There appeared to be the possibility of thunderstorms at some point in the day but nobody seemed perturbed and so we set off for our ride out to Horseheath for coffee and Depden Farm Shop for lunch.
Socks in Hauxton
Jacob was today's leader and as usual we rode in two groups out of Hauxton to Little Shelford and, when we reached Whittlesford, instead of the familiar cycle way to Sawston, we rode on a little further to take the track which starts behind the recreation ground.
This took us over the railway and the Sawston bypass bringing us into the south end of the village near the turning for Pampisford.
We took this turning and rode through the village out to the A505 enabling us to use the cycleway running alongside it; this is a fast road and also very noisy, so it was good to get to the end of it and go past Abington down to the A1307. We got over this road without much ado and into Hildersham where a mishap nearly occurred which would have taken the second group up to Balsham but luckily Adrian was around to point out the error.
Now on the correct course we went along Back Road, Linton and out again for the second crossing of the A1307, and then down to Bartlow. From Bartlow we took the Camps road up to the turning for Shudy Camps and then through Mill Green and Cardinal's Green and the third transit of the A1307 into the little track which took us into Horseheath and a true club favourite at the Old Red Lion Inn.
Both groups arrived here soon after 11.am and it was very good to see Greta arrive, having chosen to make her own way there and at her own pace. Now, every time we visit the Old Red Lion we have always been given special treatment, but today was truly exceptional. Not only did we have individual filter coffees but out came chocolate brownies, creme brûlée, would you believe, a lemon cake and doughnuts. This was truly remarkable, especially for £2.50; we are extremely grateful for all they do for us.
Not surprisingly, after such a feast, it was 12 midday when we began our ride again which took us through Streetley End, West Wickham and out onto Wratting Common. When we came to the four way junction on the Common we found that it had been changed so that the roads are now off-set which should prevent any more accidents, some fatal, occurring here. Soon after we came to the turning for Little Thurlow which is a well known favourite and this was followed by the ride up to the A134 and Stradishall.
We now turned into rural Suffolk which, for the second group at least, meant a trip through Cowlinge and then up to Wickhambrook. The first group, apparently, missed out Cowlinge, going directly to Wickhambrook. We all took the road to Hargrave and at the water tower we turned off to Depden and our lunch stop at the farm shop, all arriving by 1.30pm.
As is usual there were those with packed lunches and some ordered a meal in the little cafe. At 2.30pm as we all gathered to start the afternoon session the rain which had looked a possibility for most of the morning, became a reality. This week we had another variation on the leadership theme, as Jacob, believing heavy rain was imminent, also led from the front by handing over to Rupert and then cycling off to Bury St Edmunds to catch the train back to Cambridge!
Rupert then led the first group back to the road for Hargrave with the second group following behind and this us took us to Ousden and Saxon Street and now we were heading west and also with a following north easterly wind. This seemed strange as the forecast said that the possible thunder showers would come up from the south. As it was the rain was steady, but definitely not heavy, and a following wind was very welcome. This was also the last time that we caught a glimpse of the leading group as we went through Little Ditton, Stetchworth and Dullingham.
Junction for Wesley Bottom and Burrough Green
In Dullingham we turned left and made our way to the Brinkley-Six Mile Bottom turning for the run down to the A1304 at Six Mile Bottom. As we cycled along the road to Little Wilbraham the rain did in fact become heavier which made the speeding grain trucks that overtook us an unnerving experience as those in front seemed to disappear into the spray. When we reached the Wilbraham turning Avril and Eve, escorted by Mike, headed off in the direction of Newmarket Road and into Cambridge leaving the last three, (Richard, Tony and me) to go home via Fulbourn and the Gogs. This brought the ride to an end and everyone would have cycled at least 65 miles. Our thanks to Jacob and Rupert for each of their shifts and, despite the afternoon rain, another nice day out. Lastly, owing to his absence from the ride, there are no photographs of Mike CC this week. Edward Elmer
Download GPS track (GPX).