Hare Street is one of our most distant tea stops, but this didn't put off a dozen riders from turning up for this afternoon's ride, including several who had previously been on the Saturday or Wednesday rides and were trying this longer ride for the first time.
Simon F was our leader today. We needed to get to Hare Street by 4.30pm (the cafe closes at 5pm) so he chose a fairly direct route. We started by heading south out of Cambridge via the DNA path to Great Shelford.
At Great Shelford we turned west and followed the roads through Little Shelford until we met the B1368. We then rode along this road for six miles through Newton and Fowlmere all the way to Flint Cross, where it crosses the A505. The B1368 is rather a dull road, with a bit too much traffic to allow us to ride two-abreast, so I was pleased that just beyond Flint Cross we turned off onto a minor road towards Great Chishill.
Although this road was much quieter and the scenery more interesting, it also took us directly into a headwind and up a gentle but long hill to the highest village in the county.
From Great Chishill we dropped down to Shaftenhoe End and turned left to Nuthampstead and Anstey. Here the road passes through several areas of woodland and feel charmingly intimate compared with the wide-open landscapes closer to Cambridge.
After a short while we reached Hare Street, where we called in to the Old Swan Tea Shop. Here we found Tom and Averil from the day ride.
After tea we returned back to Cambridge. For the route home I suggested we headed east to Brent Pelham and then north to Langley. This made for quite a long ride home, but it was still warm and bright so the journey home was a pleasant one. We stopped quite a few times for a rest and to allow everyone to catch up, including here in Elmdon.
From Elmdon we dropped down to Ickleton and followed the Cam valley through Duxford and Whittlesford back to Great Shelford and the DNA path once more. We arrived back in central Cambridge by 7.45pm (rather later than usual, and with the light just beginning to disappear), having cycled 49 miles. Thank you for your company to everyone who came on the ride, and a big "well done" to those for whom today's ride was rather tougher than they were used to...
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