Thursday, 28 April 2011

28 Apr: Thursday ride to Barkway and Puckeridge

Edward writes: The weather seemed to be playing tricks on cyclists this week. On Tuesday it was cool and windy, Wednesday was a good sunny day, Thursday broke cool, overcast and windy. Neverthess, nine riders met at Greta's house in Hauxton for our regular day ride. We set off on the outward leg with the wind mainly in our favour by going to Little Shelford and then on to Newton.






After Newton we detoured the long way round Thriplow, the daffodils long since gone, before arriving at Fowlmere from where we crossed the A505 to arrive at Chrisall Grange. Here we turned right to make the long climb up towards the turning to Elmdon, although we went to Heydon and Great Chishill.




After the long climb it was into the undulating countryside and narrow lanes with many twists and turns through Shaftenhoe End and Nuthamstead and onto our coffee stop at Barkway Golf Club.


Already there were Brian M and Doug. This coffee stop was not quite the pleasant break it normally is as the reception was a little frosty. Nonetheless, we had our coffee and continued our ride to Anstey and onto Great Hormead where, unfortunately, David got a puncture.




However, with the usual hands to help we were on our way with not too much delay and on to Furneaux Pelham and Braughing, before a short stretch of the B1398 and into Puckeridge and the Crown and Falcon which was our lunch stop. At lunch John S and Mike S joined us.




After a good lunch, good food and cheerful service, we left Puckeridge and climbed up to Great Mundon and Nasty.


After Nasty it was the small hamlet of Westmill, which Doug informed me, was the one time home of John Profumo. Remember him? After Westmill we went to Aspenden before coming to Buntingford. Here Doug took us on little tour to show us the rabbits cut into a yew hedge. The owner came out to tell us it took fifteen years to grow the hedge before he could cut the shapes, but it only requires one cut each year to maintain the rabbit forms owing to the slow growth of yew. Definitely a man with a plan!




After Buntingford out next village was Wyddial. From here we went back to Hauxton following the same route we had taken in the morning. Of course this was mainly head wind and at one point, looking north from Great Chishill, it looked very dark and we wondered if it might rain before getting home which caused a bit of a spurt. After getting to lower levels any threat of rain seemed to disappear (probably wishful thinking) and we made or way back to Hauxton where the ride ended. Thanks to Greta for another good day out. Mileage 60 miles. Edward Elmer


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