Sunday, 1 August 2010

1 Aug: Day ride to Clavering, Green Tye and Hare Street

Today was another day in the spell of warm, humid, overcast weather that we have been having for a week or two. We only saw the sun once; indeed for the whole day it looked as if was about to rain. However although we did feel a few droplets once or twice it never amounted to anything. And it was very warm: warm enough for the cooling breeze caused by cycling to be very welcome.

At Brookside I found Geoff, Tom and Richard. The low turnout was to be expected given Adrian's car-assisted ride in Derbyshire. We set off south out of Cambridge to Trumpington, Great Shelford and Little Shelford, where we picked up Greta. The five of us continued south through Whittlesford to Duxford.

At Ickleton we found a cycle race going on, with race marshalls holding red flags ready to stop cars if needed. We only saw a handful of competitors, however; as we climbed the hill to Elmdon we were overtaken by a pair of riders but they weren't going especially fast and I was able to keep up with them as far as Elmdon.

From Elmdon we continued southwards. At the junction at Wenden Lofts, where we turned right onto the B1039, we found that a race marshall, seeing us at a distance and thinking we were in the race, had stopped a car for us.

We continued through Duddenhoe End to Langley Upper Green, where we found the first of a series of stuffed scarecrow figures similar to those we had seen at the Abbotsley Scarecrow Festival, though I saw no signs proclaiming a similar event.

We saw another scarecrow a few miles further just before we reached our coffee stop.

Coffee was at the Fishing Lodge at Clavering Lakes, where we found Doug and Brian-from-Bedford waiting for us.

This was my first visit here. The cafe was very busy and we had to wait several minutes to be served. I ordered a coffee and a cake, which came to a startlingly expensive £4.35. However the food was good and the setting very nice. We sat outside on a terrace overlooking the lake.

After a while about a dozen cyclists from some other club arrived and formed a long queue. Before long even more cyclists arrived - a large group from St Albans - but they saw the length of the queue and gave up.

After coffee Richard and Greta headed off on their own leaving Geoff, Tom, Brian and me to continue via Little and Much Hadham to lunch at The Prince of Wales in Green Tye, which we reached at about 12.30pm. Joan and David were already there.

After lunch there was just Geoff, Tom and me. We continued west, back to Much Hadham where Tom splashed through the ford there.

At Barwick, a few miles further west we encountered another ford. This was quite a big one and Tom and Geoff decided not to chance it. However it didn't look slippery and so I went through it four times, posing for photos.

We continued west and north to Ardeley and Cottered before returning east along the main A507 to Buntingford. From here it was only a couple of miles to Hare Street, arriving at the Swan Tea Rooms at 4.15pm.

After a short while the afternoon ride arrived: Ian D, Gareth, Cheryl, and Simon. Steve G and Mike St also arrived. We all ordered tea and a plate of cakes. The way this works is several platefuls of cakes are placed on your table from which you help yourself, with each cake (e.g. a slice of victoria sandwich) costing £1. I scoffed two and a half cakes, which together still cost less than my single cake at Clavering.

We left the cafe at about 5.15pm and returned back to Cambridge - I took a route Barkway, Great Chishill and Duxford. I arrived home just after 7pm after having cycled 87 miles at a relatively high moving average speed of 14.3mph.

View this GPS track on a larger map

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