Sunday, 13 September 2015

13 Sep: Sunday afternoon ride to Ashdon

John F writes: It had to happen some time -perfect cycling weather for a Sunday afternoon! I was joined by five riders with the enticing prospect of tea at the Ashwell Village Museum.

Brookside

We winkled our way out of the city through the strollers by the river to Fen Ditton, thence following NCN51 through Quy, Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck to Dullingham. Here we turned south towards West Wratting, passing the Chestnut Tree pub, one of our Sunday tea-stops.

The countryside had now assumed its autumn mantle with predominantly brown fields. The route was now downhill and we reached the museum at 4.15pm where we were joined by five all-day riders.

Tea at the Ashdon Museum

At the Ashdon Museum

After tea Nigel joined us, taking on the role of photographer. We now cycled uphill towards Radwinter and turned into New House Lane by Red Oaks Hill. This is a delightful winding country lane with virtually no traffic which took us into a busy Saffron Walden. We took the steep trafficky hill out of the town and were thankful to turn off after a mile into Littlebury, from where further climbing (working off the calories taken on board at tea)took us to the saddle of Coploe Hill between Catmere End and the summit. 

Coploe Hill

It was a perfect cycling evening - a magnificent setting sun to our left, the M11 far below on the right and the flat lands of Cambridgeshire ahead.

Coploe Hill

At the bottom of Coploe Hill we decided to take the scenic route through Ickleton and Hinxton to Duxford.

At Little Shelford we split up. I was joined by David Tassel (a recent joiner) through Hauxton and entered Cambridge via the new off-road cycle path to Byron's Pool and Granchester, which was exceptionally busy with cars and people making a film. I was home just before 7pm. My GPS having recorded 45 miles, surprisingly short but maybe it was the hills.

The Ashwell Museum is open for Sundays until CHRISTMAS! This tea-stop and others, such as Ickleton Riverside Café, could be fitted into a say bi-monthly Sunday afternoon Winter program. The Runs committee should consider. John Ferguson

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