Thursday, 21 September 2017

21 Sep: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Castle Hedingham

Edward writes: This Thursday Edmund our leader took us out to Horseheath for coffee and Castle Hedingham for lunch, with Rupert leading the city six from Brookside. The start time had been brought forward to 9.15am but this didn't prevent a latecomer who has to remains nameless.

Edmund got a grip on matters from the start and divided the sixteen or so riders into two groups. His plans, though, had to be changed owing to the level crossing at Sawston being closed. This meant a diversion through Great Shelford, a bit busy at this time of the morning, which took us past the Gog Magog golf course and the climb over the Gogs to Fulbourn.

Gogs Summit, but business as usual

This now meant a long straight road to Balsham which must be about five miles and all of it uphill; not a pleasant ride but we reached Balsham unscathed.

Fulbourn to Balsham

Now further out into the country we arrived at Balsham by way of Streetly End. As is usual with the Old Red Lion in Horseheath we found a number of 'independents', including Malcolm and Gwen, such that we more or less took over the pub.

Preparing to leave Horseheath

After coffee we seemed to leave in a number of different groups with the usual smattering returning home. As we crossed the A1307 for Cardinal's Green we encountered a lone cyclist pedalling this main road and it turned out that he was cycle-touring and was heading to the Harwich ferry to his home in Holland. Adrian persuaded him that he would be better off with us rather than staying on the A1307 as directed by his GPS. He was quite prominent in that he was riding bare-chested and he stayed with us all the way to Castle Hedingham where he also lunched with us.

Towards Castle Camps

We made slow but steady progress through the Bumpsteads, Stambourne and Toppesfield. All went well through good cycling countryside until a junction caused some confusion, but not to Adrian. It never pays to go against Adrian and those who did found themselves having to turn back and shamefacedly returning to the junction and going the way the Adrian had originally said. What would Homer Simpson have said!

Helions Bumpstead

Finally we arrived in Castle Hedingham but only as the leading group was leaving. It seems that Buckley's, our lunch stop, had coped well despite the numbers exceeding our estimate.

Sible Hedingham to Wethersfield

Sible Hedingham to Wethersfield

Our now small group left Castle Hedingham at 2.20pm and made our way to Wethersfield which now shows little sign of the large American airbase which closed some years ago. This proved the turning point as now we were no longer riding into the wind as we had all morning but now faced more north-westerly and the wind was more or less behind us.

Finchingfield came next and then back to Helions Bumpstead and as we were obviously far behind the leading group we carried on to Castle Camps rather than Edmund's chosen route via Olmstead Green.

At least after Castle Camps it was all downhill to Bartlow and Linton. We completed the ride through Little Abington, over the farm track to Babraham, Sawston and Great Shelford, arriving at 5 pm and for those doing the route correctly about 68 miles. Although we didn't see much of our leaders our thanks to both of them for their efforts. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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