Edward writes: When we met in Hauxton the numbers just kept growing so much so that we started off with 20 cyclists. Amongst these was Rod who was riding with us for the first time. As this was Adrian’s ride those in the know would expect some of this trip to Clavering Lakes to be off-road and he didn’t disappoint with three off-road stretches. Before we left Hauxton Averil announced that she had a puncture and so our three puncture repair specialists (Mick C, David W and Adrian) leapt in and in no time at all we were soon underway.
As we left Hauxton we made our way in two groups out to Whittlesford and the A505 into Duxford. In Duxford, as we are doing more often, we took the route round the factory area, over the ford and then the first crossing of the railway and this brought us into Hinxton. Then back over the railway and quickly into Ickleton where we resumed our normal route onto Coploe Hill. Our usual regrouping spot was occupied by a van so we carried on up to Catmere End before turning for Littlebury Green. This gave us some climbs before the fast, but rough surface, descent into Wendons Ambo. Whilst the main group carried on through the village, another railway crossing, and along the main road into Newport, Adrian took some of his enthusiasts to arrive in Newport by an off-road route.
In Newport the majority of the group took refreshments in Dorrington’s and another group used R and R Saggers, and these included Greta, Sue and Brian M, who had gone to Newport by an alternative (probably flatter) route, and were joined by Doug and Peter W. Strangely these two groups didn’t meet and it wasn’t until we reached Clavering Lakes that we met up with Peter.
After coffee we had the usual change of personnel with some going back home. This still left well over a dozen to continue on to lunch. Thus we left Newport along the main road and then turned off for Widdington and which gave us a small climb and in the village we turned for an off-road stint. The beginning was tarmac and when this gave way to gravel the going was still very good as there had been no serious rain and the track was very dry and also very enjoyable as we were enclosed by trees. This brought us out on the road to Henham near the Broxted turning. We went into Henham, another crossing of the railway, this time underneath it, before joining the main road at Ugley. Three or four hundred meters took us to the turning for Rickling Green and then followed Arkesden and then into Clavering and the Lakes and lunch.
Already at lunch was the group who had taken their coffee in R and R Saggers. Those who had brought their own lunch and ate outside later joined the others for tea and coffee. After lunch the earlier group made their own way back and the main group followed Adrian. Instead of turning right towards Langley we took the left turning and quickly joined another narrow and tree enclosed lane which brought us to the road to the Pelhams. This was soon followed by a further narrow lane known as The Causeway which brought us to Brent Pelham where, just outside the village, David W fell victim to a puncture.
From here we made our way to Langley Lower Green and then towards Little Chishill but turning into another pleasant off-road section to bring us just outside Chrishall. Now it was all downhill as we descended into Chrishall Grange and here we ran through a squall of fine rain which, for a few minutes, felt almost autumn-like; an unpleasant reminder of what is all too quickly coming our way. Chrishall Grange was followed by the two miles into Duxford where David Ms completed the hat-trick of punctures for the day, and then back into Whittlesford and finally Great Shelford where the ride ended with the last seven riders and 54 miles safely tucked under our belts.
As ever our thanks to Adrian for a fine ride which explored some seldom used roads and not forgetting those off-road tracks! Edward Elmer
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