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Henham

Henham

There’s really not much to report. 13 Windmillers cycled 31 miles – though Graham, as ever, did a lot more. Nobody fell off – and it wasn’t anybody’s birthday so, sadly, we all had to buy our own beer.

Gathering at The Cock Inn, Henham
Coffee at Finchingfield

The only drama, albeit a mild one, was Roger’s puncture – but even that coincided with pulling in for a coffee break at Finchingfield, so no time was lost.

Hurry up, Roger, our coffee’s going cold

For the record, the turnout was: Alan, Andrew, Brian, Charles, Geoff, Graham, Howard, Iain, Ken, Rach, Roger, Sandra, Simon.

Thanks go to Andrew for getting everyone organised, and to Charles for the many photographs; there’s lots more here in the club album.

31 miles, keeping right

Brian

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Henham

Wet, wet, wet

The weather forecast was a tad deceptive. Occasional showers? Humph, it was raining stair rods! Having waited in vain for a “Let’s call the whole thing off,” message from Andrew, ten Windmillers arrived in Henham hoping for a lull in the downpour.

Andrew had, quite understandably, been loath to cancel yet another outing from The Cock Inn, having already cancelled three in the past due to bad weather.

It’s warm, it’s dry, let’s stay here

So there we were at 9.30, sipping coffee in the pub while the rain hammered down outside. Graham, having arrived on two wheels, was looking like a drowned rat and leaving puddles wherever he stood, while our remarkably understanding landlady trailed around after him with a mop.

Alan does his bit mopping up Graham’s puddles

Mulling over our options – it was still tipping it down outside – opinion was divided. The wimps – Andrew, Brian, Jeremy, Rod, Roger and Victor – formed a majority and just wanted to go home. But there was a gung-ho gang – Alan, Deborah, Graham and Sandra – gagging for a ride come hell or high water.

Sandra laughing off the rain

So it was that the wimps headed home while the gang of four stalwart, nay foolhardy, Windmillers headed out. And by all accounts they had a jolly time. The rain did eventually stop and they clocked up a respectable 19 miles on some very flooded roads.

The all-weather gung-ho gang drying out in the Chameleon Café, Great Dunmow. Well done Deborah, Sandra, Alan and – behind the camera – Graham.
19 miles

Well done you guys. Respect!

Brian

Categories
Henham

Sandra saves Christmas

Recent events have shown just how dependent we are on HGV drivers, those unsung heroes who, quite literally, keep the wheels of our world turning. So we were duly impressed to learn – over coffee at the Blue Egg on Thursday – that Sandra will shortly be undergoing HGV driver training herself. Is there no end to this woman’s talents?

Sandra in the driving seat

On a selfish note, we reckon this means we needn’t worry about our Christmas presents being stuck in containers at Felixstowe. A word to Sandra and things should get moving.

Thirteen Windmillers, a baker’s dozen, had set off from Henham for a 32 mile jaunt taking in Thaxted and Great Bardfield, where we pulled in at the aforementioned Blue Egg for refreshments.

Sipping coffee and munching cake, we caught up on news; everything from Sandra’s new found vocation to Simon’s exploits as a chimney sweep and Graham’s forthcoming big family wedding.

Graham and Victor

Back on the bikes we made short work of the return leg via Stebbing and Broxted to the Cock Inn, Henham, where lunch was waiting, not to mention a very welcome beer.

Jeremy
Roger and Brian

For the record the turnout was: Andrew, Brian, Charles, Graham, Howard, Jeremy, Lawrence, Ric, Rod, Roger, Sandra, Simon and Victor. Do shout if I’ve missed anyone.

32 miles clockwise: Henham – Debden Green – Thaxted – Little Sampford – Great Bardfield –
Stebbing – Great Dunmow – Great Easton – Broxted – Henham

Thanks as ever to Andrew for organising everything.

Finally, we send our very best wishes to Simon Oughton and Lawrence Wragg ahead of their long stays in Addenbrookes. We know they will be in good hands and we look forward to seeing them again soon, no doubt with tales to tell (but, please, no pictures!)

Brian

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Braughing Henham

Idling at Elsenham

Last Train to Clarksville . . . Midnight Train to Georgia . . . Chattanooga Choo-Choo . . . but alas, nobody sings about Elsenham and waiting for the barriers to open, even though there’s time aplenty, 15 minutes in our case, to draft a ditty.

So there we were exchanging banter with the crossing keeper, our party of ten Windmillers having just set out from The Cock at Henham, and barely 2 miles into a 30 mile tour of North Essex / North Herts. We had come close to being just nine Windmillers, Rod having forgotten his helmet and about to head home, when Landlady Mel, bless her, appeared with a spare one she keeps on the premises. Now that’s what we call a cycling friendly pub.

Brief Encounter

Some three trains later, the keeper opened the crossing and we were underway once more, heading for Ugley Green and all points west.

Maurice had promised us a flat ride but, e-bike convert that he is, maybe he no longer notices the hills. We certainly did and, as the morning wore on and the mercury headed upwards of 25C, our once-tight peloton became strung out over a mile or more. While some of us like it hot, others, most notably Simon, aren’t so keen and, by the time we pulled in for refreshment at Braughing, he was looking distinctly pink.

Simon wishing he’d brought his bathing costume

It was in Braughing that Maurice had arranged an out-of-hours visit to The Golden Fleece. Mid-way round and run by our good pals, Pete and Jess, where better to stop off and take on some much needed water, coffee and biscuits.

Cooling down at Braughing

Back on the bikes Maurice took the return leg at quite a lick, having promised Mel he would get us back in good time for lunch, so we were grateful when Henham and the The Cock finally hove into view. Sitting in the garden, we enjoyed a restorative pint while Mel’s team served up an excellent lunch.

Lunch at The Cock

For the record, our peloton comprised Alan, Andrew, Brian, Chris, Geoff, Graham, Maurice, Rod, Simon and Victor.

Thanks go to Maurice and Andrew for organising things, Jess and Peter for opening up The Fleece, and Mel for her hospitality (and helmet) at The Cock.

31 miles anticlockwise: Henham, Elsenham, Ugley Green, Little Hadham, Standon, Puckeridge, Braughing, Furneux Pelham, Stocking Pelham, Rickling, Henham

And finally, we wish our pal Lawrence, currently laid up in St George’s Hospital, a speedy recovery from his illness. We hope to see him back in the saddle soon.

Our very own St Lawrence; get well soon

Brian