Sunday, 22 October 2017

22 Oct: Sunday ride to Sturmer, Long Melford and West Wratting

Mike P writes: Four members joined me at Brookside on Sunday morning for the run out to Long Melford and return: Rupert, Dr John, David T and Sheila. This was to be the last three-stop ride of the season. An inclement weather forecast, coupled to a number of regular riders opting to enter Nick Wilkinson's Cambridge Autumnal Audax rides the day before, were such that the turnout would be lower than usual.

Nonetheless, we departed at 9am sharp heading out on the city on Hills Road following the usual route over the Gogs before dropping down to Babraham. Edmund joined the ride at Hildersham as we continued at pace aided by a blustery 20 mph Westerly wind. Linton, Bartlow, Castle Camps and Steeple Bumpstead were visited before heading North to the garden centre on the A1017 at Sturmer, arriving for coffee just before 11am barely out of breath. Here we were met by Adrian and Susan who had made their own way.

After coffee we headed up to Kedlington where Rupert and Dr John peeled off for home. The remaining group of five namely, myself, Sheila, David T, Edmund and Susan continued on with the wind on our backs through quiet and picturesque lanes and villages via Clare, Blecham st Paul and Foxheath, arriving at Long Melford at 12.30pm for lunch. Glimpses of sun and warming temperature made for very pleasant riding.

Lunch was originally planned at the Crown although none of us felt the need for a major refuel so we opted to try Fanny Anne's Tea Room on the High Street a short distance to the South. The ladies running this very traditional establishment were most accommodating even allowing us to bring our bikes into the café. There was a wide range of reasonably priced hot food on the menu not to mention a great selection of freshly made cakes all served with speed and efficiency. Definitely to be recommended.

Fanny Anne's Tea Room, Long Melford

More photos below

Suitably replenished, we headed out of Melford at 1.40pm with skies clearing to bring some lovely autumnal weather albeit we were now heading into that blustery westerly. Keeping our heads down and to a steady pace we headed up to Glemsford via the B1066 before making our way westwards along some exposed ridges to Stansfield and Deniston which made for some difficult riding on occasion.

From Stradishall there are few options other than to plug along the A143 past Highpoint before dropping down to Thurlow. By now legs were beginning to tire from battling the full force of that westerly. Attempting to keep a close peloton with David taking point for much of the way made life easier for the remainder of us and we arrived for our tea stop at the Chestnut in West Wratting at 3.45pm, a few minutes after the afternoon group.

Susan and Edmund elected to carry on to Shelford. After tea, David , Sheila and myself headed back into town via Balsham and Fulbourn, arriving back at Brookside just after 5pm having cycled 128kmwith a moving time of 6h 10m at an average of 20.6 km/h Mike Pearce

Download GPS track (GPX).

1 comment:

  1. Good write-up & pics, Mike! JJ