Edward writes: Although the weather this Thursday was probably best described as indifferent, for cycling it was a good temperature being about 20 C for most of the day but accompanied by a stiff south-westerly wind. As we were going to be heading south in the morning it held the prospect of a brisk ride back in the afternoon. This week David Mason was our leader and he was in charge of group of about twenty two as we left Hauxton for our trip out to Tye Green, near Bishop's Stortford, calling at Nuthampstead for our coffee stop.
Although we didn't formally go off in two groups we did in fact keep ourselves well separated as we left Hauxton, Little Shelford and into Newton. A trip round Thriplow and Fowlmere took us to the A505 and Chrishall Grange ready for the long climb up to the Elmdon turning where we stopped so that everybody could come together again.
Now in the high points of the county with fine views all round it was possible to observe that the harvest is nearly completed with some fields already ploughed over. Next up came Great Chishill and then on to Shaftenhoe End where, of course, there are one or two stiff climbs as we headed for Nuthampstead and The Woodman Inn with immaculate timing at 11 am and they were well prepared for us with cups already on the bar counter.
As it was still sunny most of us sat out in the garden to enjoy our break and we were joined by Greta, Doug and Jacob thus making quite a party. As is usual, after coffee, there was the usual exchange of personnel but it was still a large group of about twenty who set off to nearby Anstey.
A trip through Meesden, Brent and Stocking Pelham, all very pleasantly rural, took us on the road heading due south through Gravesend, Clapgate, Albury and finally Little Hadham where, of course, we had the inevitable long wait to cross the busy A120. Two more miles brought us to Much Hadham where we turned for the last leg of the morning session to go over Hadham Ford, three went through the water, but everybody else used the bridge, a little climb gave us Perry Green and then Green Tye.
We arrived at the Prince of Wales in Green Tye, still with superb timing, at 1pm for the luncheon interval. Most of our group had brought a packed lunch with only about four of five buying food at the pub and we all sat outside in a most convivial atmosphere.
At 1.45 pm it was time to go again and now we would have the benefit of the wind on our backs. We went back to Much Hadham and Little Hadham and another lengthy wait at the lights and headed up the hill towards Albury but turning east to Upwick Green. This is another narrow and hilly road with patches of gravel to catch the unaware.
After Upwick Green we went through Farnham, Manuden (a quick check of the walnut tree), Clavering and Langley Lower Green.
Here Jacob suggested a slight detour to take in some off-road work, naturally, and this came out just before Chrishall; some preferred to stay on the road and headed for Little Chishill. Those on the detour went through Chrishall and into Chrishall Grange where we followed the morning route out and bringing us back to Little Shelford with the ride finishing at 4.45 pm. This was a splendid day out and we give our thanks to David for his contribution to such a good day. Our trip was 63 miles. Edward Elmer
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