Thursday, 7 July 2011

7 Jul: Thursday ride to Castle Camps and Great Yeldham

Edward writes: Despite the weather forecast about a dozen members arrived at Greta's house in Hauxton for today's ride.

Had this ride been a football match we would have no difficulty in describing it as a game of two halves: very wet and windy up until lunch time and dry and less windy after lunch.

We set off with optimism and made our way through familiar roads to Whittlesford where we took the new cycle way via Sawston to Babraham. Again following familiar roads we went through Gt. Abington (not stopping to look at the giraffe), over the A1307 to gain Linton via Hildersham. By now the wind was making itself felt and spreading us out so in Linton we waited for the group to join together again.

After Linton we again crossed the A1307 and headed up to Bartlow followed by more climbing against the wind to arrive at the little green in Castle Camps which was to be our coffee stop. Not a proper coffee stop, just a break from cycling. Here we were joined by Gwen and Malcolm and shortly after by the indefatigable Doug.
After our break we pressed on through the Bumpsteads and now the weather got very serious with wind and now heavy showers so much so that we had to take an unscheduled stop to shelter in the sports ground pavilion in Stambourne.

The rain eased enough for us to start again but only to resume shortly after so that some seriously wet riders arrived at the Waggon and Horses pub in Great Yeldham. In some cases sandwiches were abandoned and a hot meal taken instead. For the hour or so we were in the pub the rain was more or less continuous, in sharp contrast to the apparent lack of rain in the Cambridge area - nothing new about that.

After lunch, the showers had passed and we made our way up to Stoke by Clare by way of Tilbury Juxta Clare (an interesting name) and Ashen. Now that the rain had eased and there was some sunshine it was possible to appreciate the countryside and again notice the fine displays of wild flowers that brighten-up our country lanes. By now the wind was helping us and we made good progress as we passed through Kedington, Gt.Wratting and Withersfield before finally arriving in Balsham where we took a small break.

With the wind behind us we made very rapid progress on the predominately downhill stretch to Fulbourn. Here the group split up for people to make their own way home and the ride finished in Great Shelford after 58 miles. Edward Elmer

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