Tina writes: Seven riders met at Brookside today, including new rider Jim. We had no appointed leader, so Tina suggested a southern loop to the Shelfords and onwards to Coploe Hill, before heading north to Fowlmere.
However in true democratic spirit, we incorporated Jacob's suggestion to detour before Whittlesford to view some woodland bluebells. As everything is blooming late this year, we did find a profusion of forget-me-nots and also verges starred with delicate white flowers of wild garlic... but no bluebells!
We crossed the A505 below Whittlesford and headed south towards Duxford, turning left just past the John Barleycorn towards Hinxton enjoying the quieter lanes. The ford was deep and fast flowing (because the mill was open according to a passer-by) so everyone kept to the footpath and bridge and Jacob suggested a short visit to the white clapboard watermill restored to working order by Cambridge Past Present and Future in the mid 1980s.
Back on the road, we had less than an hour to ride back to Shepreth so, ditching the original hilly plan up to Elmdon, we headed along to Ickleton and kept to the low-level straight Grange Road (into the wind!) We turned again at the end, riding north along a lane lined with purple lilac bushes, which would normally have been flowering, but were only just showing clusters of dark buds. This road brought us out at Chrishall Grange where the spotting rain became more persistent and it was definitely 'waterproofs on'! We crossed the A505 to Fowlmere and rode up through the village, taking the left fork at the war memorial, which led us straight along to cross the A10 and into Shepreth. Some day riders were just leaving as we arrived, but several more were still relaxing over tea and cake. We always receive a warm welcome at the Teacake - a small, friendly teashop with a fine line in interesting teas, superb coffee and delicious home-made cakes. (Chocolate and beetroot cake highly recommended!)
The warmth and cosiness, made it hard to contemplate venturing out into the rain again, but eventually we set off again at 5pm, the main group intending to return to Cambridge via Chapel Hill, Haslingfield and Barton, while I rode the few miles back to Royston. Total distance (according to mapmyride.com) 30 miles. Tina Filby
There's also a great photo on the Teacake Facebook page here (Facebook account not required).
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