Thursday, 16 November 2017

16 Nov: Thursday ride to Horseheath and Kentford

Edward writes: In Hauxton sixteen riders met for our ride out to Horseheath and Kentford, with Edmund doing the honours. Back in the city Rupert led a group of nine. The weather in the morning was benign with barely any wind, but the forecast reckoned it would start to turn cooler later in the afternoon. At the start Edmund outlined the route he would take as we would leave in two groups; in the event this became three groups. We made our way along to Whittlesford and in the process picking up one or two others, Horseheath being a popular coffee stop.

Sawston

The cycleway into Sawston and out to Babraham brought us to the farm track over the A11 to Abington. We carried on via Hildersham and Linton and then Bartlow.

Running repairs in Babraham

Great Bradley

Owing to a puncture we had become a well-scattered group of riders with the leading group taking the correct route from Bartlow via Shudy Camps, the second group, however, made their choice to go from Bartlow to Streetly End. The third group who had the puncture eventually arrived in Horseheath a little later than all the others, route unknown.

As ever, Horseheath was the venue for several others who had journeyed out independently, and among them was Vic - always good to see him out. Our leaders decreed that coffee should be a short break and almost everybody had started the second leg by 11.30am. This was necessary as the ride to lunch would be twenty-one miles. This leg took us up to Carlton and then via the club favourite road to Little Thurlow and Great Bradley.

Autumn colours near Gazeley

Now followed the country lanes in this Cambridgeshire-Suffolk border region through Kirtling, Upend, Ashley and Gazeley and as we passed through the tree-lined roads the autumn colours were truly spectacular. From Gazeley it was but a short run down to the B1506 with our lunch stop at the Animal Health Trust less than a mile away.

Lunch at Kentford

Fortunately it was still just about warm enough to sit outside but our numbers overwhelmed the staff and for a while they struggled to cope. However, Rupert applied all his well known diplomatic skills and was able to soothe ruffled feathers. Those who wanted food did eventually get it and by 1.45pm we were on the road again, starting in a brief shower.

Our return journey took us up to Moulton with the climb over the hill into Cheveley and the undulating roads to Dullingham. Here there was the final parting of the ways with Rupert taking his city residents via Swaffham Bulbeck and Edmund's groups set course to Balsham via West Wratting. The darkness seemed to have come early and lights were on most of the way home as we finished the ride via Hildersham, Abington and Sawston with the ride finishing at 4pm and 64 miles to the good. Thanks to Edmund and Rupert as manoeuvring such a large group over 64 miles is some feat! Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

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