowned rats ride.


The person responsible for today’s weather forecast shall remain nameless, for the time being, but at least we didn’t get lost. Starting with drizzle just a few minutes after leaving the Fleur de Lys in Widdington, it didn’t stop until we returned for lunch, when the sun emerged briefly. But that didn’t stop the Squadron Leader, Maurice, accompanied by Deputy Dawg Andrew, Ken, Brian and Moley Martin having an enjoyable ride of 30 miles via Henham, Great Bardfield, Finchingfield and Radwinter. The assorted rats got a warm welcome at our favourite coffee stop in Finchingfield where Maurice enjoyed his favourite scone, and likewise Martin (fuel for the return journey they claimed):


Now you know why we stop there, and how Two Scones Keith got his name.

And here are the assorted rats:


Having only partially dried out, the homeward stretch into headwinds and more rain resulted in large appetites being created for a splendid lunch in front of a roaring fire at the Fleur de Lys, washed down with some fine ales and lager for the Dawg. Lawg?

Thanks, Squadron Leader, for a good ride but ask for a new barometer for your next birthday!


Windymillers 01 Feb 16 Gusty Ride

Mechanic Maurice, Moley Martin and Deputy Dawg Andrew set off from Clavering in winds gusting up to 38 MPH for a what turned out to be a very pleasant Monday ride.


The intrepid Windmillers itinerary took in Wicken Bonhunt, Ricking, Quenden, Manuden, Furneux Pelham, Stocking Pelham, Brent Pelham and finally Starlings Green (saw none) and eventually back to Clavering.

Apart from battling some headwinds the ride was reasonably uneventful apart from Maurice being attacked by a rabbit and Moly Martin hitting another pothole both incidents took place on the descent to Pinchpools Farm – Both riders were unscalthed.


As a pleasant surprise Moley arranged for the peloton to be refreshed with coffee in Manuden at the residence of his lovely daughter Jessie and husband Robin who was having a lie-in until Moley called.

The ride concluded with a very pleasant lunch at Jamie Olivers parents pub The Cricketers in Clavering where we were eventually joined by the super grumpy Kell (the Irish) complaining that Deputy Dawg hadn’t sent out the usual smoke signals of our impending arrival !  (intentionally ha ha)





Thursday, 28 Jan. Back in the saddle for 30 miles.

On a crystal clear chilly day, five hardy souls comprising our leader Maurice, Deputy Dawg Andrew, Brian, relatively new boy Tom and Moley Martin set off from the Pheasant at 10.00am on a 30 mile circuit via Barkway, Therfield and Sandon, stopping for a coffee in Buntingford and then back via Anstey, Meesden, Langley and Chrishall. The full route can be seen on the Mapometer link above.

Here is a photo taken by Brian of the gang of freezing pheasant pluckers near Therfield:


…but things improved once blood reached the extremities.

The second stop was caused by Tom having a puncture in his rear wheel but instead of offering to help we watched in awe as he swiftly changed tubes and removed bits of flint, but not, however, in the stipulated 4 minutes. (Has anyone ever achieved this magic figure?) It was the general opinion that Tom had passed his first ritual test:


Then, by an amazing coincidence, Moley Martin recognised that the heavily pregnant lady in the coffee shop in Buntingford was in fact his daughter Jessie who happened to be meeting someone there. She would have been in good hands should her babe have decided to join in, what with assorted tyre leavers and spanners and puncture repair kits to hand, but she said she would have declined our services. Here she is with unborn Acorn enjoying our witty company:


And so back to the Pheasant via more splendidly quiet and picturesque lanes for a warm welcome by Ollie, Alison and Simon, when printed copies of our 2015 blog were examined critically. ‘You call yourself a publisher?’ rang out around the table. It was great to have Kell join us for lunch.

Thanks, Herr leader Maurice, for a great ride.


28th Jan 16 route Barkway- Sandon-Buntingford –



Simon’s cycling reunited 28th Dec 15

Windmillers 1Monday 28th Dec was a momentous day when we welcomed Simon back in the saddle after nearly 12 months absence.As we gathered outside The Pheasant Simon looked like a lost boy with two flat tyres. Deputy Dawg to the rescue and within minutes Simon was no longer deflated.

Andrew Dawg , Lindsey Dawgs assistant,  Brummie Brian and Simon set off in near perfect conditions passing Barway – Nuthampstead – Ansty -Brent Pelham- Roast Green -Langley -Duddenhoe End etc etc.

The route perhaps should have been titled Cold War and Churches as the first point of interest was the Cold war bunker/ observation post near Brent Pelham where Brian who was so fascinated by Deputy Dawgs knowledge of the Cold War – fell off his bike missing a large puddle by inches.

Next point of interest was a detour to The Hamlet Church at Duddenhoe End which unknown to me is a 16th century barn converted to a church in 1859 -all riders dismounted for a visit inside.

From Duddenhoe End it was a brisk cycle up the Chrishall with Turbo Lindsey taking the lead. This was followed by a superb lunch at The Pheasant with the additional company of the Ryan Trio – Kell in Lycra no bike , Kells wife Glen and daughter Sinead.

Well done Simon -as they say in Scotland  ”

On Yer Bike Man”





Charitable gifts for 2015

Here below is a PDF of a thank you letter from Bridget Gough of Khandel Light for the £600 cheque presented to her by Maurice at the Christmas lunch. Also a copy of a letter sent to the East Anglian Children’s Hospice enclosing a cheque for £400.

On this happy note, the Windmill bloggers wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Windmill Khandel Light DocScan

Windmill East Anglian Hospice DocScan


22 December. We meet the King.

After an early start for a Monday at 10.30am, our leader Maurice led the way, hotly pursued by Dirty Dawg Andrew, John B and Moley Martin, around 19 miles of dryish lanes, taking in Little Chishill, passing John T’s house, Meesden, Clavering, Arkesden, Duddenhoe End and Chrishall. Maurice had a puncture but Andrew remains the puncture champion of 2015.

After returning to The Pheasant for a pleasant lunch word got around that the King was dining there too, ie Alf Engers, looking very smart compared to the assorted Windmillers who by that time included Road Hog Kell Ryan who joined us for lunch.

Maurice donning his rubber gloves and others looking worried
Alf Engers, the King and former cycling champion, talking to Sky team member Maurice

Dawgs pre Xmas Dirty ride 17th Dec


DD (aka) Andrew R, John Sticky Toffee ,Ken W , Brian C and new Windmiller Tom Robinson set off from the Pheasant in 12 degrees (positively balmy -the temperature that is) heading for Manuden via Arkesden, Wicken Bonhunt, Ricking with an early coffee stop at the Cricketers Ricking Green.

Fortunately the crazy bunny blasters were not in evidence as we past East End enroute to Furneux Pelham however, on this ride we had to contend with what was on the ground and not from above!!

To avoid the busy road to Barkway we routed via Whitebarns down the bumpy concrete road much to the delight of new boy Tom (who’s a keen mountain biker) and much to the disgust of Brian who was saddled to a brand new pristine bike. Additionally, farmer Joe was taking a delivery of organic human waste resulting in 5 filthy aromatic bikes.

Travelling past Duddenhoe End we were met by the famous Alf Engers  AKA The King,unfortunately we was going too fast !! in the wrong direction so this was a missed photo opportunity.

The final sprint was directly up the main road to The Pheasant  for a well deserved refreshment and lunch.



14 December, Where’s my granny?

…….shouted Moley Martin as he struggled up a steep hill near Ickleton Old Grange on his old bike, a hill he regretted having suggested tackling to fellow riders Deputy Dawg Andrew and Two Scones Keith. It would have helped to give the recalcitrant Granny a kick before attempting the hill but she was laughing at his misfortune by the time he finally made it. Thereafter it was a pleasant 18 mile ride taking in Catmere End, Littlebury, Duddenhoe End and Chrishall before reaching The Pheasant before 4.00pm, when it was almost dark. Roll on those lazy hazy crazy days of summer, but you can keep the pretzels.

Thanks, Dawg, for organising the ride, and apologies for late blog.

The Sleazy Jets Andrew and Keith above Littlebury Green
Two hot dawgs