Thursday, 29 March 2012

29 Mar: Thursday ride to Ickleton and Horseheath

Edward writes: Once again our luck was in and the fine weather continued for this Thursday's ride out to Horseheath. Fourteen riders left Greta's House in Hauxton and, following the format for the last few weeks, we divided into two groups. This time we went out towards Little Shelford where we immediately turned right to take the road to Newton. From here we kept on the B1368 up to Fowlmere where we turned back to Thriplow for a loop through the village and out again to the B1368 and back to Newton. The daffodils in Thriplow are still flourishing and a fine sight it makes, especially under the sun and the blue skies. From Newton we took the road which goes over the motorway to Whittlesford, and in Whittlesford, we did a tour through the village before coming out on the Duxford road. From here it was down to the A505, into the village, round by the factory site and over the ford to enter Hinxton. We then rode by the grounds of the Sanger Institute, crossed over the railway and into Ickleton and thence to the Riverside Barns for our coffee stop.

Riverside Barns, Ickleton

Riverside Barns, Ickleton

Coffee turned out to be a protracted event with the second group not leaving until 11.45 am. With new riders joining us for coffee our numbers were now well over twenty. Among those who joined here was Bob - it was good to see him out again and let's hope it won't be too long before Myrtle is able to join us again. With twenty plus customers arriving we somewhat overwhelmed the little cafe, hence the delayed start for the trip to Horseheath.

The first group set off at least fifteen to twenty minutes before the second group could leave and from Ickleton we took the short farm track to Coploe Hill and a lovely ride through to Catmere End.

Coploe Hill

This is a favourite with many people and with good reason, with fine weather, not too much wind and great views. After Catmere End it was the familiar ride down Chestnut Avenue, past Audley End mansion and into Saffron Walden, and unusually, not stopping, but passing straight through for the ride out on the Ashton Road. As with most roads out of Saffron Walden this is a steady climb and as usual the views are worth the effort.

From Ashdon we then went through Bartlow and up to the A1307 for the climb up to Streetley End. The hedgerows are now bursting into life with an abundance of celandines, some wild violets, and in people's gardens aubretia is out. All this and the blossoms, and the fine weather made for a very pleasant ride.

After Streetley End it was just a short hop into Horseheath and lunch. The first group had arrived quite a bit earlier than the second group and this had the effect of spreading the work load of the bar staff. Of course we all sat outside and enjoyed a relaxing lunch.

Old Red Lion, Horseheath

Old Red Lion, Horseheath

As is usual, some made their own way home and this left about ten to follow Greta for the ride back to Hauxton. This took us over the A1307, through Cardinal's Green and on to Shudy Camps. From here we turned right to go back into Bartlow, followed by another crossing of the A1307 and into Linton. We took the back road round Linton, past Hildersham and over the A1307 (again) and into Gt. Abington. We took the footbridge and farm track to go into Babraham, followed by the cycle way into Sawston and followed this with the cycleway out to Whittlesford and then on to Little Shelford and back to Hauxton where the ride ended. We rode for 52 miles and we thank Greta for another good day out. Edward Elmer

Photos 1,5,9 by Edward Elmer. Photos 2,3,4,5,6,7 by Lynn Brown

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