Simon Binning’s two-star ride from Harlow on Sunday 3rd June: 75km, 100mm of rain (well, it felt like it).
It couldn’t have been a sharper contrast from the previous weekend: splendid sunshine for Christine’s weekend Cambridge tour, dismal downpours for our ride from Harlow. Steve didn’t need his factor 50, though Kerry could have done with it on Christine’s ride, she was wearing a sleeveless top in the blazing sun, and her shoulders got burnt. She’d refused Michael’s offer to apply sun cream to her back, possibly because his hands were covered in oil after his fruitless attempts to repair two broken spokes.
He’d replaced the spokes during the week, and seven of us braved the weather for a 75km spin out from Harlow to the Black Horse at White Roding, with the additional benefit, for the republicans amongst us, including me, of escaping the royal fawn-fest.(Steve’s wife had sent him out for the day so she could enjoy TV coverage of the Thames pageant, unspoiled by his anti-monarchist sentiments). Simon gave us such a lovely route round pretty country lanes, everyone commented on how attractive it was, despite the rain. I think the pub is new to our section, I do recommend it. The staff are pleasant and efficient, the food is tasty and reasonably priced, and although they like to keep their vegetarian options secret from the customers, (the veggie dishes aren’t listed on the menu), they will tell you what’s available if you ask.
After lunch we continued to tea at the open air café in Hatfield Forest, where we encountered a lone Morris dancer gazing wetly into his beer, a soggy symbol of the Jubilee Weekend Wetting. Paul had unwisely dressed according to the calendar, rather than the temperature, and complained about his chilly extremities, until, emulating Kelvin on a previous ride, we all told him to Man Up . Derek, more stoical, kept quiet about his frozen fingers, aware that his choice of fingerless mitts over full length gloves could open him to Mockery and Ridicule from his better-clad companions.
The company was great, even if the weather was rubbish, and the glass is always half-full: nobody got sunburnt.