Thursday, 16 February 2017

16 Feb: Thursday ride to Newport and Clavering Lakes

Edward writes: A touch of spring was in the air for this Thursday's ride to Newport and Clavering Lakes and this was very much welcome bearing in mind the very low temperatures we’ve had recently. In fact the sun was out, blue skies and an expected afternoon temperature in the region of 13-14C. John R (again) led the city start with eight riders and out at Hauxton Averil led a group of fifteen. Noticeable by their absence were some of our Arsenal supporters who, after last night's result, may have considered a day of quiet reflection was in order rather than being out on the bike. On the other hand we were joined by Sharon and Belinda who may have been inspired into action by last week's blog. Whether that's true or not it was good to see them out again. Also guesting with us were Greta's friends Jim and Jill from Stevenage.

Averil led us away from Hauxton in bright sunlight and was soon some distance ahead of the main group causing us to wander if she had been studying Rupert's method of leading by being almost out of sight. After the initial burst she settled into good leadership mode and stopped from time to time allowing us all to regroup. By now we had passed through Whittlesford and had come to Duxford where a slight navigational error sent us up Duxford Grange, rather than to Ickleton, to run parallel to the air museum.

Duxford Grange (Duxford End)

This was a bit unfortunate as the road was very wet and muddy following last night's rain, mainly near the farm half way along. (Averil will clean bikes by appointment only.)

Duxford Grange

Royston Lane

To bring us back on track we turned into Chrishall Grange and then into Royston Lane which is another of our pot-holed third-world roads and great care was needed especially on the descent side. This soon brought us back to Coploe Hill and the short distance up to Catmere End. More dirty roads followed as we made our way through to Telegraph Hill where we descended to Wendens Ambo; this just left a mile or so along the B1383 into Newport.

At Dorrington's we found the city riders already there plus some independent riders including Geoff, Peter W, Jacob, Craig and Frances and probably one or two others. Dorrington's is always popular and with the sun out and a springlike feeling to the day many chose to sit outside.

It was midday when we started again and John took a small group away before Averil led a larger group south along the B1383 to the Henham turning beside the motorway.

As we were leaving Newport Simon had a puncture and he agreed to take a shorter route by himself to Clavering. We turned to rejoin the B1383 at Ugley but this time heading north to the Rickling Green turning. This was followed by Rickling and soon after we found ourselves at Clavering Lakes after a relatively short ride of ten miles from Newport.

The turning for Ugley

The turning for Ugley

Rickling Green


Meanwhile Adrian made his own way to Clavering on one of his off-road routes. We could see him to our right on a hill in the distance. A telephoto lens would have made a good picture.

It was just as well we were early for lunch because we hadn’t made a booking and the twenty-one riders had to wait quite a long time to be served. Simon arrived after everyone else having had another puncture.

It was 2.15 pm before we left for home and during the lunch break the blue skies had given way to an overcast sky and it felt quite a bit cooler. The brisk westerly wind, though, was now more in our favour as we headed north to Langley Lower Green.

Another sign that better weather is on the way is the appearance of snowdrops and aconites in the grass verges, sadly having to compete for attention with all the roadside litter. On our way to Little Chishill, Adrian and Simon left to do some off-road work with all the rest, after Little Chishill, making the last climb of the day into Great Chishill. There we found David T and John R assisting Anne who had also become another puncture victim.

Between Langley and Little Chishill

Between Langley and Little Chishill

After Great Chishill it's all downhill for more than two miles to Flint Cross on the A505. The last few miles took us through Fowlmere, Thriplow, Newton and Little Shelford. With the ride at an end at 4pm, those doing the full circuit back to Hauxton would have cycled 47 miles. Our thanks to our two leaders, John and Averil. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).


  1. Good blog, Eddie; but too many photos of Mike CC yet again!