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Windy at Wimpole

Given the ongoing traffic chaos in Great Shelford - a ruptured water main having led to the closure of Tunwells Lane - Brian took the decision to start Monday's outing well away from the trouble, at Winners in Little Shelford. But somehow that message didn't get through to Brian H who ended up touring the village looking for his pals. No worries; a phone call later, we were reunited and ready to roll. Coffee stop at Wimpole stables Another no-hills route saw us visit Newton, Thriplow, Foxton, Barrington and Orwell before pulling in at Wimpole for refreshment at the Stables Café. Sipping our drinks, we lamented Cambridge United's inability to seal promotion; all hopes are now pinned on their final game. The return leg, via Shepreth and Fowlmere - and against a buffeting headwind - saw us return to Shelford just before midday, having clocked up a total of 28 miles.
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Back to Madingley

It's been a while - not to mention a lockdown - since we last visted Madingley Hall. Monday morning saw us revisiting the place for coffee and cake, mid way round our 24 mile circuit taking in Newton, Haslingfield, Comberton and Grantchester. Lewis, Brian C, Brian H, Janet, Jenny and Alan at Madingley Hall 24 miles clockwise

Let it snow

The morning may have been chilly, just 3°C with snow flurries and a stiff wind but, being an all-season club, that was no reason to forgo Monday's outing. Admittedly, there were only three riders, but they came from hardy Irish and Yorkshire stock and were all called Brian. Brian, Brian and Brian - note the snow It was a repeat of last week's ride only this time we took our refreshments at El Cafecito, just outside Fowlmere. Last time Brian C visited the place, he somehow managed to fall off his bike right outside the front door, though thankfully hurting nothing except his pride. This time there were no such high jinks and we enjoyed some excellent coffee, albeit on an exposed picnic bench, huddled against the wind. Otherwise, we clocked up 24 miles on a ride notable for wildlife (hares, buzzards and red kites), daffodils (still showing well in Thriplow) and self denial (Brian H turned down a sausage roll!)

Thriplow Daffs

After a seemingly endless lockdown it felt good to finally get out with the gang on this, our first club ride for three and a half months. There was much catching up to do and, with everyone nattering away, Brian somehow managed to lose the peloton at Whittlesford. A phone call later and we all caught up with each other again down the road at Newton. The daffodil display at Thriplow was spectacular and enjoyed all the better as we had the roads virtually to ourselves. Along the way, we chanced upon Jeremy and a pal on an off-road expedition, though they looked far too clean to have done much off-roading. Then it was on to Foxton, Barrington, Shepreth and Frog End, where we pulled in at Hot Numbers for coffee and and a sugar fix, Eccles cake seeming to win the popular vote. For the record the team roster was: Janet, Paul, Jenny, Alan, Lewis and two Brians - and we clocked up a very respectable 24 miles

A year ago today . . .

 This day last year Jenny, Hilary, Lewis and Brian turned out for Shelford Spokes' inaugural outing. You can read all about it here . Since then - and despite three lockdowns - we have grown to a dozen or so regulars, enjoyed 22 outings, clocked up 500-ish miles, downed at least 150 coffees, and necked something like 100 cakes - plus a sausage roll or two for Brian H. We will get going again soon; fingers crossed for a return of group rides - albeit Rule of Six style - at the end of the month.

Sunny morning at Madingley

Two groups of cyclists set off from Shelford bound for Madingley Hall on a glorious Monday morning; the first group comprising two Brians, Alan and Lewis - followed 15 minutes later by Jenny, Janet, Hilary and yet one more Brian. Christmas elves - Jenny, Hilary and Janet - guarding the Christmas tree at Madingley Hall Last week we froze, this week we were basking in sunshine as we clocked up 24 miles, stopping only to enjoy coffee and cake at the Hall.

Foggy foursome

  A cold and foggy Monday morning saw Lewis, Jeremy and two Brians heading out of Shelford bound for Elmdon. We must be mad, was the general consensus, though it felt good to be putting the second lockdown behind us. With the temperature just above freezing, special measures had been taken to keep out the cold; Brian C and Lewis sporting various items of ski-wear and Jeremy in waterproof footwear, while Brian H was muffled up in his trusty Cambridge United scarf. Jeremy's choice of footwear was prescient, coming in useful at Hinxton where the road was flooded either side of the ford. But the highlight of the outing was our stop for refreshments at Café 19 in the spanking new Duxford Community Centre, where we stoked up on sausage sandwiches, fruit scones and mince pies. The only downside was that Tier 2 restrictions meant sitting outside. Excellent as the refreshments were, it was nevertheless a relief to head back to home and hearth in Shelford, where we thawed out having clocked

Photo shoot on Garret Hostel Bridge

Monday morning saw two Brians, Jeremy, Chris and Phil heading out along the DNA cycleway . . . followed some fifteen minutes later by Jenny, Hilary, Alan and yet another Brian, heading off in a more westerly direction towards Grantchester; both groups bound for Cambridge and, ultimately, Milton. Along the way everyone paused for photographs on Garret Hostel Bridge, Hilary pointing out the fine architecture of Trinity Hall's Jerwood Library. Jeremy, Brian, Phil and Brian heading west on Garrett Hostel Bridge. Alas, we have no photo of Chris. Probably just as well; rumour has it he tried to relieve a passing cyclist of his laptop, though Chris swears it was accidental. On that exact same spot an hour earlier - Alan, Hilary and Jenny - heading east Brian struggling to frame a socially distanced selfie Alongside the bridge, the Jerwood Library All enjoyed coffee and cake in the café at Milton Country Park and returned to Shelford having clocked up a very respectable 22 miles. 22 miles

Madingley Hall

A chilly Monday morning saw nine riders heading away from Shelford Rec bound for Madingley Hall; Jenny, Janet, Alan, Lewis and Brummie Brian in the first group, followed shortly afterwards by BrianC, BrianH, Jeremy and Chris. Socially distanced on the Madingley Hall terrace By the time we reached Madingley the sun was shining and most enjoyed coffee and cake as we took in the view from the Hall terrace. Trencherman BrianH, however, opted for more substantial fare, tucking into a gargantuan sausage roll - with an apologetic bit of salad on the side. Jenny and Janet enjoying coffee al fresco Returning to Shelford via Trumpington Meadows, we had clocked up 28 miles; a few miles more than planned due to Brummie Brian's wrong turning at Haslingfield. 28 miles clockwise, including a wrong turn and reversal at Haslingfield

Getting high in Essex

According to Wikipedia, the village of Chrishall marks the highest point in Essex, some 147 metres above sea level. While Monday's route barely skirted the village, we got pretty close to the summit, topping out at 125 metres. With Great Shelford sitting at a lowly 20 metres, you can see our ride was somewhat more hilly than usual.  Coploe Hill - 89m and counting So it was that six hardy Shelfordians set off for a 25 mile circuit taking in Littlebury Green, Elmdon and skirting Chrishall before the descent towards Duxford, Brian C leading the way followed by Janet, Jenny, Jeremy, Alan and Brian H. Near Chrishall and pausing to get our breath back Hill climbs, eh? Tough on drama teachers but easy peasy for PE teachers  25 miles clockwise