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17 September 2015, circuit from / to The Pheasant via Barley, Fowlmere, Great Shelford and Ickleton. 28 miles.

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The ride started at 9.30am and stopped almost immediately outside the windmill at Great Chishill for a photocall – watch for a change in the blog’s cover pic soon, as above, featuring our leader Maurice, deputy dawg Andrew R, Vernon, John T, Ken W and Martin W. This was to be only the first of many more stops!

The second was a stop at Fowlmere aerodrome where we were allowed into the hangar to see a collection of aircraft in use, including a magnificent Gypsy Moth biplane. We also saw this memorial to Canadians based at Fowlmere during WW II:IMG_20150917_102635714_HDR

Then it was a stop at the deli in Shelford for a delicious cup of coffee before the first of THREE punctures affecting our erstwhile deputy. Here he is mending the first outside Sawston with the help of our chief mechanic Maurice:

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Stop no. 5 was for refreshments in Martin’s garden in Ickleton followed by nos. 6 and 7 to attend to Andrew’s additional punctures, the first of which involved squirting gooey stuff into the rear tube to save taking the wheel off. Did it work I hear you say? Half a mile later Andrew was surrounded in foam emerging from his tyre in vast amounts at which point we left him to it and cycled on!

IMG_20150917_132339261Being late for lunch by this time, Maurice generously came to Andrew’s rescue by bringing his van to pick him up but by the time they met our deputy had fitted a new tube and pedalled furiously as far as Heydon. The moral of this story? Check tyres for small flints before each ride and buy quality tubes and tyres! 

So, eventually, we all sat down to an excellent lunch at The Pheasant where we were joined by Kell who was looking very well and had been back on his bike.

Thanks to Andrew for organising such an interesting and eventful ride!

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14 September 15 Nuthampstead – Great Hormead -Brent Pelham – Clavering – Meesden

14 September 15 Nuthampstead – Great Hormead – Brent Pelham – Clavering – Meesden.

Seven riders ventured out at 17.30 despite gusty winds and rain showers for a 15 mile ride from Nuthampstead, followed by a fascinating talk on the WW2 Pathfinder force.

Great to combine the two activities on the eve of the 75th anniversary of WW2 Battle of Britain.

Here is a map of our sorte !!

//www.mapometer.com/embed/route/4167678?view=roadmap&units=miles&notes

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10 September 15 Therfield -Baldock -Ashwell – Odsey route map

//www.mapometer.com/embed/route/4165070?view=roadmap&units=miles&notes

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The new cycle path from Wendens Ambo to Saffron Walden

Welcome to Saffron Walden’s first practical cycle/pedestrian path between the town and Audley End station.

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03 Sept 15 Great Chishill – Buntingford- Nasty – Puckeridge – Duddenhoe End

Another interesting ride mainly through Hertfordshire with Maurice W, John T, Andrew R, Ken W and this week were joined by Vernon for the first time this year – Welcome back Vernon to the Cranky Club.

Mileage today c33/34 miles with a total ascent of 1706 feet.

Click below to see the detailed map.

//www.mapometer.com/embed/route/4160201?view=roadmap&units=miles&notes&graph

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Wimpole Hall circuit, 27 August 2015

The map of this 35 mile circuit is below. Thanks to Andrew for uploading it.

Maurice, Andrew R, John B and Martin W pedalled off at 10.00am after waiting in the kitchen of The Pheasant, courtesy of Ollie and Simon, for the rain to stop. After that we had a dry ride towards Wimpole via Reed, Therfield and Ashwell before returning after refreshments (and wasps) at Wimpole via Orwell, Barrington and Fowlmere to The Pheasant where an excellent lunch was had and thirsts quenched. Thanks are due to Maurice for a splendid route.

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The beast of Wimpole (the one with horns, not Andrew!)

Spot the wasp! Maurice's scone with jam and clotted cream was the attraction.
Spot the wasp! Maurice’s scone with jam and clotted cream was the attraction.
Maurice, Andrew and John at Wimpole Hall
Maurice, Andrew and John at Wimpole Hall

 

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Wimpole Hall route 27th Aug 2015

//www.mapometer.com/embed/route/4155925?view=roadmap&units=miles&notes

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Rutland Water ride, more stuff!

This was a ride of two halves, a flattish circuit of Rutland Water with rough tracks in places and a hilly section towards Uppingham, which we did not quite reach due to the need to descend and ascend yet another steep hill twice, and we didn’t want to watch the spectacle of a certain cranky member dismounting again! A highlight of the ride was seeing the famous Seaton railway viaduct with its 82 arches which crosses the valley of the River Welland. It is the longest masonry viaduct in Britain – 1,275 yards. The first brick was laid in March 1876 and it was finished in 1878!

The local beers were another highlight and a good lunch was had at The White Horse in Empingham after a ride of only 25 miles but which felt more like 50. Thanks to Maurice and John T for organising the ride.

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Maurice, John B, John T, Andrew R and 82 arches of the Seaton Viaduct in the background
Maurice, John B, John T, Andrew R and 82 arches of the Seaton Viaduct in the background
Where next?
Where next?

 

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20 Aug 15 Rutland Water -Seaton Circuit -update

The rider in question was only obeying instructions – Ma Lord

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20 Aug 15 Rutland Water -Seaton Circuit

Click below to see the route Maurice W, Andrew R, John B, John T, Martin W rode yesterday 20 Aug 15 around Rutland Water and beyond.

Hills seem to be a feature on this ride and one rider who will remain nameless, dismounted near Uppingham due I must add to a creaking crank and was forced under duress to buy a round of drinks for his sins at The Old White Hart- Seaton. Both rider and bike should make a full recovery.

Total ascent yesterday 1514 feet – Phew !

//www.mapometer.com/embed/route/4151402?view=hybrid&units=miles&notes&graph

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Thursday 13 Aug 15 Newbourne Felixstowe Orford – additional photographs

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Maurice hailing a ferry with a bat – RSPCA have been informed

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Monday nights Trivia

The question is which pint has the Ginger Beer additive ???IMG_2401

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Thursday 13 August 2015, Newbourne, Felixstowe Ferry, Bawdsey, Butley, Orford, Woodbridge, Newbourne, 43 miles

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The route we took is above but Andrew R has successfully managed to load to the site the route on Map O Meter.
Click on the heading to open the map and see the detail of this interesting route. Starting at The Fox Inn in Newbourne near Ipswich, Maurice led Andrew, Ken, John T and Martin on a 43 mile ride via Felixstowe Ferry to Bawdsey and then to Orford in a strong head wind. Stopping for coffee, cake and cockles at the quayside we then cruised back at high speed to Woodbridge where we saw the tide mill and marina, followed by lunch at The Fox Inn and a welcome pint of Adnam’s Southwold bitter. Thanks, Maurice, for organising a great ride in a location which missed all the storms elsewhere.

All abord the Felixstowe Ferry
All aboard the Felixstowe Ferry
The quayside at Orford
The quayside at Orford
Hanging baskets at The Fox Inn
Hanging baskets at The Fox Inn
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Monday 10 August 2015, pleasant Pheasant circuits

There were two groups who set off from The Pheasant at 6.00pm, hares and tortoises. The hares sped off on a 23 mile ride via Elmdon, Strethall, Littlebury, Newport, Rickling, Clavering and got back to The Pheasant, having averaged 14mph, at about the same time as the tortoises who rode 19 miles via Wendens Ambo, Newport, Arkesden and Chrishall. It was a pleasant, dry evening with stunning views towards Cambridge as the sun set on the way back, followed by the usual wonderful goujons and chips at The Pheasant. Andrew R, however, was so enthusiastic about the ginger beer in his shandy that he converted Martin W’s fine pint of Restoration bitter into a shandy too! Thanks a bundle Andrew!

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06th August 15 Waltham Abbey to London

Maurice, Andrew, Lindsey R, John B, Lynn B, John T, Steve, Lynn & Frances set off from Waltham Abbey cycling beside the Lee Navigation via Enfield Lock and Ponders End eventually arriving at the Olympic Park. From there to the Hertford Cut and down the Regent Canal to Limehouse Basin and the Grapes Pub for refreshments (bang on opening time)

As John B, Lynn and John T became ensconced at the Grapes, Maurice led the rest of the group to Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Katherines Dock and a well deserved lunch. We certainly saw all the sites yesterday including The Gloriana Barge ( built for the Queens Diamond Jubilee). As a bonus as we left the Grapes Pub we saw the actor Sir Iain Mclellan (who owns the pub)

On the return it was a detour around the Olympic Park before returning to Waltham Abbey.

Total mileage 38

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30th July 15 Great Chishill – Puckeridge- Standon -Much Hadham circuit

Thanks to John B for organising a superb cycle ride from Great Chishill to Puckeridge – Standon – Latchford- Much Hadham- Little Hadham – Brent Pelham.

The Peloton consisted of John B, John T, Ken W, Andrew R and Maurice W.

Enroute to Standon we passed a very large openair pop concert venue called “Standon Calling” an event that has been running annually for over 10 years -We all said we would go to this rave however, no one has heard of any of the groups in the lineup – I wonder why ?? .

A brief coffee and beer stop (for John B) at Little Hadham and a sprint back to The Pheasant for a well deserved lunch.2015-07-30 11.04.39 2015-07-30 11.04.32 2015-07-30 11.06.23

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23rd July 2015 Steeple Morden ride – Photographs of the 355th Fighter Group Memorial

Maurice our engineer in residence  contemplating adding a four bladed prop to his bike.
Maurice our engineer in residence contemplating adding a four bladed prop to his bike.

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Champagne back at Maurice's house celebrating a long standing legal dispute and another successful ride.
Champagne back at Maurice’s house celebrating a long standing legal dispute and another successful ride.
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Thursday 23 July 2015, starting and finishing at Maurice’s house, via Royston, Steeple Morden, Baldock and Sandon 28 miles. Then to The Pheasant for lunch.

imageToday’s ride started and ended with celebrations at Maurice’s house, which then continued at The Pheasant afterwards. Maurice will no doubt fill in the details to those not already in the know! In between, Maurice, John B, John T, Andrew R and Martin W enjoyed a shortish circuit to Royston, Steeple Morden, with a stop to look at the war memorial on the old US airforce, and then delightful lanes to Baldock via Ashwell. John B then took us, unintentionally off-road across the A505 but we were soon on the tarmac again and climbing up to Wallington where we stopped to look at the cottage where George Orwell lived for a few years during the war. Then it was back to Maurice’s house via Sandon and Reed to crack open a bottle of champagne, and tweak John T’s bike in Maurice’s well equipped bike workshop.

Kell R and Ken W joined us for lunch at The Pheasant, which ended a very good day’s ride.

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Thursday, 16 July 2015, 35 mile circuit from Steeple Bumpstead

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Maurice arranged a great ride today starting from the Moot Hall in Steeple Bumpstead and ending at the Fox and Hounds, which is very conveniently next door. The other cyclists were John B. John T, Ken W and Martin W. Heading Northwards initially towards Kedington and Stradishall, where Martin W’s dad was based during the war, we then made a detour to visit one of Suffolk’s best pubs, the Star in Lidgate, but it was closed. So the wait for much needed caffeine had to wait until we reached Clare, where we stopped at an antiques shop cum coffee shop.

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Then it was back to Steeple Bumpstead via more quiet lanes and pretty villages for an excellent lunch at the Fox and Hounds.

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Thanks, Maurice, for another excellent day.

 

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9th July 2015, Steeple Bumpstead circuit via Castle Hedingham and Great Bardfield, 35 miles

Today’s ride took five of us around quiet Essex lanes on a glorious day, stopping for coffee and cakes at our favourite haunt in Castle Hedingham, where there were no volunteers to have their bike padlocked to Martin Woodhead’s bike in case he again forgot to bring a key, as happened last year. However, we were not incident free due to John T’s chain coming off at frequent intervals which even our back up mechanic by the name of Maurice was unable to fix. Despite this, we moved along at quite a pace and arrived back at the Fox and Hounds by 1.15pm, well in time for a really excellent lunch. Other than millions of little black bugs which seemed particularly attracted to Andrew’s yellow day-glo vest, or it could simply have been because they knew he was Scottish, it was a perfect day’s ride.

Thanks, Maurice, for planning it and not getting us lost.

Cooling off at the Fox and Hounds
Cooling off at the Fox and Hounds, above, and the mechanic at work on John’s bike, below.

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