Thursday, 26 May 2011

26 May: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Clare

Edward writes: After last week's respite from the wind it was again back to a breezy day with a none too promising forecast, ie showers. This probably accounted for the fact that a mere seven riders assembled at Greta's house in Hauxton. Interestingly, though, of the seven, four were females. With nothing for it but to get on with the ride we set off towards Whittlesford via Little Shelford.

Again we turned to go on the splendid cycle path to Sawston and on through to Babraham where we took the farm track over and over the A11 and into Gt. Abington, stopping just briefly to look again at the giraffe. This is becoming a familiar routine. From here we crossed over the A1307 and took the back road round Linton and back over the A1307 and up to Bartlow.

The south westerly wind was mainly in our favour and we were able to make good progress, over the main road again to climb up to Streetly End and thence to Horseheath. The Old Red Lion pub was our coffee stop, where we found Geoff already waiting for us. This is a very nice pub for a break, with excellent coffee served with biscuits and still for a pound, and just as important, cheerful service - excellent value.

At this point Geoff and two of the ladies left us as it was their intention only to do this part of the ride. The rest of set off into the first of the showers we were to encounter during the day. At least it didn't rain for very long and we soon dried out and our route was through extremely attractive countryside through Castle Camps, Helions and Steeple Bumpstead, New England (there's a name to conjure with), Wixoe, and some very narrow, but delightful country lanes into Stoke by Clare and then by more back roads into Clare itself which was our lunch stop, arriving at 1pm having travelled 33 miles from Hauxton, demonstrating once again Greta's skill and knowledge at knowing all the back routes, free from much of the traffic, and making these ride the pleasure they are.

During lunch we were pleasantly surprised to be joined by Sue who had driven out to join us. It's good to hear that she is making good progress following her skiing accident, and has already started to ride her bicycle again so we look forward to her joining us again. When we started after lunch it was again into a shower and even more threatening skies. Once again we were soon out of the rain and cycled through Chilton Street and onto Kedington. Although the wind was more or less against us it's noticeable how much the hedgerows along the side of these narrow roads protected us and riding wasn't too difficult.

After Kedington it was over the A143 and on to Great Wratting and Withersfield and then the turn into West Wickham where we had to take shelter under a tree as another of the showers caught up with us. After this brief stop we turned to go through Balsham to be followed by the long straight stretch to Fulbourn.

From Fulbourn it was over the Gogs and into Great Shelford and back to Hauxton where the ride ended. As ever, thanks to Greta who led the ride with her usual aplomb. Distance 60 miles. Edward Elmer

Viewthis route on a larger map

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