Sunday, 3 November 2013

3 Nov: Afternoon ride to Hauxton

John writes: Four riders (Paul, Mike K, John E and I) set off at 1.30pm. I had chosen a route to Elmdon via Whittlesford and Ickleton to benefit from a homeward tailwind and to enjoy the fine views around Elmdon. When we emerged from the genome path Mike suggested staying on the footpath beside the railway. I wasn’t familiar with this but it proved a good alternative avoiding the awkward right turn at Shelford.

Heading towards Whittlesford I thought the headwind exceptionally strong when Mike pointed out I had a flat rear tyre! Ably assisted by all hands we were soon on our way again shortening the route by omitting the planned loop through Hinxton.

The direct route to Ickelton was not busy (Premiership football on TV?) where we met the day-riders at the bottom of Coploe Hill. They declined our invite to join us on the long climb to Elmdon into a stiff breeze: they had apparently already done it.

At Elmdon my GPS which had shown an encouraging ETA at  Hauxton of 3:35 p.m. at the outset now showed an alarming 4:45 p.m. However the route was now predominately downhill and with a following wind. On the approach to the Chrishall Grange the GPS showed a max speed of 43.4 kph (27mph). Despite concentrating on keeping the tempo up Mike spotted an ancient biplane which seemed almost stationary flying into the headwind over Duxford. We crossed the A505 into Fowlmere thence Newton and arrived at Hauxton, after a brief delay at the level-crossing, at 3:58pm. The route from Brookside to Hauxton was 36.5 kms (23 miles).

The tea was splendid and much appreciated after an enjoyable and brisk ride. Many thanks to all who prepared the tea. What a pity that winter Sunday afternoon rides are not more popular. John Ferguson

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