Thursday, 26 September 2013

26 Sep: Thursday ride to Newport and Great Saling

Edward writes: Last Thursday we thought that summer had deserted us as those who came out rode in wet and cooler than average temperatures. Today, however, in total contrast the day broke with sun and blue skies and an almost negligible wind thus making for another great day on our bikes. It must have been good as nineteen assembled in Hauxton for our ride out to Andrews airfield at Great Saling which isn't far from Braintree. Amongst the nineteen were some new faces and we welcome them all, including Roz and James, Craig and Peter who was making his second trip with us. Also good to see out was Steve who was making a rare, but welcome, Thursday ride.


Today’s leader was David Mr and after a team photo we set off by way of Little Shelford, Newton, Thriplow, Fowlmere and then the A505.


After travelling through Chrishall Grange we all made our way up the long climb to the Elmdon turning where we waited to bring the group together. From this high point in the county we passed into Elmdon and then out to join the Royston to Saffron Walden road which then delivered us to Wendons Ambo.



Some narrow roads in Wendens Ambo took us over the railway and onto the main road for the one mile run into Newport and our coffee and cake stop at Dorrington’s. The staff were very efficient and it didn’t take long for everybody to be served and enjoy a very pleasant half hour out in the sun.


After coffee, as so often is the case a number of riders left us but we were joined by Geoff, Peter W and Barbara. This made twenty three riders altogether as Mike B had joined us in Thriplow, no doubt all thinking that there wouldn’t be too many more days like this. This still left us with about sixteen to carry on for the full journey into the Essex countryside. We left Newport and climbed again before descending to the Debden turning and now followed an up and down route as we made our way into Thaxted.


After leaving Thaxted we soon joined very quiet country roads to give us an extremely pleasant hour as we made our way through to Lindsell. Of course by now all harvesting is over and the fields are being transformed and it won’t be long before the sheen of new growth appears and a new season will be underway. We met little traffic as we enjoyed the countryside and it wasn’t long before our party arrived at Andrews Field for lunch where we found David and Beryl from near Chelmsford and also Vic F who had cycled out from Linton. There were a number of motor cyclists there and we saw a Norton, BSA, Royal Enfield and a Velocette, all great names from the past.

When lunch was over we rode to the far end of the airfield only to find our way barred by locked gates but Adrian led the way round and we were ready to resume when we realised that Vic wasn’t with us so Adrian and one or two others went back to help and assist with the puncture repair. So we set off again through the village of Great Saling and then after about three miles we went past the Blue Egg at Great Bardfield where we were just a fortnight ago. This time we went through Little Bardfield and via tree-lined roads to Little Sampford and the main road through Great Sampford before all reassembling at Radwinter.

Little Sampford

Now we were in sight of home as we slowly ascended before the run down into Ashdon. This just left us with Bartlow, Linton, over the A1307 which was exceedingly busy with heavy lorries, into Great Abington and into Sawston. This effectively was the end of our Essex tour as the group more or less split equally here as we made our way home. We must thank David for a splendid ride which incorporated many little used roads thus giving us added interest. In total we covered 65 miles. Edward Elmer

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