Friday, 5 October 2012

4 Oct: Thursday ride to Saffron Walden and Dullingham

Edward writes: The weather forecasters had Thursday down as the best day of the week and this must have encouraged the eighteen riders who assembled in Hauxton for our trip to Saffron Walden and Dullingham. The early morning was certainly cold with overnight temperatures dipping down to 4 degrees but by 9.30 am the temperature was on the rise and the sun was out so all was set for a good day’s cycling. Today we welcomed Tom, a CTC member, but joining us for the first time, and naturally we hope he enjoyed his day and that he will join us again. Also out were Lynn, making a visit from Croatia, Edgar, making a visit from Lanzarote, and Sarah’s husband, Andy, making a guest appearance. As is usual with these rides there were comings and going throughout the day but in the afternoon we still had thirteen with us to complete the whole course.

To get to Saffron Walden there appears to be few options and we chose the Coploe Hill route which meant going out through Whittlesford, Duxford and Ickleton. We tried to keep to two groups and for the most part this was successful even if the personnel in each group changed a bit as we went along. After the regular regrouping at the top of the hill with the benefit of the following wind we zipped down Chestnut Avenue into Saffron Walden. We had coffee at the Temeraire where we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the warmth of the sun: in fact we took up every available seat.

Saffron Walden

After coffee we left Saffron Walden by way of Radwinter Road to reach Sewards End and this took us on to a delightful two mile country lane nearly without traffic before bringing us to the road into Ashdon.

Sewards End

Sewards End

From Ashdon we turned for Steventon End to use the roundabout route into Bartlow. The sun, blue skies and a following wind made for comfortable riding and we made good progress as we passed through West Wratting, Weston Colville and Brinkley on our way to Dullingham and The Boot public house. The two groups policy was holding and the first group had, by and large, ordered their lunches before the second group arrived. We had forewarned the pub to expect a dozen or so riders so they were well prepared and the service was friendly making this a nice stop.

Dullingham

After lunch some people left for home whilst the main group made its way to Newmarket and took the road next to the racecourse with its numerous stables which brought us to the road into Exning. In Exning we took the popular off-road (but tarmaced) route and rejoined the road again for the mile or so into Burwell. This was followed by Reach and then, rather than follow the main road, we entered the Lodes Way, by now into the wind, for the pleasant and traffic-free ride into Lode.

Reach

Again, to avoid the main road, we went up to Bottisham and then the cycle-way alongside Newmarket Road into Cambridge. At the road into Fen Ditton the Cambridge contingent left us and the remainder went via Cherry Hinton, the hospital cycle way into Great Shelford and finally Hauxton. A good day out with a distance of 62 miles. Edward Elmer


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