Our route took us through Shelford, Whittlesford, Duxford, with a loop through Hinxton bringing us out in Ickleton and our first climb up Coploe Hill. Views from the top were predictably clear and then we were treated to the gently undulating road as far as the Elmdon turn and climb up to Strethall. Hedgerows and woods were just showing tinges of autumn colours and ploughed or recently sown fields indicated passing of summer into autumn as farmers prepare for next year's crops. Most wildflowers have now faded to seedheads, but an occasional red clover or blue scabious still decorated the verges.
From Strethall, we climbed once again to Littlebury Green and then turned into a road marked closed that we knew was still accessible for cyclists. After an exhilarating downhill swoop, we joined the B1039 to Great Chishill. I had decided against another steep climb to Elmdon, but the long slow drag past Wenden Lofts and on up to Chishill seemed interminable. We finally arrived outside St Swithun's Church at 4pm on the dot, where a pop-up cafe awaited us. Jill (a fellow cyclist, as well as master cake baker!) and her helpers are raising funds for the church and a few weeks ago hosted 40 cyclists from St Ives, so a mere 16 (we were joined by day riders Conrad , Mike S and Craig) proved no problem. We were soon tucking into Jills delicious cakes and mugs of tea and coffee and enjoying a chance to relax and chat in the church pews.
St Swithun's Church, Great Chishill
We left again about 5pm. I took the route back through Barkway, Reed and Therfield to Royston, while the others headed off downhill to Flint Cross, Fowlmere and northwards to Cambridge. Thanks to Jill for a delicious tea and hope our visit helped to boost the church restoration funds. If any other cycling clubs would like their very own pop-up cafe, I can pass on contact details. Total mileage: 43.75. Tina Filby