Gathering in the car park on Thursday morning, there was an outbreak of jollity upon hearing that Martin – sadly in absentia – would be buying the beers at lunchtime. Top chap!
So it was that eleven Windmillers, led by Jeremy, set off from The Three Horseshoes in Stapleford heading for Wimpole. Along the way we pulled in at Barrington where we were joined by Alan.
The highlight of the ride was the 5 mile off-road trail around the Wimpole estate, taking in fine views of the 17th-century mansion, Gothic folly and Capability Brown landscape. The National Trust café was pretty good too and seemingly full of runners and other cyclists enjoying coffee and cake.
Back on the bikes we made short work of the return leg to the Three Horseshoes, where we promptly opened a tab in Martin’s name. Mid way through lunch we were surprised and delighted when the man himself joined us via a video call. There he was lunching with his family and raising a glass to us while we gave him a stirring rendition of Happy Birthday.
For the record, the turnout was: Alan, Andrew, Brian, Geoff, Graham, Hazel, Jeremy, Ric, Rod, Roger, Sandra and Victor – and we clocked up 30 miles.