Friday, 30 September 2011

29 Sep: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Stradishall

Edward writes: The last few days of September and astonishing temperatures, probably better than anything we have experienced all summer. This meant another large turnout for the ever popular Thursday ride. This week we met at Greta's, and after setting off we made our way via the familiar route to Whittlesford from where we took the still relatively new cycle path to Sawston and thence to Babraham. Here we took the farm track which leads to the foot/cycle bridge over the A11 and then to Great Abington. However, we had a small delay whilst Jim's puncture was fixed, also an opportunity to draw breath and take on water as by now the temperature had risen considerably.

From Gt Abington we made the first of our three crossings of the A1307 going via Hildersham through Linton and over the A1307 again. We now headed for Bartlow, turned left and back over the A1307 for the third and last time. This took us on the rural route to Streetly End and finally to Horsheath.

At Horsheath we took our coffee break in the ever-poular Old Red Lion Inn where we are always made to feel welcome. As is often the case we were joined by other riders and our group had expanded to eighteen or twenty. We all sat outside and enjoyed a very leisurely break and it was probably with some reluctance when it was time to start cycling again. When we left Horseheath we briefly retraced our route and then made for West Wickham after which we turned right to take the road to Thurlow. The road to Thurlow and beyond right up to the A143 is delightfully rural - very narrow and stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and again a chance to observe the rapidly change fields as they are prepared for another year. After we joined the A143 it is but a short ride to our lunch stop, namely Tubby Ts. Some sat outside to enjoy the sun whilst others preferred to sit inside as by now the sun was extremely hot.

After a relaxed lunch we started again and found ourselves in gorgeous country lanes including the wonderfully named Trotting Horse Lane and finally arriving in Great Bradley. Our next destination was to be Malcolm's, and to get there we went back to Thurlow and back along the roads we had come out on in the morning and then turned to Carlton. At Malcolm's we all sat out in the garden and took tea and a specially baked cake from Gwen. Our thanks to both Malcolm and Gwen for their unfailingly generous hospitality.

When it was time to go we went via Brinkley and then the fast descent to Six Mile Bottom, over the A11 and then into Gt Wilbraham and Fulbourn. At Great Wilbraham some of our group left us to get back home into Cambridge and the remainder went via Fulbourn, over the Gogs and then into the hospital site, onto the DNA path to Great Shelford and then to Hauxton where the ride ended. Thanks to Greta for a memorable day out and we wonder if it's possible to get any more days like this before summer finally ends. We did 55 miles. Edward Elmer

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