Edward writes: A glorious day and, in contrast to last Thursday, thirteen riders assembled for the start of our ride out to Reed and Orwell. This may have been seen as a final opportunity for a leg stretch before the Christmas period begins.
We set off over Chapel Hill toward Barrington and were rewarded with the first of the day's many glorious views. The sun over the land down below in Barrington and beyond made the view look really wonderful. At the bottom of the hill we turned left and headed towards Foxton and the railway crossing where we waited for a train to go through. As we were crossing the road the gates came down again but this didn't prevent a white van driver making a risky dash through as the gates descended.
After Foxton we took the road to Fowlmere and, although the wind wasn't all that strong, it did make its presence felt over this stretch as there is no hedgerow protection. After Fowlmere it was out to the A505 which we crossed with relative ease and then the long incline up to Chrisall Grange. This was followed by the long climb up to the turnings for Elmdon and Heydon. This was an opportunity for the group to reassemble as we had become quite strung out during this climb. We now had the advantage of height as we were able to appreciate the views which were made even better by the bright sunshine - it hardly looked a Christmas scene but after last week's winds and cold nobody was complaining. Just after we passed through Gt Chishill Peter W's chain broke and, as ever, Mike C was quickly on hand to offer assistance. While the repairs took place the remainder carried on towards Barkway.
In Barkway we turned right on to the road to Reed and, again with the bright sunlight, the ride was just an extremely pleasant experience. At Reed we stopped at the Silver Ball Cafe and were joined by Doug, Brian B, Mike S and Mike B, thus bringing our total to seventeen. No sooner had we arrived Mike C and Peter W followed us in complete with repaired chain.
After coffee we took the road out through Reed End followed by Therfield and the long descent down to the A505. This was probably the highlight of the morning as, again, the sunlit views over the surrounding countryside were a joy. Although the wind was against us for this descent it hardly mattered as our momentum downhill more than compensated. When we got to the A505 we travelled along it for about a quarter of a mile before taking the road which goes past Ashwell and Morden railway station. This then took us to Steeple Morden which then took us out to the road which runs between Guilden Morden and Wendy and thence to the A1198. This is quite a long road and luckily we had the benefit of a following wind, again adding to the pleasure of the trip. We joined the A1198 for a few yards before going on to the A603 for the run through Wimpole village and the turning into Orwell which was to be our lunch stop. Already at lunch were eight more of our club making for a busy time for the pub's staff.
This report goes no further than Orwell as many people wanted to make their own way home. This really was a ride for the scrapbook; we had the pleasure of a bright sunny day, great views, and for the most part the wind seemed to work in our favour. It goes without saying our gratitude to Greta for great day out. We rode 33 miles. The shortest ride on the shortest day! Edward Elmer
View this route on a larger map