Edward writes: Today started chilly and a bit misty leaving us with the usual dilemma as to what clothes to wear. The forecasts for Monday and Tuesday had not been entirely accurate as sunny days had been forecast but we all know how they turned out. In the event after only about half hour we were bathed in hazy sunshine which was to last all day and made for a splendid day out. Today we welcomed Mike, a visitor from New Zealand, who rode with us for the first time and we very much hope he enjoyed it enough to join us again.
One again Greta was at the helm and once again we had about eighteen cyclists and this meant that we should split into two groups so as to minimise our impact on traffic. From a road safety point of view this makes sense, but on the other hand it tends to have the effect of lessening the social side of the ride. But with these large numbers we probably need to experiment and try to come up with a solution that can satisfy most people.
We left Hauxton, through Little Shelford, Whittlesford where the first group crossed the A505 and into Duxford at the Volvo crossing and the second group went up towards the motorway to go into Duxford near to the War Museum. This left both groups with the ride into Ickleton and the inevitable Coploe Hill where we stopped at the usual re-grouping place at the top of the hill. Now followed the favourite sweep down and then up to Catmere End. The views over the neighbouring hills under the sunshine were a sure indicator that spring is definitely with us.
We then took the Littlebury Green turning but turned left before the actual village for another great rural ride as we swept downhill again to the Saffron Walden-Royston road and then into Wendons Ambo, over the railway crossing, and the short trip on the B1383 into Newport for our coffee stop which was split between R & R Saggers and Dorrington's. Mike S and Doug met us for coffee.
After coffee we split into two groups but this time took different ways for the journey to our lunch stop at Clavering Lakes. Greta's group went via Wicken Bonhunt, Rickling Green, Manuden before turning to Clavering. The second group which was six strong went an entirely different way (mapped) and chose the climb up to Widdington before heading back downhill to briefly rejoin the B1383 at Ugley. After the four hundred yards or so on this road we turned off at Rickling Green and then went via Rickling and then joined the road to Clavering and the Lakes and both groups managed to arrive within about five minutes of each other at about 12.40 pm. Phil was already waiting for us. Luckily for us they were not too busy and our large group was served reasonably quickly and we all sat out in the sun for a very pleasant lunch.
We left the Lakes at 1.50pm and came home via Langley Upper Green and its cricket field where the road goes within the boundary line. By this time we were riding about eighteen strong but were well spread out and after Langley we went through Duddenhoe End, followed by the quick descent for a brief ride again on the Royston-Saffron Walden road before turning into Gt. Chrishall, followed by the very fast descent to Chrishall Grange. Here some of us turned left and went home via Fowlmere and Thriplow. It was interesting to see the state of the daffodils as this coming weekend is their daffodil festival. Let's hope the sun shines for the next few days so that they have a successful weekend. Even if all the daffodils are not all out I would think the increasing amount of blossom in the hedgerows will help compensate. This just left us with the ride back via Newton and Little Shelford so that we finished with 45 miles.
As ever thanks to Greta for yet another great day out. Edward Elmer
Photos 1,2,3,5 by Lynn Brown. Photos 4,5,6 By Edward Elmer.
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