It’s true what they say; you can’t have everything. Sunday was bright and dry if extremely chilly with a strong southwesterly breeze. We soon felt its edge as the six of us battled out of town into a country landscape right on the point of freezing. There was a little ice here and there in the puddles and on the tips of the kerbside grasses but nothing of significance. After about 20 miles we reached Hatfield Heath Tea Rooms on time for “elevenses” and welcoming the chance to stop and warm up a bit. Service was fast and efficient and I judged the teacakes as well priced and full of flavour. Back in the saddle we headed out through Sawbridgeworth and eventually along the exposed lanes with the wind holding us back and at points causing us to tack left and right as it tried to push us across the road.
Thankfully, we made it safely to Green Tye where the Prince of Wales (the pub, not the person!) – served us very well indeed with £3.50 sandwiches and good ale. Presently, John arrived; having ridden his recumbent trike all the way from Halstead he wore a shiny wet brow, imparted to him by the raging headwind. Thus seven of us began the journey home, which was less well assisted than we had hoped because the wind had by then dropped back a degree but still had some effect as we ran up past Spellbrooke and on eventually through sometimes flooded lanes to High Easter Post Office for our final tea break (choc brownie only £1.50!). An hour later I was indoors, mudded and windswept but very pleased with the 55-mile day. Not bad for January, really.