As we started it was soon apparent that this was going to be a tough ride as the wind was strong from the South and essentially our ride would be due south. We took the direct route through Whittlesford to the A505 at Duxford where we came across the city riders who had made good progress following their earlier start.
In Duxford the routes differed slightly as Rupert’s group went along the main road to Ickleton, whereas Edmund's group went through the Duxford factory area and Hinxton before coming back to Ickleton. Thus we were all now on the same course with the climb up Coploe Hill to follow, and this enabled Rupert’s group to get well ahead.
We approached Littlebury Green followed by the rather messy climb to Telegraph Hill. The descent from here is steep but today it was into the wind and some pedalling was required to maintain momentum. We turned for Arkesden which involves some hard work as there are one or two lengthy climbs and going into the wind it became very tiring. At last we got into Arkesden and onto the final two miles into Clavering and the Christian Centre arriving at 11.20 am for a welcome coffee and cake(s). It was good to see Peter W again, even if he did come by car, who had returned from the allegedly warmer climes of Spain.
As is the way here we were treated to a fine array of home-made cakes with many going back to make second choices. A coffee and cake for £1.50 we might say represents a good deal, or even a bargain. At coffee there seemed to be much discussion about what should happen next as the weather wasn't very friendly for cycling. Rupert had already agreed to take a group back to Cambridge and Edmund decided to curtail his planned ride to take a shorter route to Braughing. I was in another group of seven whose intention was to take an even shorter route to Braughing, but once outside, with rain in the air, the spirit was no longer willing and we were soon persuaded that going home was the better option.
On leaving Braughing we went along to Langley Upper Green and Duddenhoe End where we descended from the North Essex hills to the flatter ground of Cambridgeshire with just the short rise to Chrishall and then downhill to Chrishall Grange, Fowlmere, Thriplow, Newton and Great Shelford. This brought our ride to an end at 1:30 pm and 34 miles. Thanks to Edmund whose task wasn’t helped by the weather conditions. Edward Elmer
Download GPS track (GPX).