With so many it was sensible to divide into two groups and so Mike C lead the second group as we went to Hauxton and Little Shelford and to face the wind which would be our experience for all of the morning session. We came to Whittlesford and went up to the recreation ground and where we turned for the track through the mill, over the river, the railway and the bypass into Sawston.
This brought us to the main road through the village where we turned south to take the Pampisford turning and out to the A505 cycleway to the science park in Abington. The bright sunlight gave the countryside a real spring-like feel especially as there are daffodils are out now and also the appearance of the first blossoms. Although we were riding into the wind our surroundings more than made up for the hard work of pedalling against it.
We reached the A1307 and went into Hildersham where we had to pause as a flock of sheep was being driven down the road and it was nice to see the sheep dog busy with his duties.
We now climbed the two and a half miles up to Balsham and followed this through to West Wratting where Peter W joined us. For a short while we had the wind more or less behind us we went down to the West Wickham-Balsham crossroad and shortly after took the turning to Streetly End and soon after that we arrived in Horseheath and the Old Red Lion Inn for coffee.
Towards Streetly End
Towards Streetly End
As expected we met several others and we reckoned there were twenty five who enjoyed the comforts of this ever-popular pub and once again they treated us to a 'banquet' of cookies and cakes and individual coffees. All too soon it was time to go as it was nearly midday before everyone was ready and with the usual comings and goings we still had about eighteen going on to lunch.
The Old Red Lion, Horseheath
Again we went in two groups but as so often happens the second group found a slightly different route to the first group. Nevertheless we went through Cardinal's Green, Mill Green and Nosterfield End where we turned down to Castle Camps. When we reached the Bartlow road Adrian donned his off-road hat and led a sub-group of six or seven on an alternative cross county route leaving a small group of four to go by road. This took us to Ashdon via Steventon End and then up to Radwinter and Water Lane with its two fords which today were easily passable. This took us into Wimbish and at about 1.20 pm we arrived at the farm shop with both Adrian's and Mike's groups already settled in.
Bartlow Road, Castle Camps
Since we first started coming here trade has increased significantly and it was very busy but they still managed very well for those who sat inside for lunch leaving the remainder to sit outside with their packed lunches. So by 2 pm we were ready to go again and we left by climbing the hill on the main road past the old airfield to the turning for Sewards End to join the pleasantly quiet road into the village. Soon after leaving Sewards End we turned into Newhouse lane which meanders pleasantly for two miles to where it joins the Radwinter to Ashdon road. Fortunately this was the last bit of riding into the wind and as the afternoon wore on it became much colder and it was with some relief that we turned towards Ashdon to have the wind behind us as it would be for the journey home. This took us into Bartlow where Adrian stopped to fix a puncture to be assisted by Mike and supported by Averil while the rest of us carried on to Linton where we waited for the three to rejoin us. After Linton we came again to Hildersham, over the A1307, through Little Abington and up Bourn Bridge road to the farm track into Babraham.
Farm Track to Babraham
We were now left with the cycleway into Sawston followed by Stapleford and finally Great Shelford at 4pm where Adrian drew stumps after a ride of 54 miles. As ever our thanks to Adrian for such a pleasant day thoroughly enjoyed by all. Edward Elmer
Download GPS track (GPX).