Edward writes: Once again we start with yet another account of the un-spring like weather which has been a feature of most rides this month. It was overcast, drizzle and cool with little prospect of improvement throughout the day. Despite it all nine riders assembled in Hauxton including Greta who was making her first trip out on a Thursday. This was good news and let’s hope a new beginning for her. Mick C was today’s leader and we left Hauxton with a following wind out to Little Shelford and Newton. This soon brought us to Thriplow and Fowlmere and then down to the A10 at Shepreth. This gave us just a few miles to run through Meldreth, up to Kneesworth and then into Bassingbourn and Hattie’s Coffee Shop for our coffee break.
As a club this was our first visit to Hattie’s, which is small with about half a dozen seats inside and with two or three tables outside on the pavement. For today’s ride this was OK but if we had been a bigger group we would have had to stand, although it’s possible more seating could be provided outside. Despite this the coffee and cakes were good and we received a warm welcome. Greta did not ride with us, preferring to take a shorter route out accompanied by Peter W and as we left they were busy chatting and would return to Hauxton from there.
The remainder cycled on to Littlington where we turned onto the Royston road which leads to the railway and then along the A505 for about a quarter of a mile before turning off for the brisk climb up to Therfield.
Here David W completed an unwanted hat-trick with three punctures within a quarter of a mile before eventually changing his tyre and finally getting under way again.
With the wind still with us we made good progress through to Buckland where we crossed the A10 and headed towards the B1368 just outside Barkway. Both these last two stretches were along quiet roads not often used for Thursday rides and how much nicer it would all look with some sunshine (if only).
After we crossed the B1368 we wended our way to Anstey and through all three Pelhams before arriving at Furneaux Pelham and the Brewery Tap to find that they did not do food and the pub was up for sale. It wasn’t so long ago that we called into this pub to be told that they did do food. It may go some way to explain why their telephone number is unobtainable. We decided to go on to Clavering where we considered The Cricketers which was very busy before finally deciding on Clavering Lakes where we arrived at 2 pm and nearly forty miles.
After lunch we turned north and into the wind and another session of heavy drizzle. Even though the may flower is out in these conditions it’s hard to detect the aroma and so we plodded on to Langley Upper Green and through Duddenhoe End and then onto Chrishall.
Now that we were amongst the highest points in the county from here back to Hauxton would be nearly all downhill. As we descended from the Elmdon turning the cloud was so low it was sitting on the road and the surrounding fields giving us restricted visibility. At Chrishall Grange we took the turning for Fowlmere and then finished the ride the same way we had come out in the morning. During this ride, which covered 57 miles, we must have passed at least five pubs with "For Sale" signs outside. We must thank Mick for taking us round even though this wasn’t a ride for the Thursday scrapbook. Our next ride will be in June so who knows? Edward Elmer
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