Thursday, 1 June 2017

1 Jun: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Great Yeldham

Edward writes: The first day of June is the beginning of the meteorological summer and we had weather to match. Those cold north-easterly wind which persisted for much of April now seem a distant memory. Today's ride would take us out to Great Yeldham for lunch, taking in Horseheath for coffee. Our leaders were Sarah in the city with six riders, and out at Hauxton with Edmund at the helm we had sixteen. Sarah’s route to Horseheath would be via Fulbourn and the long ride up to Balsham.


With our sixteen it was easy to divide into two equal groups (roughly anyway), and so we set off through Little Shelford to Whittlesford where we joined the cycle path through Sawston to Babraham. There was a very slight south-westerly breeze which throughout the day neither helped very much, nor did it hinder. After the noisy A505 cycle path we went through Abington into Hildersham. Now began the first serious climb of the day, being the two mile ascent up to Balsham.

Whittlesford to Sawston


From Balsham, instead of going straight through to West Wickham we diverted round the narrow country lanes to Streetly End, before arriving in Horseheath and the Old Red Lion a minute or two after 11am having covered seventeen miles.

Balsham to Streetly End


Last time we came here there was a bit of mix-up with the cakes running out before everyone had arrived. This time we called the pub from Hauxton, with Sarah texting her numbers through to me in Hauxton, and we were able to alert them to the likely numbers, although we had to guess the number of 'independents'. In the event it all worked very well with more than enough cakes for everyone. Amongst those 'independents' it’s especially good that Vic had made his own way out 'at his own pace'.

Our Vic

By 11.30am three groups set off for Great Yeldham. It’s difficult to account for all the groups' direction of travel but Edmund took his two groups via Nosterfield End into Castle Camps, Helions Bumpstead and Steeple Bumpstead. Stambourne was next followed by Toppesfield which the second group missed and carried straight down to the A1017 enabling us to nip ahead to be the first group to arrive at the Waggon and Horses in Great Yeldham. We were quickly followed by Edmund and then Sarah with their respective groups.

Nosterfield End

Nosterfield End


There is a lovely garden at the Waggon and Horses which offers seats in the sun and also in the shade. Luckily we had pre-booked and our lunches were quickly and efficiently served which all made for a very pleasant lunch break.

Great Yeldham

At 1.50pm it was time to move on and again three groups set off for the homeward journey. Unfortunately in Ashen the group I was in missed the turning for Stoke-by-Clare and thus took ourselves home on a lot of the route we had covered in the morning. However, when we reached Helions Bumpstead we chose the route to Bartlow via Olmstead Green. This was now all familiar territory and brought us into Great Shelford and Hauxton at 4.30 pm giving a ride of 62 miles, probably a few miles shorter than the official route. At least we missed Blacksmiths Hill out of Stoke-by-Clare! As ever thanks to Sarah and Edmund for their efforts in making this a very good day out.

In the absence of a blog last week the leader wants it to be known that it was also a very good ride. So there we have it last week was a very good ride, but no pictures and no blog so we’ll have to take her word for it! Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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