Edward writes: Another twist in the weather as fourteen riders gathered at Hauxton for today's long ride out to Great Saling. Last week we may have thought we had made it into summer, but the unpleasant weather is proving difficult to shift. The forecast was for a cool day with strong winds, which at least were finally coming in from the south west as opposed to the persistent northerly winds which seem to have blown for most of this year.
We met as usual at Greta’s house and this Sunday afternoon her garden is open to the public as part of the Hauxton open gardens weekend. Jim B was in charge today and so we set off in a southerly direction through Little Shelford and Whittlesford, over the A505 and to Ickleton via Duxford. This, of course, brought us to our old favourite Coploe Hill with its long climb but to be rewarded with fine views all around. We stopped briefly to re-group and then had to pedal downhill into the wind up to Catmere End and then the Littlebury Green turning and another climb before another rapid descent to Wendens Ambo. This left a mile or so on the main road to bring us into Newport and coffee which we took in Dorrington’s or R and R Saggers. Adrian and Greta had taken a shorter route to avoid Coploe Hill and were already enjoying their break before the main group arrived.
During coffee an elderly lady spoke to us and she was most interesting with her fund of local knowledge including telling us about a stained-glass window in Anstey Church which gives the names of all the American airmen from Nuthamstead who were killed in action during the last war. For those carrying on It was time to start again and at 11.30 we left Newport continuing south along the main road up to the Henham turning. From now on the ride followed very quiet and narrow roads all the way to our lunch stop at Great Saling airfield. Although we were heading south we were also heading slightly east and at no point were we cycling directly into the wind, and in fact we had a fairly easy trip.
Shortly after Henham Jim included a mile or so of off-road, presumably for Jacob’s benefit, and soon after we arrived in Broxted. This was followed by another infrequently cycled route through Tilty where we could just see a delightful looking church and then followed by Duton Hill before reaching the B184 which we followed for a few hundred yards before turning off for Little Cambridge and then on to Lindsell. The grass verges are now filling up with wild flowers even if most of it appears no better than cow parsley but it’s still a shame that the local councils find it necessary to cut so many back which will prevent more flowering as the summer (should we get one) goes by. After Lindsell and another off-road track we finally reached the airfield and lunch, arriving at 1 pm and 34 miles to the good.
Leaving Great Saling
The only other customers were a group of bikers and, possible because of the high winds, no flying was taking place, and therefore we were served very quickly. It is a small menu but what was on offer was good quality and reasonably priced. We left the airfield at 2 pm and ready for the afternoon session with the prospect of a following wind. Once again Jim had plotted the route through quiet roads before bringing us to Great Bardfield and we avoided the temptation to call in at the Blue Egg, being a little too close to Great Saling.
More twists and turns took us through the Sampfords and it's nice to report that this road has been resurfaced and so, for now, free of pot holes. Next up was Radwinter and Ashdon and Linton, Great Abington, Babraham and Sawston. This just left four to go over the cycle way to Whittlesford and Great Shelford and the only rain of the day with a passing shower. The ride ended in Cambridge after 68 very pleasant miles and not as expected too much affected by the wind. Our thanks to Jim for a very well researched route. Edward Elmer
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