Thursday, 4 April 2013

3 Apr: Thursday ride to Newport and Clavering Lakes

Edward writes: Another Thursday brought us another unpleasant day in the long saga of this cold spring. Eleven riders met at Greta's house in Hauxton under leaden skies and, no surprise at all, another very cold north-east wind. Hardly great cycling weather but encouraging that this number had made the effort.

Among those out today included Jim who was paying us another visit from his west country home, and Nick who made his debut last week and was out with us again today.

Duxford Grange

We left Hauxton, through Little Shelford, and as we were basically going south the wind was more or less on our backs. We reached the A505 at Duxford and probably most people were expecting another trip over Coploe Hill but in fact went along Duxford Grange which runs parallel to the air museum. This shouldn’t have been a surprise as this ride was led by Adrian and he has a vast knowledge, it seems, of all east anglia’s byways. Thus, at the end of Duxford Grange we soon found ourselves in Chrishall Grange which meant a long climb up to the Elmdon turn.


On the hill there was still evidence of frozen snow. From this turning we ran into Chrishall and then downhill to the B1039 which connects Royston to the former A11 at Wendons Ambo.

Wendens Ambo

At Wendens Ambo we crossed the railway and joined the main road for the final mile into Newport. This was our coffee break and some took advantage of sitting in the warm in R and R Saggers, whilst the remainder sat outside Dorrington’s and shivered with their cake and coffee. Already at the former were Peter W, Doug and also Joseph who was sporting the bike he had been building.


After coffee the temperature was still only two degrees so Richard and Tony decided wisely that sense was better than insensibility and returned for home. This left everyone else to soldier on through Newport before taking the turning for Elsenham. This required a bit clambering to get through as the road is officially closed until tomorrow following six months of work to the overhead electricity cables. We managed to squeeze past the two gates and then went back down to the main road again at Ugley.

Near Ugley

At this point we started to travel north and consequently began to face the wind, but we made steady progress through Rickling Green and Rickling before reaching the turning for Clavering and the last couple of miles to our lunch stop at the lakes.

It was nice to feel warm again, but outside it was snowing, although it didn’t settle, but it was hardly spring like. After lunch we said goodbye to Doug, Peter and Joseph and from now on it was face wind all the way. We went through Langley Lower Green, Little Chishill and then to Shaftenhoe End. In the summer this would be a very attractive ride, but today it didm’t feel like in this wintry scene.

Shaftenhoe End

Strangely, though, the temperature had risen to a balmy four degrees and it did actually feel warmer, or is that less cold!

Shaftenhoe End

Next was Barley and now it was downhill all the way to Flint Cross on the A505, quickly followed by Fowlmere. We went through Thriplow and, although their Daffodil weekend was two weeks ago, barely half of their daffodils have flowered, many not even on bud. The last leg of this ride was through Newton and Little Shelford before finishing in Great Shelford having covered 45 miles. We are indebted to Adrian for the ride and to everyone who came out making it another successful Thursday ride. Edward Elmer

View this route on a larger map

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