Thursday, 12 May 2011

12 May: Thursday ride to Carlton and Stradishall

Edward writes: Today nine riders met at Greta's in Hauxton for the regular Thursday ride. Among them was Malcolm who had already cycled from Carlton, and who, later in the day, would cycle with us back to Cambridge before going back to Carlton. That's the way to get mileage into your legs. After a sunny start early on the weather was already beginning to become cloudy and the breeze was also starting to get up. We left Greta's and cycled from Hauxton to Little Shelford and then onto Whittlesford, and another opportunity to use the new cycle way to Sawston.

Sawston by-pass

We continued on to Babraham, also using the other new cycle way. We took our usual route through the farm and over the footbridge into Great Abington.

Over the A11 between Babraham and Abington

Just before going into Abington, at the start of Bourn Bridge Road, we stopped to look at the Giraffe in the gardens of the large house just on this corner:

A giraffe in Abington

After Abington we crossed the A1307 for the first time today and took the Hildersham road to get to Linton. We went via the recreation ground which was the planned non-coffee stop. However, earlier in the day Malcolm and Gwen had very kindly offered to supply the coffee once we got to Carllton. Therefore we carried on without stopping in Linton, over the A1307 again and up to Bartlow. Here we turned left and back over the A1307 again and made our way to Streetly End and then West Wickham and then straight on to Carlton and our new coffee stop. Coming out of Bartlow Jim got a puncture and Richard stayed with him to help whilst the remainder pressed on to Carlton.

As always having tea and coffee with Gwen and Malcolm is a pleasure and we thank them for offering their hospitality to us. As we had only about seven or eight miles to go for our lunch stop it wasn't difficult to linger over the coffee. Eventually we made the effort and we retraced our steps back into Carlton village and headed for the turn to the Thurlows where Peter left us to make his way back to West Wratting. After the Thurlows it was along a very attractive country road before joining the A143 and the short stretch to Tubby T's for our lunch stop. At this point the weather was holding up very well and we were able to sit outside in the sun and indulge ourselves in transport cafe specialities.

Map reading

We timed our departure from the cafe with a heavy downpour which didn't last long and we soon dried out. Our next village was Great Bradley, but not before some more delightful country roads and another downpour. Although the wind was mainly against us we were protected by the hedges on both sides of the road, and I don't think we saw a car from leaving the A143 until we arrived in Great Bradley.

Close formation

It was then through Brinkley and the downhill sweep to Six Mile Bottom, over the A1304, under the A11 and the two mile stretch into Great Wilbraham, Fulbourn, over the Gogs and into Shelford and back to Hauxton where the ride finished. Thanks to Greta for another good trip. 53 Miles. Edward Elmer

View this route on a larger map

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