Thursday, 27 July 2017

27 Jul: Thursday ride to Reed and Stansted Mountfitchet

Edward writes: Today's ride was destined for the Silver Ball at Reed and to the Bean House in Stansted Mountfitchet, with Sheila leading from Hauxton and Glyn doing the honours at Brookside. The weather forecast was sort of OK with some showers predicted from late morning onwards, and accompanied by a westerly wind which, as we were heading southwards, wouldn’t be of much consequence on either the outward or the homeward journey.

I didn't get the numbers from the city but at Hauxton we had eleven, that is until we were about to set off, Greg turned up; some people just like to make grand entrances. Our ride started into Little Shelford and then over the hill to Newton. Unusually we missed out Thriplow and carried straight on to Fowlmere where we found Mike B waiting to join us. We negotiated the A505 and made our way to Chrishall Grange ready for the climb up the hill to the Elmdon turning where we had the usual pause so that everyone could come together again. This brought us to a lovely part of south Cambridgeshire with fine views all round, except that we had to pedal hard on the hills so probably not too much notice was taken of the surrounding countryside.


Shaftenhoe End was followed by a stiff climb before descending to reach the B1368 for the run into Barkway and finally up to Reed and the Silver Ball for coffee where we found the city group already installed.

Coffee at Reed

As is now the custom quite a few turned back after coffee but this still left two sizeable groups to head for Stansted. Just as we were about to leave we had the first squally shower of the day causing the waterproofs to go on, but luckily it didn't last long.

Leaving Reed

We had to retrace our steps back to Barkway where there appeared to be a dispute between Garmins and brains, with the former apparently directing us back the way had just come. Maybe the Garmins were confused because of the diversion signs in Barkway, but luckily brains won the day and we continued south through the village before taking the Anstey turning.

Now we were in the Hertfordshire countryside with much quieter, more rural roads. We went past the golf course before another minor encounter with the gamins but Adrian knew the turning to take and who would you put your money on if it was a choice between a Garmin and Adrian? Most people would reckon that would be 'no contest'.

The ride got better as the roads through Brent and Stocking Pelham were really pleasant but the best bit was going down to Manuden, as this was a very pleasant ride on narrow roads with hedgerows either side. Now in Essex our ride to lunch was only two more miles and we arrived at the Bean House at 1 pm only a few minutes after Glyn’s group.

Near Stocking Pelham

Near Stocking Pelham

The Bean House is a fairly recent discovery. They are always most welcoming and they are always pleased to see us and everything else matched up with good quality food at a fair price and all served in order for us to leave by 2pm. The Bean House should always feature on our runs list.

Glyn led his group away first with Sheila following a few minutes later with a large contingent of thirteen. We left Stansted on the road out to the B1383 which immediately took us to Alsa Street and on to Ugley Green before arriving at Elsenham level crossing where we had a long wait for two trains and then wait for the manually operated gates to be opened.


Elsenham Station

We carried on beside the motorway and railway before rejoining the B1383 to run down to Newport after which we turned off to go through Wendens Ambo.

Wendens Ambo

Wendens Ambo

This inevitably took us face to face with the long climb up to Telegraph Hill. As we climbed we could see heavy storm clouds developing in the direction of Coploe Hill and it was a question of whether or not we would get though unscathed.

Telegraph Hill

Threatening Clouds over Coploe Hill

In the event we just about made it; we did get some rain but the worst of it missed us. We finished the ride through Ickleton, Duxford and Whittlesford. It was 4pm and we had covered 57 miles so thanks to Glyn and to Sheila for their routes which took us through some lovely Herts and Essex countryside.
Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

1 comment:

  1. Good report again, Eddie! Hopefully I'll stay the pace for the whole day next week! JJ