For today's ride Jim B was our leader and he was to take us out to Newport for coffee and Great Saling for lunch, thus we would be in the north Essex countryside, a certain recipe for a good day's cycling. At the start there were seventeen including Ian who was making his first ride with us and we took the road to Whittlesford and out to the A505 which we found to be very busy. Eventually we all got across and into Duxford and on to Ickleton which led us up Coploe Hill. Although we are all familiar with this route, being a club favourite, the mist gave it a different feel. Although it was still misty the sun was beginning to break through, raising the temperature and our usual stop at the top presented an opportunity to shed the outer layer of clothing.
Mist on Coploe Hill
On our way again we went to Catmere End and then we turned towards Littlebury Green and further climbing before the rapid descent to Wendons Ambo.
A brief stop for a passing train and we joined the B1383 for the run into Newport and Dorrington's for our coffee stop. Here we found Greta, who had made he own way there, Doug, Peter Wo, Craig and Martin, also making his first ride with us.
After coffee there were the usual comings and goings but still a large group of seventeen or eighteen headed further along the B1383 to the turning for Henham and Elsenham where we now came to quiet countryside and narrow lanes as first we came to the tiny hamlet of Little Henham and soon after to Henham. Shortly after leaving Henham we entered an off-road section which ran for about a mile and brought us to Church End Broxted. This should have been very satisfying for Jacob, but sadly his other off-road friends, Adrian and John F, were not on this ride.
Off-road to Church End, Broxted
Now we came to the narrow road which leads down to Tilty and along here Peter Wi had a rear wheel puncture and whilst this was being fixed the leading group carried on to look at Tilty church in the grounds of an old Abbey. Apparently the list of priests inside the church goes back to the 1100s.
After the puncture was fixed we all joined up again, through Tilty and briefly joined the B184 heading north for a little way and then turned eastward through Little Cambridge and on to Lindsell. Soon after Lindsell we were once again on extremely quiet roads which gave us a delightful last three miles to bring us, via another short off-road section, to Andrews Field at Great Saling.
Little Cambridge to Lindsell
This stop is another club favourite; it has a simple menu, friendly staff and usually plenty to see. Today, with the weather so good, we all sat outside and watched many light aircraft take off and after lunch we were able to take a good look at the classic motor bikes which had been ridden there by members of a motor cycle club. This was all very pleasant and made our lunch break particularly enjoyable and perhaps made us reluctant to leave.
Andrews Field, Great Saling
Classic motorbikes: Norton and Ariel
We finally got under way again at 2.15 pm and headed north and picked up a very slight north easterly breeze but so slight to be of any concern. We went through Bardfield Saling and then to Great Bardfield before heading off to Finchingfield. Naturally Finchingfield was very busy but we passed straight through on our way to Helions Bumpstead. Next up was Castle Camps and then the long run down to Bartlow and Linton. This left us with Hildersham, Great Abington and the new cycleway along the A505 which brought us to Babraham and Sawston. We finished the ride by going over to Whittlesford and back to Little Shelford where the final group separated for people to make their own way home. This was another great Thursday ride covering 66 miles of beautifully quiet country roads. Therefore our thanks to Jim for his skills in making this such an enjoyable day. Edward Elmer
Download GPS track (GPX).