Thursday, 2 June 2011

2 Jun: Thursday ride to Saffron Walden and Dullingham

Edward writes: When we met at Greta's this morning it was a pleasure to be without the persistent wind; in fact it was a very still morning with bright sunshine and the forecast seemed to promise these conditions throughout the day, although, as it turned out, it became quite cloudy but still superb conditions for a day on the bike. We left Greta's and went through Little Shelford and on to Whittlesford. Here we crossed the ever busy A505 and through Duxford and on to Ickleton.

Next was the climb up Coploe Hill to our regular refeulling stop which enabled us all to come together again and at the same time to admire the beautiful countryside from this high vantage point. Once we got going again it was to enjoy the long swoop down followed by the climb up again to Catmere End. This was then followed by the long descent down Chestnut Avenue to the A1383, then past Audley End Mansion and into Saffron Walden for our coffee stop at the Temeraire pub. Tony H was already waiting for us and we were later joined by Bob and Myrtle.

After coffee and cake, Bob and Myrtle left us, it was off again and out of Walden along Ashdon Road. Today our lunch stop was The Boot at Dullingham which we arrived at 1pm. However, our route was delightful along very quiet country lanes, and given the weather, an extremely enjoyable hour and half cycling. We went through Ashdon and Castle Camps before crossing the A1307 to get into Horseheath. Devising this route must have taken Greta a lot of time as it involved many twists and turns, missing out some villages by deviating round them and turned familiar territory into unfamiliar territory. After Horseheath we came into West Wickham before turning to West Wratting and Brinkley before descending into Dullingham for lunch.

At lunch most people sat outside, and it was a pleasure to be joined by our president and also Vic, along with Gwen, Rupert and John F who had been doing some off-roading. Bob B also rejoined us as he had left us after coffee to do some exploring on his own.

We left Dullingham about 2.15 and took the road towards the station but before the station we turned left to go back towards Brinkley, again another quiet and enjoyable country road. After Brinkley we went back through West Wratting and Balsham and then the fast descent into Hildersham, crossing the A1307 and into Great Abington. From here it was over the cycle bridge to Babraham and Sawston and for Greta back to Hauxton. Malcolm, who had ridden to the start at Hauxton now had to return to Carlton, giving him another very long ride.

A special thanks to Greta as this was a particularly enjoyable ride and for many of us unexplored roads and hamlets. Distance 58 miles. Edward Elmer

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