Thursday, 7 August 2014

7 Aug: Thursday ride to Newport and Clavering

Edward writes: With such a fine day in prospect it was not surprising that eighteen or nineteen riders assembled in Hauxton for today's ride out to Clavering Lakes, taking in a coffee stop at Dorrington's in Newport. David W led us out today and, as it would turn out, on a really interesting route, going out almost due south and returning north a little to the west.

Hauxton

This large number required that we separate into two groups so that we didn’t occupy too much road space as we made our way out of Hauxton and Little Shelford into Whittlesford. After we crossed the A505 this took us into Duxford and on into Ickleton, this time eschewing the route via the Duxford factory area and Hinxton. Now, of course, we had to climb up Coploe Hill to be rewarded with the fine views over the countryside which shows clearly how much harvesting has already been completed.

Coploe Hill

After the usual reassembly point we could enjoy the rapid downhills to Catmere End and then onto the approach to Littlebury Green before another fast downhill over the rather uneven road down to Wendens Ambo.

Littlebury Green

After Wendens Ambo a mile on the main road took us to Dorrington’s in Newport for the first break of the day where we found Doug, Mike S, Frances and Craig, and of course Greta who had taken her own route to Newport.

Wendens Ambo

Wendens Ambo

We somewhat overwhelmed the staff in the cake shop but they dealt very well with all our requests. On leaving Newport we put in a loop round Widdington, David obviously deciding we needed a good climb to get us going again; it also allowed us to avoid the traffic along the busy main road. The verges up the hill were particularly colourful with knapweed, ragwort, mallow and the occasional sweet pea. This brought us to the old road which runs parallel to the railway and the M11 and brought us to Elsenham and now began a most interesting part of the route.

Elsenham

We went through Elsenham and soon after we were right up against Stansted Airport perimeter but the ride was still very rural and probably new to most of us. Planes moving about could just be viewed over the hedges. This eventually brought us to Stansted Mounfitchet and we rode through the small town centre and out the other side taking the road to Manuden. From Manuden, rather than go the direct route into Clavering, we took the narrow and very undulating lane for two and a half miles to Rickling Green. Still in this rural setting, with harvest activity all about, we came to the B1038 at Wicken Bonhunt leaving us with a couple of miles or so into Clavering and the lakes for our lunch stop.

Manuden to Rickling Green

Manuden to Rickling Green

Manuden to Rickling Green

On such a nice day, and it being such a nice setting, the lakes were very busy and it was not surprising that there were one or two delays. It was also very good to see Peter W out again, accompanied by Lesley.

Clavering Lakes

As there were still some still to be served when it was time to leave, David stayed to talk to Peter and Lesley whilst everyone else started for home. The route home was a fairly simple route to Langley Upper Green, Duddenhoe End and the descent from the north east Essex hills into Cambridgeshire at Chrishall Grange and another crossing of a very busy afternoon on the A505. We went into Fowlmere, Thriplow and Newton where we saw Greta chatting to a friend and finally onto to Hauxton.

Newton to Hauxton

Today was a really good ride and covered lots of new ground for many of us. Although David didn’t finish with the main group, having waited back at Clavering, we thank him for putting so much time into working out the route and his skills in ensuring that we all kept together. This was a ride of 55 miles. Edward Elmer


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