Thursday, 13 December 2012

13 Dec: Thursday ride to Newport and Hadstock

Edward writes: This morning was on the cold side, to say the least. In fact in Great Shelford overnight temperatures had fallen as low as minus 6.3C. This didn’t stop seven brave souls (or foolhardy) arriving at the start for our trip out to Newport and Hadstock. Luckily there was no wind and this helped, and was in contrast to last week’s cancelled ride when the north wind made for a very unpleasant day.

We went out the usual way through Whittlesford to the A505 which brought us into Duxford. There followed Ickleton and the climb up Coploe Hill. This is steady climb but, as always, the views from the top are worth the effort. We stopped at the regular re-grouping lay-by which allowed those with glasses to wipe them clear.

Coploe Hill

Going downhill from here required extra vigilance as, although the roads were mainly dry, there were still patches of ice ready to catch the unwary. We reached Catmere End then turned towards Littlebury Green but turned again into the narrow lane which eventually leads to the long downhill into Wendons Ambo. Once again we were travelling through frost covered fields, many with fieldfares thus making for a very attractive winter’s scene. Without the wind none of us felt particularly cold even with the temperature hovering at about zero all day. Once through Wendons Ambo we joined the old A11 for the run into Newport and coffee. Although the stop was scheduled for R and R Saggers we all went to Dorringtons where some of us warmed up with bacon rolls.

Wendens Ambo

When we left Newport Dave returned home but we were joined by Peter W so we still had seven riders. We went south for a mile out of Newport and turned towards Widdington and then straight through to join the B184. After about a mile on this road we left it to head up to Sewards End and here great care was needed all the way.

Debden-Sewards End

These are very nice country lanes and great for summer cycling but today there were many stretches with a lot of ice on them. All of us got through unscathed and after about four miles of lanes we joined the road down into Ashdon. From here it was through Bartlow and then Hadstock and our lunch stop at the King’s Head. I don’t think this pub has been used much on Thursday rides but we were well looked after, with a good selection of beers and good menu - and warm!

Hadstock

Hadstock

After lunch the view was that we should get home as quickly as possible as it was only going to get colder. Peter left us here and the remainder went into Linton and Hildersham, over the A1307 and into Great Abington. Instead of going over the cycle bridge and the farm we went on to the Four Went Ways roundabout and then into Babraham. This was followed by Sawston and Great Shelford where the ride ended after 44 miles. Despite the cold all seven enjoyed a good day out. Edward Elmer


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