Sunday, 11 September 2016

11 Sep: Sunday afternoon ride to Braughing

John F writes: My companions for our third, and last, Sunday afternoon ride this year to this favourite tea-stop were Beverely, John E, Mike K, Neil, Phil, Simon and Stan. This was going to be a challenging ride because of a brisk adverse wind on the outward stretch so it was well we were starting half an hour earlier. I was keen to introduce some variety into the route by bring in a loop through Wyddial and Buntingford to the west of the B1368.

At Brookside

At Brookside

By 2.30pm we had crossed the A505 at Flint Cross and thankfully got clear of the deranged petrol-heads who regard the Newton-Fowlmere road as their private race-track. We enjoyed a short pause at Great Chishill for regrouping and drinks after the stiff climb.

Neil, Simon and Stan in Great Chishill

Thence it was the quiet rolling lane to Shaftenhoe End and then the steady climb to Nuthampstead. Here Simon's GPS recorded our maximum altitude of 550ft at Anstey. Somewhere along this stretch Stan decided to return home.

Pausing at Anstey

At Anstey, beside the iconic well-head, we took the lane sign-posted Barkway which eventually winkled its way round by Anstey quarry and across the B1368 through Wyddial into Buntingford. I intend sometime to investigate continuing down to Westmill and crossing the B1368 near Hay Street and so avoid most of the cycling on the B1368. If someone has already done this perhaps they could contact me?

Today we headed back to the B1368 at Hare Street and down the B1368 into Braughing. There I consulted some locals as to the village's pronunciation and was informed that this could be either "Braffing" or "Bruffing". So take your pick.

We reached the tea-room at 4.10pm, just as the all-day riders were leaving and this was perhaps fortunate for I have never seen the place so crowded.

Meeting the all-day riders at Braughing

Tea at St Mary's Church Hall, Braughing

We spent an enjoyable half hour over tea and then set off homewards via all three Pelhams, Meesden Bury and into Langley Lower Green.

Turning point on the Brent Pelham to Meesden Road

From there I was pleased that all six followed me onto the track via Building End which is a delightful route, predominantly downhill, past some stunning houses and into Chrishall and through Crawley End to Chrishall Grange.

New House, Building End

Thatched House in Chrishall

Mike who was ahead disappeared and presumably continued onto to Ickleton. At Newton there was a brief stop while we helped to a young cyclist with a mechanical problem

Pausing at Newton on the return journey

I was home at 6.50pm, having cycled about 58 miles: probably our longest Sunday afternoon ride of the year.

I am indebted to Simon whose GPS measured the outward route accurately as 29.7 miles. Its batteries had run out for the return journey but the homeward route must have been about the same length. John Ferguson

Download GPS track (GPX).

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