Thursday, 27 March 2014

27 Mar: Thursday ride to Newport and Wimbish

Edward writes: This Thursday was not a usual ride with the CTC Thursday group. At Greta's about fourteen cyclists gathered, including Ian with young Florian, and in addition it was the second of Peter W's roadshows exhibiting the new club tops. This was all very exciting - so much so that we were a few minutes late in setting off for our trip to Newport and the Elder Street farm shop in Wimbish. Today we had to take the weather seriously - not a warm spring like day but a cold day with the wind firmly in the east. In fact the weather was probably typically spring like with rain, hail, sleet, thunder and lightning.

Hauxton

Rupert, our leader for today, set off through Little Shelford and Whittlesford and out to the A505 which took us into Duxford. At this point the rains had not started and we continued through to Ickleton and Coploe Hill, which after so many visits, is like an old friend.

Coploe Hill

We did the two miles over the hills to reach Catmere End followed by the rapid descent to Wendens Ambo. This lovely old village nestles undisturbed between the M11 and the B1383 which we joined for the run into Newport. This brought us to Dorrington’s and a prearranged meeting with the BBC Look East team led by Jonathan Park who filmed us and conducted interviews with Rupert, John J and Sarah. When we left Newport it was into one of the many hail flurries which became a feature of the day and as we approached Rickling Green it was to the accompaniment of hail, thunder and lightning.

Newport: Rupert is interviewed by the BBC

Newport

From Newport to Rickling Green the Look East team were filming us from their car but as the weather became too much we stopped and took shelter.

Near Rickling Green

It should be said that at coffee there were the usual comings and goings but this still left about a dozen to go on to lunch. When the storm had passed we went through to the B1383 before turning off at Ugley and then joined the road to Henham. It was Rupert’s original plan to go through Henham and Debden but in view of the weather he decided to shorten the route, instead going via Widdington, and another display of thunder and lightning. After the climb up to the village it was followed by more undulations, past Carver Barracks and finally the farm shop in Wimbish.

Near Rickling Green

We arrived here at 1pm and inside it was packed and, although we were booked in and a table reserved for us, it was inevitable that we would have to wait a bit to be served. As usual, the food was of a high standard and the staff worked very hard to cope with all their customers. Just as we were about to leave it began to rain again, thus delaying the start, and almost immediately David Ms had a puncture, probably not unconnected with the potholes in the approach road to the farm. This meant that a group of four stayed back whilst the leading group went on. When we restarted we went along to Radwinter, which on a decent day, would be a delight, but probably not today.

Widdington

Going from Radwinter to Ashdon we crossed a couple of fords which are in the appropriately named Water Lane. Normally we can admire the spring flowers and blossoms but today it was head down and push on as quickly as possible as more thunder circled around us.

Radwinter to Ashdon

After Ashdon, it was Bartlow, Linton and Hildersham. We went into Great Abington and used the track across the farm which has had a surface laid and is an improvement and it would seem possible to ride it in most conditions; certainly we had no problems even after all the rain. To finish the ride we went from Babraham to Sawston, and Stapleford which must have had a deluge just before we arrived as the hail stones were still on the ground making a white carpet. For those going back to Hauxton the ride would have been 50 hard earned miles. Thanks to Rupert for quite an eventful day! Edward Elmer


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