Thursday, 1 August 2013

1 Aug: Thursday ride to Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow

Edward writes: Probably the hottest day this year, certainly this month, drew seventeen to Hauxton for our day's outing to Great Dunmow. In charge today was Averil so we had every expectation of a good ride, especially as we were going out to Great Dunmow which is a destination not often visited on the Thursday rides. On today’s ride we welcomed Colin who was making his debut with the club.

Hauxton

When it was time to go we left Hauxton and progressed through Little Shelford, to Whittlesford and then to the very busy A505. As is our custom, with such a large number, we rode in two groups in the hope of keeping the motorists happy and ourselves safe. As we entered Duxford we veered round through the factory area, over the ford and railway and into Hinxton and then back over the railway to bring us into Ickleton.

Hinxton

This gave us the farm track up to Coploe Hill and our first regrouping at the top and time to take on board some water. Now it was plain sailing down and up again to Catmere End followed by Chestnut Avenue, looking a little depleted as several diseased trees have been taken down.

Coploe Hill

Now we were in Saffron Walden and our coffee stop at the Temeraire where we found Doug, Peter W and Joseph and shortly after we were joined by Tina. As the time was 11 am it was also time to check our phone apps to get the latest on the Test Match and this became a feature of the day.

Saffron Walden

After coffee we left Saffron Walden with the inevitable climb as we went along Debden road which unsurprisingly took us into Debden and we were now in rural Essex and with ripening wheat and barley in the fields everything looked a picture.

Purton End, Debden

After Debden we turned for the three miles into Henham and then down to the B1051 for a brief while before turning into Pledgdon Green and Brick End and these tiny hamlets are just at the end of the runway at Stansted and the the three planes that went over seemed almost within touching distance.

Henham

Now followed an undulating and rural ride into Little Easton where it was possible to pick up the scent from the lime trees, something not likely to be experienced rushing by at speed in a car. From Little Easton it was just a short trip before we reached our destination at Great Dunmow and Deb’s Diner. As the name suggest this is an American themed restaurant and we were made to fill very welcome, certainly worth going back to as the setting is very nice along the river bank and with what the estate agents call a secluded garden. The food on offer was just right for cyclists.

Great Dunmow

After lunch, with still about sixteen riders, Averil led us out on the Great Bardfield road before turning off just past Bran End for Lindsell. Once again we were in delightful country, and now we were riding with the wind behind us but with a burning hot sun on our backs, and as predicted the temperature had reached 30C. This took us through to the B184 and we stayed on this busy road to reach Thaxted where we stopped to allow us all to re-group.

Thaxted

As we left Thaxted we stayed on the B184 all the way up to Howlett End where we turned for Wimbish and Radwinter and then the final run down to Ashdon. This just left us to go through Bartlow, Linton, Great Abington, over the farm track into Babraham, the cycle way into Sawston,and then into Great Shelford. We ended the ride here with 64 very pleasant miles on the clock. We must tank Averil for a splendid route which took us along many roads unknown to us or at least not often visited. It just remained for those interested in the cricket for one final check of the phone app, but the score didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for a great day out with all expectations fulfilled! Edward Elmer


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