Thursday, 6 September 2012

6 Sep: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Newmarket

Edward writes: After a very chilly early morning the day was already showing signs of fulfilling the promise of the weather forecasts. So it was no surprise when eighteen of us assembled at Greta’s house in Hauxton, and also to enjoy sitting in the sun in her lovely back garden. Just before the off Ian arrived in his new mode of transport and it was a guessing game as to what he was doing with such a bike. Was it to take Greta for a day out? This morning we welcomed another Mike who was joining us for the first time.

Greta’s new transport?

With such a large number we set off in two groups and for the ride to Horseheath and this was successful as the two groups kept well apart. There are limited routes to reach Horseheath and we chose to go the shortest way out to Whittlesford and over to Sawston using the cycle paths and then on to Babraham and the cycle bridge to Gt. Abington. At the cycle bridge Ian was given assistance to get his bike to the other side and we then went through Abington, over the A1307 into Hildersham where we turned left to climb up to Balsham. After Balsham it was just a short ride to West Wickham and then to Horseheath. The Old Red Lion Inn is an extremely popular stopping point and we were certainly not disappointed. Coffee and teas were soon served and once again out came the cakes. It’s unbelievable that this only costs us £1. At coffee we were joined by Doug, Malcolm and Vic, although he didn’t join us for the ride.

Old Red Lion Inn, Horseheath

After coffee we again set off in two groups and we retraced our route back to West Wickham and then up to Wratting Common where we turned right to go through Withersfield and then on to Thurlow. At this point in the day we only had a light breeze and was hardly noticeable. After Thurlow we cycled on to Gt. Bradley where we turned right and took the road to Cowlinge. However, just before reaching Cowling we turned left to Kirtling, followed by Upend and then on to Cheveley. We turned towards Stetchworth but then took the road into Newmarket where we arrived at about 1.20pm having travelled some 38 miles since leaving Hauxton. As so often happens with two groups mistakes occur and the second group turned left at Kirling and went to Newmaket via Saxon Street.

Wratting Common

Lunch was at the Horse Racing Museum which most of us took in the sun trap garden whilst some ate inside so that they could see the Paralympics on the television. Now Sara revealed the treat of the day as the previous night she had been busy baking a gorgeous apricot and almond cake. So, who needs celebrity chefs when we have Sarah!

Sarah's cake

After this treat it was time to set off for the afternoon session with the time about 2.15pm. We went up the high street and crossed over to Hamilton Road which runs by the side of the racecourse and this took us under the A14 and into Exning. Out of Exning we took the short off road (but a hard surface) bit which leads to Heath Road and then into Burwell. We looped round via Reach to get to Swaffham Prior and then on to Swaffham Bulbeck and thence to Bottisham. (At Reach some of the group broke away and went via the Lodes Way.) We then rode up the cycle way beside the main road, the Airport Way into Cherry Hinton and the hospital DNA path to Gt. Shelford and finally Hauxton. This was a journey of 60 miles. Edward Elmer

View this route on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Just to mention also that Jacob led an off-road tearaway group between Linton & Old Red Lion coffee stop via the Shorts Corner track & thence Streetly End.Ooh, Aah - the nettles - but great fun nevertheless. Thanks for super day out & sorry I missed Sarah's cake - the beckoning lure of yet more tracks caused me to deviate en route, thus missing the lunch rendezvous.