Sunday, 2 July 2017

2 Jul: Sunday ride to Finchingfield, Stansted Mountfitchet and Foxton

Alex writes: I was joined at Brookside by Dimitris, Keith, Mike CC, Nick W, Ray, and Simon G for today's ride to Finchingfield, Stansted Mountfitchet and Foxton. The day was already set fair with sunny warm conditions, though not so unbearably baking as it has been of late.

Ready for the off (Photo: Nick W)

Finchingfield is one of our more distant coffee stops, being a good 40 km (25 miles) distant. Still, at normal club pace that means we would have time to arrive in time for an 11 o'clock stop.

We headed out of town on the Babraham road, took the footbridge over the A11 and then cycled to Linton and Bartlow. We then turned on to the very attractive lane past Camps End and bimbling along in the dappled light it was hard to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday morning.

Over Wandlebury Hill (Photo: Nick W)

Over Wandlebury Hill (Photo: Nick W)

Over Wandlebury Hill (Photo: Nick W)

Post footbridge (Photo: Nick W)

As we approached Finchingfield the pace quickened as the prospect of a second breakfast asserted its special pull.

Approaching Finchingfield (Photo: Nick W)

Approaching Finchingfield (Photo: Nick W)

Approaching Finchingfield (Photo: Nick W)

We arrived just after 11 to find Edmund already enjoying the delights of Bosworth's Tearooms. This was my first visit here and I was impressed with the service and the generosity of the cream tea (2 scones!).

Edmund joins us after coffee (Photo: Nick W)

After coffee we made our way indirectly to lunch, on a route designed to be a laney as possible, culminating in John S's "Snakes Lane" approach to Stansted from the North.

Mike CC! (Photo: Nick W)

Alex (Photo: Nick W)

Laney days (Photo: Nick W)

Ray a'wheel (Photo: Nick W)

Alex a'wheel (Photo: Nick W)

Mike CC a'wheel (Photo: Nick W)

At Stansted Nick left us to go harass the riders on the London-Cambridge ride, while the rest of us stopped for lunch.

Selfie (Photo: Nick W)

The Bean House was as excellent as ever, and after an hour, rested and replete, we set off into the hot afternoon starting with a sweaty climb out of town.

For some reason I had in mind it was 40 km to tea, and so was keen to keep things moving to get there in time. I cracked the whip, anxious to make steady progress. But I needn't have: after a glorious long descent from Great Chishill we found ourselves on course to arrive earlier than I thought. It was after all only 35 km we'd had to cycle.

Home teas are always some of the highlights of the year, and Sue H's was a real treat with a spread of sandwiches and so many beautiful cakes it was sadly impossible to sample them all (I tried the cherry cake and the Victoria sponge; Ray raved particularly about the chocolate cake).

Mike CC amid the sandwiches

Rupert goes for lemon drizzle

Tea scene

After dallying in Sue's beautiful garden until we could eat no more, we all set off for a gentle ride home along the A10 cycleway.

When I got home I found I had ridden 118 km (73 miles).

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