Thursday, 23 August 2012

23 Aug: Thursday ride to Linton and Stradishall

We have two reports today, one from Edward, our regular Thursday blogger and one from John, today's leader.

Edward writes: This Thursday fourteen riders assembled in Hauxton, many of whom arrived early enough to say hello to Greta as she looks forward to these Thursday mornings and a chance to see all her friends. Today we were in the care of John F who was to lead us on an extremely rural route with many twists and turns and taking many of us along roads we had not previously explored.

The beginning, of course, could only be out of Hauxton and along to Whittlesford and then to the cycle ways through Sawston and then to Babraham where we took the track through the farm and up to cycle bridge. This gave us an opportunity to regroup and telephone to Joseph who had kindly agreed to provide teas and coffee for us.

Footbridge between Babraham and Abington

From the cycle bridge we turned into a quiet Gt. Abington, over the A1307 and via Hildersham and thence into Linton where we found Joseph poised with his kettles. By now the temperature had risen and it was very warm in Joseph’s garden. Not only did we get drinks but Joseph had made a cake for us and so we had a very enjoyable half-hour of good hospitality.

Coffee at Joseph's

It was soon time to move on and by now, just like the Pied Piper, our numbers had increased to eighteen. On leaving Linton we crossed the A1307 to gain the road to Bartlow followed by the long, but not too steep, ride up to Castle Camps. After the Camps we soon found ourselves in Helions Bumpstead and here John introduced the first of his loops to take us on quiet rides, which the Thursday group at least, haven’t very often ventured. This certainly made for a very enjoyable morning’s ride, especially as the south west wind was predominately in our favour. After negotiating some farm traffic we got through to Sturmer, followed by Kedington. At this time of the year it’s not unexpected to see so much farm traffic on the roads and when one looks at the fields to see how quickly the harvest is coming in we realise how fast the season is changing. Already some fields are being prepared for their next crop.

In the country

Farm traffic

From Kedington it was more rural exploration as we went via Brockley Green and Hundon and then over the A143 to Farley Green and a loop round back to Stardishall and Tubby T’s for our lunch stop.

Lunch at Tubby T’s, Stradishall

As usual lunch was a mixture of people eating sandwiches, others bought from Tubby T and some others went to the next door fish and chip shop. These weren’t the only treats on offer as Sarah had made us a Victoria plumb sponge crumble cake which she had carried round with her and of course it was all eaten. The Thursday group certainly know how to live high.

Sadly it was time to move on and we left Tubby Ts and went via Cowlinge, Mill End and up to Kirkling, again through a maze of country lanes. After Kirkling it was Woodditton and Stetchworth and now it was all downhill and once again into familiar territory. Next was Dullingham followed by the sweep down past the Polo Club, over the A1304 and and the A11 into Swaffham Bulbeck where we took the road into Bottisham. This enabled us to join the cycle path alongside Newmarket Road where we carried along to the turning to Fen Ditton. At this point the group split, the Cambridge going through Fen Ditton and along the river and the South Cambridgeshire group going via Cherry Hinton. In central cambridge this made a ride of 62 miles and our thanks are due to John for devising such a good route, made possible by a good deal of research. This was certainly a ride for the Thursday scrapbook. Edward Elmer

John adds: Fourteen cyclists met in Greta's immaculate garden for le grand d├ępart. We were all pleased to see Greta becoming increasingly mobile. In perfect cycling weather we set off to Joseph's house at Linton for coffee, tea and scrumptious home-made cakes in his sun-trap garden. Thence, numbers having increased to about 18, we re-crossed the deadly A1307 to Bartlow, into Essex through the Bumpsteads and crossed the A1017 at Sturmer into Suffolk and on to Stradishall via Keddington and Hundon. The route crosses and re-crosses the splendid Stour valley through magnificent countryside now showing its Autumn face with many cornfields in stubble. Having crossed the A143 we reached Tubby's passing "the Old Bakehouse" at Farley Green. Who were its customers in such an isolated spot?

Tubby's, eerily devoid of its usual leather-clad bikers, was bathed in glorious sunshine where we enjoyed an al fresco lunch including a special treat of Sara's home-made crumble. Shouldn't the CTC have a prize for home-cooking? We returned to Cambridge through the weirdly pronounced Cowlinge and the horsey villages of Stetchworth, Dullingham and Swaffham Prior. My home-to-home distance was about 69 miles. John Ferguson

View this route on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Sounds lovely - sorry I missed it ... and Sarah's cake! :-)