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29 June: Panshanger to Wimpole Hall

posted 2 Jul 2014, 00:31 by South Herts   [ updated 8 Jan 2017, 22:11 ]
Seven of us met on a slightly chilly, but sunny morning for a day’s ride, starting off at a moderate pace, out to the delights of Wimpole Hall.  We headed out to the café at Baldock on a gently undulating ride through the rolling countryside.  On the way there we were passed by the world’s first moving museum of classic cars.  We hadn’t got a clue of where they were going, but it was great to see such nicely looked after cars.  As we made our way towards Weston it seemed a lovely day as the sun warmed us up and after 18 miles we cruised happily into Baldock, for a welcome break at Café Plus.
Jon, Judy, Richard and Steve joined us here. 

small group of cyclists
Gathering at Panshanger
stopped on a sunny lane
On the road to Baldock
With Jon, Judy and Tracey making their own way to lunch, the rest of us took more of a meander to the destination.  As we pootled around the countryside I spied some clouds building and they were very fluffy, rather ominous looking things.  I had heard on the radio that some showers might merge into one another and create some prolonged rain and this is just what happened.  The clouds were more organised than some of us and we slowly but surely got soaked.  I got very soaked as I just had my light windbreaker, I’m also rather glad I did ‘cus I got very warm.  On the way to Wimpole Hall we passed through three counties and a place called Croydon, where there was a vintage car festival being held.  Here some of the group decided that it would be great to stop at Arrington church porch for lunch, whilst others met at the Hardwicke Arms (which was 2 mins away), and two more had sandwiches at the hall (next time we have a picnic we’ll have to bring some large umbrellas). 

Regrouping in the grounds of Wimpole Hall we were greeted by cows roaming around the place and a lovely craft fair.  There was a mowing competition between traditional scythes and powered strimmers – guess who was winning. Then the rain decided to do a little more than shower and we took shelter under the ample trees.  As was agreed at the hotel, last break was going to be the church teas in Braughing and it was with a great team effort that we got there.  Tracey was a star and helped guide me through most of the route, with a bit of input from Jon.  At one point someone shouted LEFT, so we all took the next left on a scenic detour and promptly got lostish, but after some improvisation we were soon back on our way.

Tea and cakes for £2 at the church and these cakes were superb.  While we were inside it rained some more but we didn’t care; we’d had a great day.
All that was left was to go home, straight down the old A10 through, Wades Mill, Bengeo, Chapmore End then around to Tewin and back to the start, 73 miles in all (over 90 for the Barnet contingent): a great day’s ride.

Neil 29/06/2014