Thursday, 1 September 2011

1 Sep: Thursday ride to Newport and Clavering Lakes

Edward writes: Today we were welcomed by blue skies, a warm September sun and not too much in the way of wind, all the ingredients to make a near perfect day for cycling. About a dozen riders set off from Greta's house in Hauxton and it was particularly good to have John, Greta's husband, join us for the ride as far as Coploe Hill.

Soon after we set off our numbers had increased by a further two, so quite a large group made its way towards Little Shelford and through to Whittlesford and eventually to the ever-busy A505. We all crossed safely and we rode through Duxford on our way to Ickleton and the familiar route up Coploe Hill where we stopped at the usual lay-by and a spot of regrouping after the lengthy climbs.

Once again the views across the countryside were spectacular from this high vantage point with most of the fields in the transition phase following the harvest. Once we got going again it was a further climb up to Catmere End and then turning towards Littlebury Green but turning off before the village to descend into Wendons Ambo, over the level crossing to join the A1383 for the short ride into Newport and our coffee stop.

Here we split up, some going to R and R Saggers and some preferring Dorrington's, both equally pleasant. In Newport we were joined by yet more members making for an ever expanding group. After our break we carried along the A1383 out of Newport before turning off just before the M11 crossing and took the road towards Henham, but turning off to go through Ugley and briefly back on to the A1383 before turning off into Rickling Green and the delightful descent into Manuden, a truly rural scene. After Manuden it was the gentle climb up to Clavering and the Lakes which was our lunch stop.

Again we split up, some having sandwiches and others a meal in the cafe. We, and others, overwhelmed the hard-working staff, and the we had a lengthy wait before our meals were served, but nonetheless, well worth waiting for.

After a long and leisurely lunch break we finally set off again at 2.20pm. However, at this point things went slightly awry when one of the last six to leave had a puncture and consequently this group got left behind from the main group.

After about 15 minutes we were on our way again and followed what we hoped was the official route home, and this was via Langley Upper Green. This means cycling through the cricket field where fielders on the boundary are in fact separated from the wickets by the road which runs through the ground. After Langley we cycled through Duddenhoe End, then down to the B1039, turned left and up to Chrisall followed by the long descent to Chrisall Grange. From here we went over to Fowlmere and Newton and Hauxton. This was a total of 43 miles in great cycling weather. Thanks as ever to Greta for another good day out. Edward Elmer

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