David writes: Today was miraculously nice after yesterday's foul weather and the promise of more to come. This was my second go at leading; I thought that if I made a total hash of it so I wouldn't be asked again... Today's destinations were Horseheath for the coffee stop and Thaxted for lunch. Twelve of us set off after the photoshoot in Greta's garden, taking the Whittlesford road to the path leading to the church then through the oilseed rape fields to the level crossing just before the A1301.
We arrived at the level crossing just as the barrier was coming down but fortunately we didn't have a long wait for the train to pass.
Stuck at the crossing
We continued on into Sawston and along the cycle path to Babraham, where all but one took the rutted track to the footbridge over the A11. The one who didn't, me, wimped out after going over the handlebars on the track last time, joining the others at the giraffe. We had a nice quiet ride from here through Abington and Linton and then over the A1307 to Bartlow. We then had a gentle climb up to Streetly End before continuing round into Horseheath and The Red Lion. We were greeted there by several other riders and two enormous plates of chocolate brownies and other delicacies. Yum!
Coffee at Horseheath
Suitably refreshed and re-energised we took the beautifully quiet lanes through Castle Camps, Helion Bumpstead and Little Sampford, cutting down past Bardfield End Green to Bardfield Road and soon afterwards, Thaxted.
The sarnies folk ate their lunches on the steps of what a local said used to be the town prison, before joining the serious eaters on the tables outside Parrishes. (You can read more about Thaxted Guildhall here - Editor)
Bikes at the old prison in Thaxted
Sarnies at Thaxted
We watched a wonderful aerobatic display given by some recently arrived swifts, and were promised a peloton of 50 Cypriot cyclists but sadly non appeared.
Beer and grub at Thaxted
It felt hard to get going again after sitting in such a pleasant location and enjoying the moments of warm sunshine. But needs must, and we took a route back through Debden and Newport before heading west to Great Chishill and down that lovely long hill to Flint Cross.
Les belles dames
At Fowlmere the Cambridge contingent went left for Newton and home while the local boys cut back down Mill Road and back to Meldreth.
The bike computer said 69 miles, leaving the unfulfilled thought of an extra mile for a round 70.
Several of you asked me about my impending end-to-end ride, starting on 26 May. All being well you can follow progress at cyclingswampy.blogspot.com with a description of our escapade at www.justgiving.com/refosriders David Marsh
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