Thursday, 5 November 2015

5 Nov: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Dullingham

Edward writes: This week we met at Hauxton under cloudy skies, a slight south westerly breeze, but very mild with the temperature already in double figures. Although the forecast predicted rain by about 3pm it didn't deter fourteen riders meeting for today's ride out to Horseheath and Dullingham. We also had the opportunity to extend a welcome to Jeff who was making his debut with us and also Dave who has been out on the weekend rides.

Our leader today was Geoff and he led us away through Little Shelford and out to Whittlesford where we joined the cycleway to Sawston.

The Whittlesford to Sawston cycleway

Following yesterday's rain, and with all the leaves on the ground, the cycle paths and some of roads needed care as they had the potential to be slippery. We went through Sawston, along the cycleway to Babraham and on to the farm track to Little Abington where we went past the splendid new playing fields for the Cambridge International School and eventually out to the A1307.

The farm track from Babraham to Little Abington

Bourn Bridge Road, Little Abington

Our route took us round the back of Hildersham and the two mile climb up to Balsham.


Balsham was followed by the undulating ride to West Wickham, Streetley End and finally Horseheath and the well-known club favourite, The Old Red Lion Inn.

When we arrived we met with Peter W and David M and we all sat down to enjoy the treats that were laid before us which included treacle tart, ginger cake and baked cookies as well as the tea and coffee. It's incredible how well we are looked after and little wonder that we like coming here and all for three pounds. Sadly, we had to move on and at 11.45, with the usual exchanges, ten set off for Dullingham.

To West Wickham

We went back to West Wickham, over Wratting Common into Carlton and Brinkley where we were already within a few miles of Dullingham but Geoff extended the ride by taking us towards Six Mile Bottom. Halfway down the hill we turned off and put in a loop through Westley Waterless before coming into Dullingham and The Boot for our lunch break having travelled twenty-five miles.

It's some time since we last visited The Boot and on today's evidence that's a shortcoming that should be rectified. We were warmly welcomed and the eight who had lunch inside were served very nice meals and the whole lunch break was a very pleasant experience. John S arrived to join us but this was just before we were ready to leave for home. Perhaps mindful of the weather forecast Geoff got us under way again at 1.45pm which would mean we should finish the ride before 3pm when the rain was due.

Preparing to leave Dullingham

We split into two groups with Rupert and Peter leaving to go via Swaffham Bulbeck so that they could get back to the north of Cambridge and Geoff led his group of eight on the cross-country route towards Weston Colville but before long we took a rarely used road down to Westley Bottom. This was a nice change even though it was a very bumpy ride on a not very well-maintained road. We arrived at the railway and crossed by the side gate as this is not a road with automatic barriers. We emerged on to the A1307 and a mile or so later we reached Six Mile Bottom where we turned for the two mile stretch up to Little Wilbraham. This road is a bit of a race track with even big lorries going past us at speed, but we reached Little Wilbraham in one piece and onto the quieter roads through Great Wilbraham and Fulbourn.

Crossing the railway at Fulbourn

We finished the ride with a climb over the Gogs and into Great Shelford. Those going back to Hauxton would have completed 45 miles with the ride ending at 3pm, beating the rain which was little late, arriving at 4pm. Our thanks to Geoff for another good day out which included one or two new, or at least, seldom used roads.Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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