Saturday, 14 October 2017

12 Oct: Thursday ride to Hare Street and Stansted Mountfitchet

Edward writes: Today, according to the forecast, was destined to be ideal for cycling, sunny, a light south-westerly breeze made it a near-perfect autumn day. Our ride today was coffee at Hare Street and then onto Stansted. In Haslingfield Susan had seventeen riders and back at Brookside Alan had nine, making a very good turnout for the day.

We had to start with a ride over Chapel Hill into Barrington and Shepreth where we crossed the A10 to reach Fowlmere. After Flint Cross on the A505 we began the two and quarter mile climb up to Great Chishill and as we reached the top we found that Alan and his city team had caught us up.

Great Chishill

About three different groups then headed off to Shaftenhoe End and at the same time enjoying the views this route accords us. Nuthampstead and Anstey followed after which there may have been one or two different routes taken, i.e. some turning left at Flint Hall and going into Great Hormead whilst others went straight to the B1368 but all eventually arrived safely at Hare Street. Somehow Angela had become detached from the groups but luckily salvation soon arrived in the form of David W and he was able to guide her to the coffee stop. With the 'independents' there was quite a lot for the staff to do but eventually everyone was served and we had a pleasant time in the garden enjoying the autumn sunshine.

Hare Street

Hare Street

We left the March Hare Tea Rooms shortly after mid-day and those following Susan retraced their steps to Hormead and Flint Hall which allowed us to take a longer loop to reach Brent Pelham. We were now on quiet country roads which took us via Sheepcote Green and thence to Clavering, and given the weather, this was becoming a classic cycle ride. After Clavering we headed almost due south into Manuden and it was then only a short distance into Stansted, if a bit hilly. On the way in Richard noticed two Red Kites circling above us. We arrived in Stansted at 1.20pm and the Bean House which is one of our favourite lunch stops. It's no surprise that it is liked so much, the staff always being cheerful and obliging especially as our estimate of about ten was more than doubled; in fact the comment was 'the more the merrier'. It doesn’t come any better than that!

Although Alan’s group left Hare Street before Susan's they arrived after us but not sure of their route. After the excellent lunches it was 2.15 pm when we began the journey home. Most of Susan’s group had to make the climb up the hill to Elsenham with Adrian and one or two others going via Ugley Green but we all met again at Elsenham station.


We ran parallel to the railway until the turning for Ugley where we met the B1383 for a few hundred yards to the turning for Rickling Green. This was followed by Rickling and Arkesden where we are able to meet up with Mike C who had had to make a late start.



Alan's group came through as we waited and we followed only a few minutes later heading for Duddenhoe End and Elmdon.

Duddenhoe End

Although Elmdon to Ickleton is basically downhill there is a sting halfway along with a steep climb before the final descent into Ickleton where we found Alan and his group at the foot of Coploe Hill. This brought us all together giving a very satisfactory end to the day. When the ride ended it was 4.45 pm giving most a ride from Haslingfield of 60 miles. As ever our thanks to the two leaders and the combination of their routes and the weather made this a great day out. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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