Sunday, 27 February 2011

27 Feb: Afternoon ride to Saffron Walden

Jacqueline writes: As I rode to the start of today's afternoon ride the sun was high in a blue sky, and a wind that would dry most things was heading to our destination. It was difficult to believe that two local football clubs had waterlogged pitches but something worth bearing in mind when planning routes.

Five riders headed over the railway cycle path and down Radegund Road, and were joined by a sixth before we left Cherry Hinton. We continued onto Fulbourn and reached our highest point of 116 metres at Balsham before turning right towards Bartlow. My plan had been to investigate 'Mark's Grave' where we crossed the Roman Road, but one of the riders said that the area would be very muddy today and a prettier way would be through Streetly End and Cardinal's Green.

We had made good time to Balsham so the detour sounded a pleasant alternative to a muddy field. The lane we turned off, past Steetly Hall, was certainly picturesque even providing us with a couple excercising their horses. Crossing the A1307 was not a problem and we were soon in the beautiful contryside between Haverhill and Saffron Walden that provides not only the Roman Road, but Harcamlow Way, a dismantled railway, moats, mills, and tumuli and whilst one rider suffered two punctures, five of us had a good opportunity to enjoy the scenery and chat.

The sky was now grey and as the sun dropped so did the temperature. We turned up the pace and headed for our tea stop but were still a good half hour behind schedule. Not surprisingly we missed the day riders but thoroughly enjoyed the food, service and fire.

We left the Temeraire in two groups. One to accompany our Royston member as far as possible and one to escort our new rider back to known roads.Thanks to everyone for their support in making this a fantastic day. Jacqueline.

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