Winter Warmer 3rd February 2013
Following taking the decision to postpone the Winter warmer the previous Wednesday due to being under a good few inches of snow, ride out Sunday arrived with gorgeous bright blue skies with brilliant sunshine! Undeterred, the valiant Worzel sent out a message that, no matter what, it would NOT be postponed again.
Yes, you guessed it, the revised Sunday came around – damp, dull, and frosty!
Undeterred, a few brave souls, namely The Guv, Geoff, Colin, Nigel, Allan & Maria with their son and daughter in law, on a total of seven bikes turned up at the BP Garage bright and breezy (with a big emphasis on the breezy....) with temperatures only just above freezing.
Worzel had a rough idea of the route, with the only fixed parts being H’s Cafe for some hot drinks and food, and the Pendon Museum, but it was going to be a bit of a “make it up as we go along” kind of ride out. (No, not ALL our ride outs are like this, honest.....)
And so it was that the Rabble set off behind Worzel, no doubt hoping that the glow from the Goddess would at least warm them up a little......
The route taken was the ‘scenic one’, west along the M4 to Maidenhead then up the A404 to the Henley turning. At this point, Worzel decided that, as his fingers hadn’t yet fallen off, he’d take a little detour via Marlow, Lane End, and Stokenchurch rather than heading through Nettlebed to get to H’s.
From Stokenchurch, we could have taken the M40 north, but as Worzel was still leading, and being convinced that these motorway thingys would never catch on, he decided to take the old A40 through the Stokenchurch Bends, where we soon discovered that, due to a lack of defrosting, leaves, mud and shale on the road, that descent would be interesting indeed.
We kept on the A40 going via Postcombe to Tetsworth, then turned towards Stadhampton and on to the B4015 via Chisslehampton (Is that a real place?). Once again there was a lovely mixture of mud and lots of standing water all the way to Golden Balls. (Yes, this IS a real place and not an ailment suffered by Worzel after a trip on the Goddess.)
On arrival at the Cafe, everyone made a beeline for a hot cup of tea and all-day breakfast. A discussion followed on how nice Worzels 61 mile route was compared to the nice 16 miles it was from Reading......
After several cups of tea etc., it was time to set off to the Pendon Museum at Little Wittenham. It was at this point that our dearly beloved Guvnor took a call on his mobile and suddenly decided that he wouldn’t be accompanying us on the second part of the ride out. Several suggestions were made as to why he elected to go home, ranging from the cold playing havoc with his bladder to being too tight to pay the £7 admission to the museum. It was only later that evening we discovered that he’d sneaked off home to a plate of Sticky Fingers made by the clubs Chief Snorter!
The rest of us set off and despite the Thames trying to cover the entire road, we arrived safely at the museum. The staff made us all very welcome and even took away our helmets to lock up in their office. We were amazed by the size of the layouts, and by the fantastic detail. An hour and a half passed without anyone realising, and it is a place well worth a visit. Finally we had a mug of tea, included in the admission price, and made our separate ways home.
One of the beautiful layouts of a village.