Sunday, 5 June 2011

5 Jun: Afternoon ride to Braughing

Tina writes: Richard led a round dozen riders south from Brookside, down Trumpington Road, through the Shelfords and south again along the B1368 to Newton and on to Fowlmere. Cow parsley along the verges was already going to seed and being replaced by mauve mallow trumpets and clumps of scarlet poppies. Taking a left turn past the village hall, we cycled along Chrishall Road to meet and cross the A505 heading towards Chrishall Grange.

With the wind at our backs, the going was relatively easy, though riders spread out as we climbed steadily, crossing the border into Essex and paused to re-group, as the road levelled out.

Taking a left turn, we rode through Chrishall, past scenic thatched cottages and the Red Cow pub and reached the junction with the busier B1039 where Tony left us to cycle north on his homeward journey. We turned down a quiet lane, which soon faded into a rough track, leading through a woodland area, before coming out into the open with arable fields on both sides. John’s mountain bike really came into its own here, as he sailed along, while the rest of us with narrower tyres, cautiously negotiated ruts and bumps.

We soon dropped down to Lower Langley Green and then on towards Meesden. Crossing the Hertfordshire border, terrain became progressively hillier as we visited all three ‘Pelhams’ (Brent, Stocking and Furneaux), but the narrow hedged lanes provided a pleasant contrast to the more open expanses of Cambridgeshire.

The occasional spot of rain became more insistent and pausing to don jackets and count heads, we realised John had dropped off the back. Richard and another rider turned back to retrieve him while Jacob led the main group on. Several more twists and turns and a long downhill swoop along ‘The Causeway’ finally brought us to Braughing, where the ladies in the village hall were still serving their delicious home made teas. The rest of our party arrived a few minutes later and we joined Bob N who had ridden direct. The sudden rush of hungry cyclists required more plates, but luckily there were plenty of cakes and scones to go round.

After we’d relaxed and refuelled, the group set off up the B1368, taking the direct route back to Cambridge via Hare Street, Barkway, (where Bob and I took the Royston road home), Newton and then retracing the road up through Shelfords to Cambridge.

Thanks to Richard for devising a pleasant three counties route, through some delightful villages and quiet lanes and for ensuring the whole group finally made it to tea! Tina Filby

Photos 1 and 4 by Tina Filby, remaining photos by Julia Hochbach.

View this route on a larger map

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