Thursday, 8 October 2015

8 Oct: Thursday ride to Newport and Great Bardfield

Edward writes: Last weekend the forecasts seemed to be telling us that the weather was on the change and last Thursday there was every reason to believe that it would be the last in such wonderful sunshine. Not so; early morning today was certainly a bit nippy with overnight temperatures down to about 4 or 5 degrees centigrade, but by the time we met in Hauxton the sun was out and the sky was blue with only a light northerly wind. Pretty good conditions for another good ride.

Gathering at Hauxton

Before we set off we welcomed two more riders making their debuts with us, namely Mia and Mike P. Ian W was today's leader and some task he had in front of him with at least twenty-four riders to shepherd along the lanes to Newport for coffee and to the Blue Egg at Great Bardfield for lunch.

Naturally we set up two groups and Ian led the first away with Rupert taking charge of the following group. Newport is about sixteen miles from Hauxton and Ian chose the more direct route through Whittlesford and down to the A505 so that we could be sure of arriving for coffee by 11 am. In Duxford went through the factory area, over the railway and the ford where Mike CC wasn't inclined to demonstrate his skill at riding through the water, and so we all went over by the little bridge.

This took us to Hinxton, back over the railway into Ickleton where we came face to face with our old friend Coploe Hill. With the breeze behind us this presented no problems and the great throng arrived safely at the summit and a short rest in the lay-by. Whatever the season the surrounding countryside always looks good from up here and today the fields were in their autumn colour being prepared for the next season's crops.

Coploe Hill

Coploe Hill

Coploe Hill

Catmere End followed and we turned towards Littlebury Green but before the actual village we turned onto the narrow lanes which, after a bit of climbing, lead to the rapid descent to the edge of Wendons Ambo. It's always nice going through this quiet little village which seems so far removed from the busy B1383 and railway which run nearby.

Towards Wendens Ambo

We soon came to the B1383 and a mile later we were all arriving at Dorrington's for our first break of the day.

As expected there were more riders there enjoying coffee and unsurprisingly it took some time for everyone to get served and many chose to sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun's rays. After coffee there was the usual exchange of personnel but still at least twenty-two set out for the next session. This took us further along the B1383 until the turning for Henham just before the motorway. We now began a really nice rural run through Henham and onto Broxted Hill where the hill took everyone by surprise catching many in too high a gear and unable to keep going with no other choice but to push the bikes to the top.

Broxted Hill

This road ended at Suckstead Green where we joined the B1051 for a mile or so enabling us to turn to Monk Street which, for many of us, was new territory and very pleasant it was too, but we all too soon reached the busy B184. We crossed this into Richmond's Green and into more familiar ground at Lindsell leaving about three miles to reach Great Bardfield and the Blue Egg for our lunch break.

Monk Street

As usual the Blue Egg was busy, and also as usual, some of us had brought a packed lunch while others ordered a light meal. Nearly everyone sat outside and still able to enjoy the warm sun but by now there was beginning to be more cloud cover.

Leaving the Blue Egg Cafe

At 2 pm it was time to start again and this took us back into Great Bardfield where we joined the very quiet lanes that lead, via Waltham's Cross, into Finchingfield which under the bright sunshine looked particularly appealing.

The windmill at Finchingfield

From Finchingfield our route home took us past Spain's Hall on the five mile stretch down to the B1054, on into Helions Bumpstead and the loop round Olmsted Green, Bartlow and into Linton.

To Helions Bumpstead

Olmstead Green to Bartlow

We were just left with Little Abington, the footbridge over the A11, Babraham and Sawston where those going back to Hauxton left us with the last remaining half dozen or so going through Stapleford and Great Shelford.

Crossing the A11 at Little Abington

Today was a lovely ride along many quiet lanes and our thanks to Ian for all his efforts in making it such a success. All would have cycled a minimum of 62 miles. Edward Elmer



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