Edward writes:This Thursday a dozen riders assembled outside Haslingfield Church for today's ride to Braughing. The weather was sunny intervals but with a stiff breeze from the west and with the threat of thundery showers. Fortunately we didn't have to start by climbing Chapel Hill but instead we made our way towards Harston. Before we got out of Haslingfield Greta had a puncture but Dave was quickly on hand to fix things and we were soon on our way again. When we got to Harston the A10 was particularly busy and it was sometime before we got everybody across and onto the road to Newton.
At the bottom of the hill in Newton we turned right on the B1368 but veered off to go through Thriplow and then to Fowlmere. After Fowlmere it was the run out to the A505 and for once not specially busy and we all crossed quite quickly. Now we were into the long climb out of Cambridgeshire and into Barley and the undulating countryside of north east Essex and north Hertfordshire. Our next village was Barkway and we achieved this despite the attentions of two lady drivers who were evidently late for their appointments. We turned right in Barkway and took the road to Reed and as we gained height we were able to take in the glorious views over the surrounding countryside with hardly a building to be seen.
For coffee and tea we stopped in our usual Silver Ball Cafe beside the A10.
After our break Richard and Brian M made their way back home but we were joined by Doug and Brian who had cycled from Stevenage and mid-Bedfordshire respectively. From Reed we headed at first west towards Sandon, but not actually going there, before turning south towards Buntingford. Once again the countryside was at its best; green at last after the recent rains, flowers in the hedgerows - the usual poppies, oxeye dasies, mallow and plenty of others. Not only that the lack of buildings making it a truly delightful rural ride. We finally reached the A10 again, and into Buntingford high street, then onto Aspenden, West Mill and Nasty before crossing the A10 again and through a narrow track to arrive in Puckeridge. From here it was a short run into Braughing for our lunch stop. Lunch was at the Brown Bear pub and sadly this was to be their last day of trading.
After lunch we enjoyed a long downhill sweep with a following wind along narrow country lanes with high embankments - a great few minutes cycling. Although there were many threatening clouds we escaped the rain all afternoon. We now headed towards the Pelhams and then to Langley Lower Green.
Instead of the intended route through Duddenhoe End Jacob prevailed on our leader for us take a short detour on one of his off-road routes. Actually, the surface wasn't too bad despite one or two half-hearted mutterings. It's difficult to see exactly where this brought us to as there were no signposts but our next village was Chrisall and then it was downhill all the way, over the A505, Fowlmere, Newton and Hauxton where the ride ended.
As ever thanks to Greta for another great ride. 55 Miles. Edward Elmer
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