Thursday, 24 July 2014

24 Jul: Thursday ride to Stradishall, Bury St Edmunds and Hawstead

Edward writes: Unusually for a Thursday we didn't have a ride leader, so Mike C and I volunteered to fill the vacancy for today's ride out to Stradishall and then on to Bury St Edmunds, making this one of our longer Thursday rides. The sunny weather continued and in fact we believe we had a shade temperature of 27C, thus it was hot. None of this, of course, deterred Sarah who was out on the road soon after 7 am to cycle 30 miles to join us, somewhat outdoing John J who was also out on the road early cycling over from Fenstanton. With this heat this was probably a good thing to do.

Leaving Hauxton

Not unexpectedly we took the road from Hauxton to Whittlesford and joined the cycleway over to Sawston and rejoin it again to go out to Babraham, which naturally led us out to the A505 and another experience of the new cycleway over the hill into Great Abington.

Sawston to Whittlesford

Heading east, as we were, meant pedalling against the north easterly breeze, and with the climbs, making it at times quite a tough ride. Balsham came where we were joined by David Ma, followed by West Wickham and more head wind as we crossed Wratting Common, but relief was soon at hand as we turned south west and headed towards Little Thurlow and then on to Stradishall.

Balsham

Balsham

West Wickham

In Adam’s (ex Tubby T’s) we met Joseph, Gwen, Geoff and much to our surprise and pleasure, Peter and Lesley. As we didn’t arrive at Adam’s until 11.30am we cut short the coffee break and were on the road again by 12 noon. The group going on bore little resemblance to the group which started out from Hauxton with quite a few changes of personnel as some returned home whilst the newcomers came on with us. After crossing the A143 we headed out into the beautiful Suffolk countryside taking us through Denston and Hawkdon where we turned north into a very hilly stretch, but we eventually arrived at Rede where we waited to bring us all together again.

Hawkedon to Rede

Rede

Obviously farmers are taking advantage of this weather and everywhere behind the hedges we could hear combine harvesters busy at work. After four or five more miles we had to join the A143 to take us the last mile or two into Bury St Edmunds, arriving at 1.30pm.

Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds

Lunch was at the Abbey Gardens and this was all very pleasant with many families out, schools having finished the day before, and of course many tourists, and it all made for a very happy scene - the weather helped a bit!

Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds

After lunch Sarah caught the train to Peterborough and John, Sue and Craig took the Cambridge train which left seven or eight of us to make our way back to Cambridge on our bikes. It was agreed that we should go back via Hawstead and locate the Maglia Rosso cycle centre and destination cafe where a future ride is scheduled. The cafe was very nice with a simple lunch of sandwiches and paninnis and also a salad, so should be very suitable for a club visit. Also plenty of high-end bike to admire in the shop!

After an ice cream we made our way via Whepstead to Chevington where we said goodbye to Geoff, then along to Hargrave and then towards Ousden but, before reaching it, turning down to Wickhambrook. By now, after so many hours in the sun, the heat was certainly making it presence felt and it was lucky for us that we were travelling with the wind on our backs. We passed through Great Bradley and then Brinkley where Joseph and Malcolm left us leaving Avril Mike and me to finish off the ride. Back at Great Shelford it was 6.15 pm and 80 miles to the good. Edward Elmer


View this GPS track on a larger map. Download GPS track (GPX).

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