For our last Origami Ride of 2002, Trevor Batchelor kindly researched a route which would take us to a suitable hostelry where we could have Christmas dinner. His chosen route had the added advantage of being fairly short , to fit in with the short days and the lack of enthusiasm for a long ride after a good meal.
The weather has been very mild again this year, and the 14th was no exception, bearing in mind it is December, and with the added advantage of no rain. The bonus of Christmas lunch no doubt helped to swell the number of those attending to 20 - an exceptionally good turn out for the time of year. Bromptons and SPs were in the majority on this occasion (by no means always the case on Origami rides), but with a very good selection of other makes as well, including Moultons and Birdys. Dick Hanson was giving his new, disc-braked, 8-speed, SP it's first outing. To make way for this, his Birdy Red has to go, and some interest was shown in it during the ride (but I heard on the day I wrote this report that it has now been sold elsewhere, though we hope to see it again on future Origami rides).
After the usual socialising, and a rather lighter breakfast than usual for most people (to leave room for the Christmas dinner!), we started our ride soon after 11:15. Our destination was the Toby inn at Knowle - a relatively short ride, which we extended on the outward journey by taking a rather circuitous route. Conditions were ideal for gentle riding and discourse, and we arrived in Knowle in good time for lunch after an uneventful ride. The cycles were carefully secured in the garden alongside the hostelry while their riders retired indoors for lunch. We were made very welcome, and a large area at the end of the dining room was made available for us to sit together around four tables. We had an excellent dinner, accompanied by very modest consumption of drink; the fact that the days are almost at their shortest, and we did not particularly want to have to cycle back in the dark, meant that we did not stay particularly long after the meal was finished.
When we emerged, the only hitch of the day occurred; when Tony Hadland came to undo the lock securing his Brompton to Rosemary's Micro, the key snapped off in the lock, leaving both machines immobile. Peter King, who was in his van rather than on his SP, after a late job the previous day, offered to transport bikes and riders back to Meriden, but in the end the cable was severed using some cutters - an advantage of not using too strong a lock!
We followed a different, and slightly more direct, route back, which took us through Hampton in Arden. As this is the nearest station to Meriden, those who were travelling by train - no less than 7 on this occasion, a record - left the main group here. The ride had been most enjoyable, but uneventful, up to this point. However, Trevor Batchelor subsequently reported that all the excitement happened later.
No Sooner than we had left the folding riders taking to the train back to Birmingham a woman ran out in front of me and shouted “Stop !” “Horse” (I think she must be practising for trivia quiz soon to be held in Hampton in Arden ) She would have scored on that question as there was a large horse running free around the village. If the kind lady had not been so caring towards me I may have missed the galloping wonder. I had now stopped and watched in awe it made a beeline towards my wife (her two favourite things in life are dogs and runaway horses) She initially missed the closeness of his breeze past until Dick confirmed how lucky she had been to be the nearest to his canter. It was running form the flashing light of the local panda car that had arrived on the scene. What excitement we find on these Origami rides. We heard the locals comment on the regularity of this horse leaving it’s field for a wander.
We left the scene and cycled back to Meriden for Mince Pies, farewells and Christmas best wishes.
I'm sorry to have missed this, especially as I had been videoing the event, and this would have provided some good pictures! As I was using video rather than a still camera, there are no pictures to go with this report yet. Until I have a more powerful computer, I can't undertake the editing of the video, but I hope I may eventually produce a short record of the event, and in the process I may grab some frames to add to this report at a later date.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the ride and dinner, and especially to Trevor who did all the planning and organising.
Copyright (C)2002 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 23 December 2002