Thursday, 9 August 2012

9 Aug: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Clare

Edward writes: This Thursday had the makings of a great day’s cycling. The forecast was excellent, there was very little wind blowing from the south east and twelve riders had gathered at Greta’s. A longish ride was planned for the day and it seemed this was the sort of day to take advantage of, after all they haven’t been all that frequent this summer.

We set off towards Whittlesford at pace about military medium and as a result the group was able to keep together. At Whittlesford we met Mike B who was later to indulge his off-road abilities. We took the cycleways into Sawston and out to Babraham and then over the bridge to Gt Abington. We then tracked a familiar route through Hildersham and Linton before turning left in Bartlow for the climb up to Streetly End and then to Horseheath. Already at the inn were Gwen and Malcolm and Doug and we were also joined by Peter W and John F. It’s worth recording that we received an extremely warm welcome at the pub: coffee was brought out to us plus two plates of cakes, and all for £1 and it made for a very enjoyable half hour’s break.

Coffee at The Old Red lion Inn, Horseheath

When we had to set off again, maybe reluctantly, we left the pub and took the little footpath which led us across the A1307.

Crossing the A1307 at Horseheath

We continued through Cardinal’s Green, Mill Green and Nosterfield End before turning for Castle Camps. This was followed by the Bumpstead and in Steeple Bumpstead Sue had a puncture which Mike fixed with his usual aplomb and Averil repaired the puncture.

Puncture in Steeple Bumpstead

We soon got going again and took the undulating and attractive route via Stambourne and then on to Gt Yeldham. In Gt Yeldham we turned left and went via Tilbury Juxta Clare and Belchamp St Paul before turning off to take the road to Clare via Ovingdon. This brought us to Clare a little late at 1.30pm. Some of us had sandwiches which were taken in the country park and others took advantage of the fish and chip shop.

We finished lunch and left Clare at about 2.15pm and followed the B1063 out of the town before turning off to Poslingford.

Poslingford

After Poslingford we followed a delightfully rural route through Assington Green and Denston before reaching the A143 to the east of Stradishall. We then threaded or way through a series of narrow country roads passing through Lambfair Green, Cowlinge and travelling along the wonderfully named Trotting Horse Lane and eventually into Gt Bradley and then to Carlton. The roadsides are now full of wild flowers and prominent among them are the ubiquitous Rose Bay Willow Herb and of course Scabious. Also present was the sent of Meadow Sweet. In Carlton we accepted Gwen’s offer of tea and we had a relaxing and reviving half hour in the garden.

Carlton

After tea we took separate ways home in order to get to various parts of Cambridge, but the main group went back via West Wickham and Balsham before following the route out via Abington, Babraham and Sawston. The ride finished in Great Shelford having covered a bit above average 75 miles, but as was said at the beginning a day to make the most of. Edward Elmer


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