Sunday, 16 September 2012

16 Sep: Afternoon ride to Braughing

Peter writes: On this fine, mild afternoon I was surprised that there were only four of us gathered at Brookside – Tom, John F, John and myself. Our destination was Braughing Church Hall with its (deserved) reputation for excellent home made cake. The prospect of a strong head wind all the way there made us pause for thought on the route. Nobody liked the idea of toiling up the B1368 while being blown backward. In addition, John had a keen desire to visit Nuthampstead, so we quickly decided to go via Fowlmere, Great Chishill and Nuthampstead, with a fall-back plan to stop for tea at Hare Street or the Woodman Inn if the wind proved too much for us.

We made good time as far as Fowlmere and then welcomed the shelter offered by hedges in the back lanes on the way up through Heydon to Great Chishill. As we climbed up from Shaftenhoe End, we began to feel the resistance. It was as if we were being made to work extra hard for our cake! However, the weather and countryside were glorious so we were content to take our time.

Finally we reached Nuthampstead, and here is the picture to prove that we fulfilled John’s dream:

We then swooped down to Anstey, joined the B road near Hare Street and were at tea at around 4.40pm. The day ride had apparently been and gone, but there was still plenty to eat. Shortly afterwards, Tina joined us, having ridden directly from Royston. I chatted with the lady taking the money as I paid for some extra cakes to take home for the family, and she told me that they had had an excellent day, with near record takings.

We rode directly home along the B1368, considerably faster than on the way out even though the wind had shifted round toward the west so wasn’t giving us as much help as I had hoped. I arrived home as the sun set in a blaze of orange to round off an excellent afternoon’s cycling, at around 7.10pm after cycling 51 miles (and it felt a lot further!) Peter Hutchison

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