Author Topic: CANCELLED - Mid-Essex and the Rest of the World Epiphany - Sat 8 January '22  (Read 10044 times)

Well the formal Epiphany Ride may have been cancelled but five of us enjoyed our "Epi" day out.

Many of the usual faces were missing for various reasons:

Fandango - eating Yorkies, running over hedgehogs
Toby's Dad - claims January is a busy month for him
Grey Sheep - snotters blinding
Not Grey Lamb - also claims January is a busy month
Oaky - injured in bizarre pogo stick incident
Andy C333333333 - too many rules for our resident anarchist
Psyclist - tinkering in his man cave
Jem - won't leave Witham
Not Nik Not Nick Not Nik's Nick Nor even Nick's Nik - grounded
Josser - plague ridden

Fortunately, Tomsk, Huggy, OD and the BFC (Retd.) were all waiting for me in Witham 'Spoons when the headwind and pelting rain finally released me into the warmth.  I arrived to find the sampling had already started with a carefully curated selection of breakfast beers (Otter's Amber) and Huggy almost in tears at the unfairness of the egg that had been missed from his breakfast - a feeling not helped when my breakfast arrived swiftly and eggful.

Tomsk and I knew how bad it was outside and the others were looking apprehensively out of the window as the raindrops bounced off the pavement.  Tomsk is Tomsk though and there was no way we weren't going on a bike ride.  Somewhat unhelpfully, OD decided to get involved with Tomsk's route planning.  That could only mean a leg-sapping combination of gratuitous hills (at one point we climbed Blue Mills and then dropped back down Station Road to end up 200 yards from the start of our climb), COR (including a particulary muddy slog along past Beeleigh Falls), pointless circling away from the eventual destination just as you think you are nearly there and feeling ashamed at being left behind by Tomsk on his two wheel drive tractor bike.

Of course it wasn't nearly as bad as we thought and it was all good fun.  I did get my revenge for the gratuitous climbs by taking so long to reach the top that everyone else was frozen by the time I got there.

Aesop's Fables for the Modern Day

An Artist comes to a kissing gate with his bike.  He delicately moves through but is forced to release the gate which springs heavily into the Telecoms Sales Executive's shins as he blunders in behind the Artist.  Meanwhile the Smug Engineer waits for the gate to spring back before pulling it outwards to allow the Retired Twiddler and the Scribe to walk through easily and unharmed  The Artist and Telecoms Sales can only Executive look at the Smug Engineer's smug grin as he strides through the gate.

Kissing gate negotiated, we headed through the mud to Maldon and the welcome warmth of the Carpenter's Arms.  There we sampled Yakima Gold and Old Bob but forgot to have an Oscar Wilde Mild when the landlord decided to heat his cottage pie up and we realised how hungry we were in a pub that didn't serve food.   

Off to Maldon 'Spoons we sped.  With Ruddles at 99p and a handful of CAMRA vouchers, we felt like millionaires there.  So confident were we that we cleared a table of beers and bookie's slips onto an different table so we could sit in the warmest part of the pub - "the guys from the boxing club won't be happy when they see their table" chirped the blokes at the next table along but we were too busy selecting snacks and quaffing Old Thumper to care.

Enjoyable as it was, here's to next year and a proper traditional Epiphany Ride with after party, camping, musical interludes, ghost pint spills and everything else we love about it.

Great write-up as usual and well done to you all for braving the elements.

Out of isolation now and looking forward to getting out of the house!!