Thursday, 1 January 2015

1 Jan: New Year's Day ride to Saffron Walden

Nigel writes: Our first ride of 2015 was a relaxed and sociable ride to Saffron Walden where we stopped for coffee before returning back to Cambridge. Last week's spell of icy but sunny weather seems to have passed for now, and today was a more typical winter's day: dull, damp and blustery.

Today's ride started from Hauxton at the leisurely time of 10am, and when I arrived a couple of minutes beforehand I found a large group of members getting ready to set off.

Assembling in Hauxton

Our leader today was Tony H, and given the late start he took us to Saffron Walden by a relatively direct route: south through Little Shelford to Whittlesford, across the A505 and then on through Duxford and Ickleton to Coploe Hill.

Climbing Coploe Hill

The roads were very quiet this morning, even quieter than on a Sunday, and the only people about seemed to be dog-walkers and other cyclists. A strong south-westerly wind meant that progress was slow, but it didn't matter: we didn't have far to go and we were all just pleased to be back on our bikes after the indulgences of Christmas.

At the summit of Coploe Hill

After a brief pause to re-group at the top of Coploe Hill we carried on to Catmete End and then down Chestnut Avenue to Audley End House.

Passing Audley End House

A few minutes later we arrived in Saffron Walden where we stopped for coffee at The Temeraire.

After coffee we set off back towards Cambridge, initially as two separate groups. Tony led the main group back to Audley End House and then along the B1383 to Littlebury, whilst I found myself at the front of a breakaway group which followed the B184 north up Windmill Hill and then left to Littlebury, where the two groups were reunited once more.

After crossing the B1383 we climbed back up to Catmere End and then dropped down to the cross-roads where we turned left onto Royston Lane for a short extra loop.

Royston Lane

When we reached Chrishall Grange we turned back east along Grange Road towards Duxford. At last the wind was behind us! When we reached Duxford we turned north towards the A505 and on to Whittlesford.

Waiting to cross the A505

As we approached Little Shelford the group began to fragment as riders left the group to head off to their various homes. I carried on into Cambridge with new member Alex, taking the DNA path and busway all the way to the station. I arrived back home at about 1.30pm. having cycled 38 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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