Sunday, 1 November 2015

1 Nov: Sunday ride to Ickleton and Buntingford

Conrad writes: When I reached Brookside 90 seconds late due to a rear tire that stubbornly refused to inflate until I switched pumps, I found Rupert, Eva, Andy, David, Li, Alex and Ian W about to send a distress signal to my phone.

My first challenge of the day was how to stretch the ride to coffee to 90 minutes. We took the usual route to Chapel Hill, and climbed above the light fog to see the summit completely bathed in glorious sunshine. We only stopped long enough to take off some layers before we descended into Barrington and then made our way to Shepreth, where the fog was quite thick. The low visibility meant that we took our time to cross the A10 and the A505 after Fowlmere but once we turned right at Chishill Grange, the fog lifted and we enjoyed what later turned out to be the warmest November day in UK’s recorded history. We then had to be careful to avoid the potholes on Royston Lane, which seemed to have suffered even more damage than usual, which is saying a lot and doesn’t bode well for the winter.

On Grange Road, approaching Ickleton (Photo: Alex Brown)

On Grange Road, approaching Ickleton (Photo: Alex Brown)

We arrived at Riverside Barns at 11am to find a large group including Mike C, Ed, Doug, Adrian, Craig, and Ian D. I noticed several members, in obvious defiance to the recent WHO report, ordering bacon sarnies that I have to admit smelt really good on a Sunday morning. After coffee, most people returned to Cambridge leaving me with Ian D, Rupert, Eva, David and Li for the next leg.

Photo: Ian Driver

Photo: Ian Driver

We backtracked our way through Ickleton and took the long climb to Elmdon and then made our way to Duddenhoe End, Langley and Langley Lower Green where Rupert left us to return to Cambridge.

Langley (Photo: Ian Driver)

We then climbed up to Meesden and Anstey before turning left on a road signposted Flint Hall, although I have never figured out where exactly is this Flint Hall. At this point, I have to issue a PSA. For the most part this is a quiet country road but it ends in a narrow descent before joining the B1038. This last section is shaded with gravel on the middle of the road and at this time of the year, can be slippery.

Turning right at the B1038 we reached Hare Street and from there it was just another climb into Buntingford. Today’s lunch stop was the Coffee Shop and the weather was so warm we sat outside to enjoy the sun. John Seton joined us soon after but he was going to make his way to join the afternoon ride at Ashdon. I had entertained a similar thought but reasoned that there was no way we could reach Ashdon by 3pm so we went back to Cambridge via the usual route of Wyddial, Nuthampstead and Great Chishill. Along the way, Ian D and Li left to make their own way back home.

I reached home at 3:45pm in what must have been a record for the earliest end to an all-day ride. It was so early I even had time to work on the garden for an hour before sunset! Conrad Chua

Conrad led the ride today (Photo: Alex Brown)



Download GPS track (GPX).

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