For this ride we welcomed Ira who has cycled with the Saturday morning rides but joining us for the first time. Round about twenty members arrived at the start and once again Andy, Sarah and John R had already cycled in excess of twenty miles before even starting the ride. This week Averil was at the tiller for our ride out to Henlow, taking in a coffee visit to Farrowby Farm in Hinxworth.
Averil led us out of Haslingfield with a sharp lung-bursting climb up Chapel Hill before descending down to Barrington and then on to Shepreth and Meldreth. Although it was warm there was still a stiff westerly breeze to contend with but riding was never difficult and we made steady progress as we passed through Kneesworth and Bassingbourn and out to Litlington. After the next village of Steeple Morden and more open fields the breeze was more evident as we approached Ashwell.
It's not many times that we go to Ashwell and not stop for coffee and sit under the tree on the little green. However, we had another three or more miles to go before reaching Hinxworth which we achieved via Loves Lane, arriving just after 11 am.
Arriving at Hinxworth
Farrowby Farm, Hinxworth
At Farrowby Farm we found Bill, Richard M, Greta, Brian Ma, Mike S and also Doug who had joined us at Ashwell. As the weather was very pleasant we all sat outside to enjoy the break. The farm mainly rears pigs and we believed we saw Tamworths ( the ginger ones) and Gloucester Old Spots and an assortment of goats and chickens, thus an interesting place to visit.
Gloucester Old Spot
Shortly before midday we left to complete the relatively short journey to Henlow via Langford and the Five Bells public house, arriving soon after 12.30 pm. By now the sun was out in earnest and we all sat outside to enjoy it in the garden or in the park on the opposite side of the road.
At about 1.45 pm we left Henlow and made our way to Clifton and we now entered the very attractive Bedfordshire villages of Old Warden, Southill, Ickwell and Northill, each containing old cottages with many colourful displays of bedding plants, and not forgetting the maypole on Ickwell village green. In Northill we turned to head for Moggerhanger and along here we said goodbye to Richard so that he could return to Bedford.
Now, of course, we had the wind on our backs so our cycling was very easy, going through Moggerhanger which brought us to the former Cambridge to Bedford railway, now a cycleway, to take us into Sandy. Andy and Sarah left us here and the remainder of the group, still nearly twenty strong, headed up to Gamlingay Heath and then to Waresley where we joined the regular route back via Great Gransden, Caxton and Bourn.
At Bourn the group broke into two with one set going back to Cambridge via Toft, Comberton and Barton and Averil led the other group through Kingston, the Eversdens and Harlton arriving back in Haslingfield at 4.20 pm and 58 quality miles behind us. Once again another enjoyable ride and our thanks to Averil for taking charge with such aplomb. Edward Elmer
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