Thursday, 23 June 2016

23 Jun: Thursday ride to Hare Street and Standon

Edward writes: During last night there was very heavy rainfall, but by the time we all left home to head to Brookside and Haslingfield we only had overcast skies. In fact the outlook didn't look promising and thunderstorms were predicted for later in the day. This was also one of those oppressive days when the air seems to hang heavy making simple tasks (cycling included) more of an effort.

This week's ride was a joint Averil - Mike C production, with Averil leading from Brookside (6 riders), and Mike from Haslingfield (8 riders). Low numbers, but perhaps the weather outlook may have deterred some.

From Haslingfield we went through to Harston and over the hill into Newton. One big plus for us was the absence of any wind which always makes it easier, so we were able to make good progress through Thriplow and Fowlmere.

Thriplow

On the ride up to the A505 at Flint Cross there is a field given over to wild flowers, mainly poppies, and it turned a quite ordinary road into something very attractive.

Between Fowlmere and Flint Cross

After we crossed the A505 we had our first encounter with the hills in this Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire border area.

After Flint Cross

However, we all successfully arrived in Barley, including Mike CC, and now began the rolling roads through Shaftenhoe End to Nuthampstead and Anstey, all very delightful.

Barley

Barley

In Anstey we headed towards the B1368 but turned to our left and used the quiet road which runs parallel to it and brought us out in Great Hormead. This left us with a mile or so to Hare Street and our coffee break at the March Hare Coffee Shop. Averil’s group arrived a little later having spent time trying to repair Rupert’s patches (sorry, it should be tube). There was a suggestion that we should have a whip round to buy Rupert a new tube, but sadly there were no takers. It was as well that we came to the cafe as, apart from one local, we were the only customers, but we were well looked after and had an enjoyable break.

Hare Street

After coffee quite a few went home, but with the addition of Peter W we still had a dozen going on to Standon for our next break. This started with a short ride to Buntingford and Aspenden.

Hare Street to Buntingford

We now headed southward taking in Westmill and Nasty before turning off in Great Munden. Adrian, meanwhile turned off in Nasty to take in a loop round Cherry Green. After Great Munden we quickly came to the A10 which gave us a trip round Puckeridge and back to the A10 again for the crossing into Standon. Unusually, everyone had brought sandwiches or chose to buy a roll in Day’s meaning nobody went into the pub for lunch, so we all sat outside on benches in the village street.

Between Aspenden and Great Munden

Between Aspenden and Great Munden

At 2 pm we started the afternoon session by going back to Puckeridge and briefly joined the B1368 up to Braughing where we were able to turn off and join quiet country lanes again. This enabled us to complete a hat trick of Pelhams passing through Furneux, Stocking and finally Brent Pelham. Not only did we do the hat trick we were also passing through wonderful countryside and despite there being no sun it’s noticeable that the fields of barley are beginning to take on a golden glow which is a sobering thought as next month it will be being harvested.

Brent Pelham

All this brought us to Langley Lower Green, Upper Green and Duddenhoe End where the descent from the hills begins. We came home through Chrishall, Chrishall Grange, Fowlmere and Thriplow arriving in Shelford just after 4.0 pm having covered 56 miles. We missed all the rain and we had a really good day out which means a big thank you to Averil and Mike for successfully navigating us round all the little lanes. Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

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