Monday 10 August 2015, pleasant Pheasant circuits

There were two groups who set off from The Pheasant at 6.00pm, hares and tortoises. The hares sped off on a 23 mile ride via Elmdon, Strethall, Littlebury, Newport, Rickling, Clavering and got back to The Pheasant, having averaged 14mph, at about the same time as the tortoises who rode 19 miles via Wendens Ambo, Newport, Arkesden and Chrishall. It was a pleasant, dry evening with stunning views towards Cambridge as the sun set on the way back, followed by the usual wonderful goujons and chips at The Pheasant. Andrew R, however, was so enthusiastic about the ginger beer in his shandy that he converted Martin W’s fine pint of Restoration bitter into a shandy too! Thanks a bundle Andrew!

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06th August 15 Waltham Abbey to London

Maurice, Andrew, Lindsey R, John B, Lynn B, John T, Steve, Lynn & Frances set off from Waltham Abbey cycling beside the Lee Navigation via Enfield Lock and Ponders End eventually arriving at the Olympic Park. From there to the Hertford Cut and down the Regent Canal to Limehouse Basin and the Grapes Pub for refreshments (bang on opening time)

As John B, Lynn and John T became ensconced at the Grapes, Maurice led the rest of the group to Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Katherines Dock and a well deserved lunch. We certainly saw all the sites yesterday including The Gloriana Barge ( built for the Queens Diamond Jubilee). As a bonus as we left the Grapes Pub we saw the actor Sir Iain Mclellan (who owns the pub)

On the return it was a detour around the Olympic Park before returning to Waltham Abbey.

Total mileage 38

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30th July 15 Great Chishill – Puckeridge- Standon -Much Hadham circuit

Thanks to John B for organising a superb cycle ride from Great Chishill to Puckeridge – Standon – Latchford- Much Hadham- Little Hadham – Brent Pelham.

The Peloton consisted of John B, John T, Ken W, Andrew R and Maurice W.

Enroute to Standon we passed a very large openair pop concert venue called “Standon Calling” an event that has been running annually for over 10 years -We all said we would go to this rave however, no one has heard of any of the groups in the lineup – I wonder why ?? .

A brief coffee and beer stop (for John B) at Little Hadham and a sprint back to The Pheasant for a well deserved lunch.2015-07-30 11.04.39 2015-07-30 11.04.32 2015-07-30 11.06.23

Thursday 23 July 2015, starting and finishing at Maurice’s house, via Royston, Steeple Morden, Baldock and Sandon 28 miles. Then to The Pheasant for lunch.

imageToday’s ride started and ended with celebrations at Maurice’s house, which then continued at The Pheasant afterwards. Maurice will no doubt fill in the details to those not already in the know! In between, Maurice, John B, John T, Andrew R and Martin W enjoyed a shortish circuit to Royston, Steeple Morden, with a stop to look at the war memorial on the old US airforce, and then delightful lanes to Baldock via Ashwell. John B then took us, unintentionally off-road across the A505 but we were soon on the tarmac again and climbing up to Wallington where we stopped to look at the cottage where George Orwell lived for a few years during the war. Then it was back to Maurice’s house via Sandon and Reed to crack open a bottle of champagne, and tweak John T’s bike in Maurice’s well equipped bike workshop.

Kell R and Ken W joined us for lunch at The Pheasant, which ended a very good day’s ride.

Thursday, 16 July 2015, 35 mile circuit from Steeple Bumpstead

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Maurice arranged a great ride today starting from the Moot Hall in Steeple Bumpstead and ending at the Fox and Hounds, which is very conveniently next door. The other cyclists were John B. John T, Ken W and Martin W. Heading Northwards initially towards Kedington and Stradishall, where Martin W’s dad was based during the war, we then made a detour to visit one of Suffolk’s best pubs, the Star in Lidgate, but it was closed. So the wait for much needed caffeine had to wait until we reached Clare, where we stopped at an antiques shop cum coffee shop.

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Then it was back to Steeple Bumpstead via more quiet lanes and pretty villages for an excellent lunch at the Fox and Hounds.

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Thanks, Maurice, for another excellent day.

 

9th July 2015, Steeple Bumpstead circuit via Castle Hedingham and Great Bardfield, 35 miles

Today’s ride took five of us around quiet Essex lanes on a glorious day, stopping for coffee and cakes at our favourite haunt in Castle Hedingham, where there were no volunteers to have their bike padlocked to Martin Woodhead’s bike in case he again forgot to bring a key, as happened last year. However, we were not incident free due to John T’s chain coming off at frequent intervals which even our back up mechanic by the name of Maurice was unable to fix. Despite this, we moved along at quite a pace and arrived back at the Fox and Hounds by 1.15pm, well in time for a really excellent lunch. Other than millions of little black bugs which seemed particularly attracted to Andrew’s yellow day-glo vest, or it could simply have been because they knew he was Scottish, it was a perfect day’s ride.

Thanks, Maurice, for planning it and not getting us lost.

Cooling off at the Fox and Hounds
Cooling off at the Fox and Hounds, above, and the mechanic at work on John’s bike, below.

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