Thursday, 22 September 2016

22 Sep: Thursday ride to Newport and Great Saling

Edward writes: This Thursday, with the official arrival of autumn the day before, the weather started to feel like the actual season it's supposed to be in. Today's temperature was in the late teens against last week when it was near to thirty degrees centigrade. Our ride to Newport and Great Saling would probably be the last of the long rides this year and in Brookside with Rupert as leader there were six riders whereas we at Hauxton started with ten. It was good to see Richard out for a brief ride and Adrian joining us.


As it was to be a long ride we chose the most direct route to Newport through Little Shelford and Whittlesford to the A505. Along the way we were joined by Gerry, Mike B and Susan which Greg thought made us a bit like the Pied Piper gathering a following as we went along.

Catmere End

As is now the custom we went round the Duxford factory area, over the railway and ford to Hinxton and Ickleton before embarking on the climb up to the summit of Coploe Hill. (Anybody wanting blackberries would find plenty here.) After a brief rest we continued to Catmere End and then the road up to the radio mast before the fast descent down to Wendens Ambo.

Mike B and Adrian on Coploe Hill

Sarah on Coploe Hill

With no further ado we arrived in Newport just after 11am, conveniently just ahead of those city slickers from Brookside. As we have come to expect from the staff at Dorrington's they were well organised and quickly dealt with the dispensing of coffee and cakes. Already there enjoying the sunshine we found Greta, Doug, Craig and Jim.


For the next session the two groups decided to take the same route to Great Saling which meant we had to do the mile or so south on the B1383 until we reached the Henham turn just before the motorway. Now, for a while at least, we were on quiet roads to Elsenham station. After waiting for the train to pass and surprisingly found that the gates were manually operated we carried on southwards and on to a fairly busy road to Molehill Green.

Elsenham Station

Elsenham Station

Now things quietened down again towards Broxted where we encountered a road closed sign. Usually cycles are able to squeeze through and so we decided it was worth the risk. It was nice to observe the high standard of road repairs and with complimentary words to the workforce we got through easily enough.


Great Easton and Lindsell soon followed as we ran along the delightfully named Lubberhedges Lane which took us through quiet countryside. As we looked at the fields we saw that the harvest is now well behind us and ploughing, harrowing and drilling are all very much in progress. The final approach to Andrews Field is reached by a short stretch off-road but a refuse collection truck made the leader miss it (that's his story and he’s sticking to it), which caused a three-mile detour round Stebbing before we arrived at the airfield at about 1.20pm and 37 miles.

Arriving at Great Saling

Andrews Field is always nice to visit. Their food is good, reasonably priced and the staff are friendly. However, recently there has been a trend for more people to take sandwiches with relatively few buying food at the counter and it was pointed out to us that isn't what we should be doing and we wouldn't be welcome if it happened again. A point to bear in mind in the future.

Preparing to leave Great Saling

After lunch we assembled to leave with the time at 2.15 pm. Rupert decided to lead his group home on a more direct route via Great Bardfield with a following group of nine going via Shalford followed by the four miles of lanes which lead to Finchingfield.

In the lanes on the approach to Finchingfield

Then followed a further six miles to Helions Bumpstead and after the climb up to Castle Camps it was our regular ride back through Bartlow and Linton where we said goodbye to Vic F who had joined us at lunch. The ride ended via the A505 cycleway to Sawston and Great Shelford. We had good weather throughout and a very enjoyable round trip of 72 miles finishing at 5pm. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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