Thursday, 7 June 2012

7 Jun: Thursday ride to Reed and Haultwick

Edward writes: Today’s ride leader was Adrian, who led what turned out to be a very successful day out, and despite the afternoon rain. Eleven of us assembled in Haslingfield under overcast skies, all of us aware of the weather forecast for rain in the afternoon.

Adrian led us up Chapel Hill into Barrington. Although a tough start, this was worth it for the views over the village and neighbouring countryside. We went through the village and on to Shepreth and Meldreth where we turned to go up to Kneesworth and Basingbourn. The wind was kind to us: although for the most part we were face wind, it was never a significant issue. Our next village was Littlington where we turned left and headed towards the railway which runs alongside with the A505. We crossed the A505 and then turned for the climb up to Therfield, cutting through the golf course.

Towards Therfield

After Therfield it was a further climb up to Reed where we stopped for coffee at the Silver Ball where we were joined by Doug, thus bringing our numbers up to twelve.

Just before Reed

After coffee our numbers dropped considerably as five riders left us to return home, maybe not wanting to ride in the predicted rain. The remaining seven followed Adrian down into Barkway which was still patriotically decked out with union jacks. After Barkway we took the Nuthamstead road for a short while but turned towards Anstey and then doubled back to cross over the B1368 to go through Wyddial and then on to Buntingford, also still well decked out with union flags.

We rode along Buntingford High Street and then took the road under the A10 which led us to Aspenden.


We continued through Westmill and Nasty. The final few miles before our lunch stop were under increasingly threatening skies, but fortunately we arrived in at at the Rest and Welcome pub in Haultwick before any rain arrived. This pub doesn’t do lunches but the landlord was happy for us to eat our sandwiches in the bar.

After a relatively short lunch break we left Haultwick at 1.15pm but now the rain had started, albeit at this stage only a light drizzle - just a foretaste of the steady rain which was the main feature of the trip home. Soon after leaving the pub we said goodbye to Doug and this left the intrepid six to plough the way homeward through the rain. Luckily for us the wind was on our backs which helped us make good progress and the rain didn’t feel all that bad.

We made our way through quiet country lanes to Little Hadham where we crossed the A120 after the usual interminable wait at the traffic lights - at least there is a warning sign, telling road users to expect a long wait.

Little Hadham

We stuck to our task in the heavy rain with Rupert leading the way in splendid isolation followed by the remaining five. We eventually got to the Pelhams and Langley Lower Green.

Langley Upper Green

We rode on to Duddenhoe End and the last climb of the day up to Chrisall. From this high point in Cambridgeshire it was all down hill to Chrishall Grange, Duxford and then into Shelford where we considered the ride at an end. Many thanks to Adrian for a splendid ride, some of it new to all of us at some point. Despite the rain everybody enjoyed the ride and we covered 65 miles. Edward Elmer

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