Thursday, 25 August 2016

25 Aug: Thursday ride to Newport and Great Dunmow

Edward writes: After a night of spectacular lightning, thunder and heavy but short-lived rain, fourteen riders met in Hauxton nicely split evenly between the sexes. There had also been some early morning rain but this had cleared before our start time, although there did seem the prospect of further showers throughout the day. Tuesday and Wednesday had been unbearably hot but today was not expected to be so bad but temperatures were still forecast to be in the high twenties centigrade.

In town only three riders met. Our two leaders today were Rupert from Brookside and Edmund from Hauxton and our destinations were Newport for coffee and Great Dunmow for lunch.

From Hauxton we left in two groups and proceeded through Little Shelford and Whittlesford where we crossed the A505 into Duxford. We went by the factory area to the ford where, despite the camera being in position, Mike CC wouldn’t oblige and try his luck again through the water. That was a bit disappointing for the cameraman.

Hinxton Ford

Hinxton-Ickleton Level Crossing

Hinxton-Ickleton Level Crossing

When we reached Ickleton we began the climb up our old favourite Coploe Hill. At the top we stopped for a few minutes to allow those worst affected by the effort to recover.

Mike CC recovers after climbing Coploe HILL

Whilst at the top we were caught by Rupert and his city slickers and here Rupert pulled rank and took over leadership of both groups and this wasn’t altogether unwelcome as it avoided the climb Edmund’s leading group were taking up to Arkesden. So after Catmere End and the Wireless Hill descent we turned left into Wendons Ambo which artfully allowed us to pull into Dorrington’s at Newport in front of the lead group which went via Arkesden.

Now that Dorrington’s get advanced notice of our visit they are well prepared for the rush and deal very well with the numbers and get us through quickly. By this time the sun was out and it was very hot sitting outside on the pavement. Someone noticed that Rupert was wearing his waterproof overshoes which showed that he was taking the weather forecast seriously even if no one else did.

New pair of waterproofs required?

After coffee it was again in two groups that we left which meant a ride along the busy B1383 to the turning beside the M11 and then on the quiet lanes to Henham.

After Henham we went east along the B1051 for about two miles before turning south to Broxted Brick End and after stopping for some consultations of the map we arrived in Little Easton. This was a really nice part of the journey where at times it seemed if there were more aircraft overhead in and out of Stansted than there were cars on the road.

We arrived in Great Dunmow at and thirty miles after leaving Hauxton. The designated lunch stop was a cafe called Rhubarb but as is often the case in the summer most people had sandwiches and we sat on the grassy bank beside a small lake to enjoy them before joining the others having lunch at the cafe for a cup of tea.

Lunch in Great Dunmow

After lunch Rupert led a group with a slightly earlier start leaving a dozen to follow Edmund a little later.

We started the return leg by retracing our steps out of Dunmow to Little Easton. What followed was a delightful ride which went near to familiar names like Tilty, Duton Hill and Great Easton without actually visiting them.

Little Bardfield

This was all very pleasant showing the success of a well-planned route which in the end took us to Thaxted. Now we could have returned by a familiar route down to Debden and Saffron Walden but this ride wasn’t finished yet and we now made our way eastwards to Little Bardfield and then north to Hawkspur Green and Great Sampford where we joined the B1053 for the undulating run up to Radwinter, and it was noticeable how much heat was coming off the recently harvested fields. Finally we were on more familiar territory as Ashdon, Bartlow and Linton came next.


In Hildersham we chose the route to Little Abington and the farm bridge to Babraham. We finished in Great Shelford at just after 5pm leaving Eva, Sheila and Mia to ride to Hauxton with 65 miles under their belts. This was a very successful ride out and many thanks to Edmund for spending time planning the route, and there was no rain! Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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