11 October. It was a breeze. 30 miles.

For the third week running a baker’s dozen of Windmillers assembled for a ride around our beautiful local lanes. Starting this time from The Fox & Duck in Therfield, Maurice chose a clockwise route via Baldock, Ashwell, Guilden Morden and Royston before the climb back to Therfield.

Accompanied by Andrew, Vernon, Birthday Boy Keith, Sandra, Ric, Brian B, Brian Y, Chris, Lawrence, Simon, Graham and Martin, the group set off a bit earlier than usual so that Maurice could fit in a flu jab in Royston on the way back.  Here is the route taken:

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There was indeed a breeze in our favour on the outward leg which meant we swept along, clocking up an average speed close to that achieved the previous Monday. The route through to Baldock is very pretty, particularly the village of Wallington which was once the home of George Orwell, author of Animal Farm.

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Three little piggies, Napoleon, Pinkeye and Squealer outside the farm on which Animal Farm was based

And here are the animals and humans (minus Napoleon and Vernon the horse) outside George Orwell’s cottage:

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From the left, Boxer, Pinkeye, Benjamin, Moses, Mr Jones, Mr Pilkington, Mr Whymper, Mr Frederick, Old Major and Squealer

For more information about George Orwell and Animal Farm, here’s a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm .

The animals and humans then left in single file, speeding down the long descent to Baldock before heading north east towards Ashwell for coffee at Rhubarb & Mustard. The breeze seemed to be still in our favour.

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Contemplation over coffee

 

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Ric gets the prize for best pose

After coffee we sailed downwind towards Wrestlingworth before finally turning for home, when the breeze became a full on near gale on the nose, reminiscent of some past rides organised by Storm (Pinkeye) Sandra. The imposing Litlington church was passed on the way:

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St. Catherine’s Church tower in Litlington was used as positioning focus for World War Two P47sand P51s landing at the nearby airfield home of the United States Army Air Force 355th Fighter Group. In 1993 a stained glass window honouring the 355th—made in the USA—was installed in the Church. (With credit to Wikipedia.)

The peloton thinned out and by the time we reached the A505 there was some distance between the front and back. A slow climb up the hill to Therfield, hoping that a golf ball would not impede progress, was finally rewarded by the welcome sight of The Fox and Duck and a welcome birthday pint courtesy of Keith (thanks Keith!) sitting outside in the hot sunshine before having a splendid lunch inside.

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Animals and humans discovering they have lots in common whilst celebrating the birthday of Keith (alias Mr Pilkington) at The Fox & Duck

Thanks to Maurice for planning the route and to Andrew for getting us to the starting line on time. And congratulations to Sandra, Ric and Graham for clocking up many additional miles by riding to and from The Fox & Duck.

Martin

 

 

 

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thewindmillclub2015

The Windmill Club is a cycling club which meets twice a week for social rides of 20 - 40 miles. New members always welcome.

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