9 December. A circuit from The Green Man, Thriplow. 17 miles.

Andrew was busy beating (birds, not carpets) and so Martin offered to organise a shortish ride from The Green Man in Thriplow, on what seemed early in the day to be a ride that might be cancelled due to high winds. But with a forecast of sun and less wind as the day went on it seemed to be too good an opportunity to miss, and so it proved to be.

Simon and Charles were the other takers for the 13.30 start. Meeting in the bar beforehand we bumped into Lawrence who was not dressed in his snazzy new cycle outfit, modelled recently on Garret Hostel Lane bridge in Cambridge, but in serious lunching gear having met a couple of chums there. And what a good place it is to eat too. The roaring fire and good ales makes it a fine pub to visit on a winter’s day.

Charles was suffering from a bad back having slipped down some stairs just a day or so earlier at a swimming pool in Abu Dhabi and so was high on pain killers. Well done, Charles, for giving it a go and after a long flight too. That’s Windmill stamina for you.

This is where we went, anticlockwise:

Green Man Thriplow circuit

The stretch from Fowlmere to Flint Cross on the A505 was blissfully quiet due to the road being dug up in the centre of Fowlmere. (There are so many similar roads that one wonders if Jeremy Corbyn’s free broadband for all has already started?)

It was still distinctly windy but the long climb from Flint Cross to Great Chishill was an absolute breeze (ugh!) with the wind dead behind. All it needed was a small sail and no pedalling would have been required. Half way up we had to stop, not from exertion but to take in what must be one of the finest views in South Cambridgeshire, looking towards a copse near Heydon:

Charles and Simon (scaring the crows) with Heydon in the background

Once at the top of the Great Chishill mountain it was more or less downhill all the way from Heydon to Chrishall Grange which was just as well as the wind was on our noses. Then it was down Grange Road to Duxford with the wind behind before re-crossing the A505 at Whittlesford and taking an off road track back to Thriplow which, thankfully, was not too muddy.

Thanks to Charles and Simon for joining me on the ride. Hopefully, Charles will be less black and blue by the time of the Christmas lunch.





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