Sunday, 27 August 2017

27 Aug: Sunday ride to Clare, Greenstead Green and West Wratting

Nigel writes: Today's ride was advertised as a "Sunday longer ride", one of an occasional series that are intended to push the distance up slightly from our normal rides and allow us to ride further afield than usual. In the past these have reached 100 miles (161km), though today the distance ended up being only slightly more than normal.

Brookside

Our leader today was Alex, and he was joined at the earlier-than-usual 8.30am start by seven others: Ray, John R, Simon, Andy, Mark, Sheila and me. We set off down Hills Road to Addenbrooke's and an initial warm-up climb over the Gogs from there to Fulbourn was followed by an easy but much longer climb from Fulbourn up to Balsham.

It was a warm, sunny and very pleasant day, with a very light westerly breeze. We continued east, through West Wratting (which we would visit for tea in the afternoon) and on through Wethersfield, Great Wratting and Kedington to Clare.

West Wratting

Wethersfield

Wethersfield

Kedington

Brockley Green

When we reached Clare we stopped for coffee at Platform One Cafe, in the former station buildings in Clare Country Park. This has opened fairly recently and this was the club's first visit. With a simple menu that included both cake and bacon sandwiches everyone was very satisfied, and we will certainly be visiting again in the future.

Clare: Platform One Cafe

Remains of station platforms behind the cafe

Setting off after coffee

After coffee we continued our progress east and south, passing through a series of tiny villages which we only visit one or two times a year, and along a series of delightful quiet lanes.


Foxearth

I remembered Gestingthorpe from my last visit a couple of years ago and stopped to take a second look at the village sign. This shows, amongst other things, a sad and very poignant vignette of Captain Lawrence Oates, hero of the tragic 1912 expedition to the South Pole.

Gestingthorpe village sign

We continued south, passing to the east of Halstead to reach the village of Greenstead Green. Here we stopped for lunch at Greenstead Farm Cafe. Once again this was the club's first visit, and although the menu was very simple I think everyone agreed that it was entirely satisfactory.

Greenstead Green

After lunch we set off back towards Cambridge, returning back to West Wratting via a more southerly route than we had taken in the morning.

Lanes south of Halstead

We reached West Wratting just after 4pm, and stopped for tea at Peter and Lesley's house for a "home tea". After a short while we were joined by John Ferguson and the afternoon ride, together with a number of other members who had made their own way there. As on previous occasions this was an excellent and very enjoyable occasion, and a highlight of the year for the club.

Our bikes during tea

Tea in West Wratting

After tea we returned home via Balsham and a fast descent to Fulbourn and Cambridge. I arrived home just after 6pm, having cycled 142km (88 miles) Nigel Deakin



Download GPS track (GPX).

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