Cycle Sunday Ride Report - 22nd October 2017

It was a windy morning as three experienced riders set off along Vandyke Road to go to Houghton Regis to ride one of the few bridleways in the area that I have never ridden. We also knew that the return journey would be into a strong wind. We turned right at the Shenley Hill turn along Clipstone lane. At the main road we only had to ride a short distance before the right turn to Egginton. Once through the village we turned right and up (and down) the hill into Stanbridge then right and then left at the Five Bells. We turned left along the Sewell Greenway and cycled the whole greenway to Dunstable where we turned left to the A5 and picked up the bridleway across Dog Kennel Hill and on to Houghton Regis. We kept to the national cycleway at the back of Houghton Hall. The old grounds of the hall now have a new visitor centre (see photograph) to which we made a small diversion. By car this is accessed on the Houghton Regis/Luton road.

Back on the national cycle route we continued to Parkside and then turned north to the Sundon Road. We turned left and right at the next roundabout along Hillborough Crescent. At Grove Road we turned left by the side of the park and left at the next road (which is dead end). At the end of the road the bridleway starts. This is the track that I had never ridden before. We followed the track to where it crosses the new by-pass on a new bridge. The wind and the loose stones laid up to the bridge made the going a bit tough. Off the bridge, the track goes left through a gate, then another gate and past Grove Farm. The bridleway turns right up the slope and emerges on one of the oldest green lanes in the area. We turned left and joined the farm road left until we arrived at the junction with the Houghton Regis/Toddington road.

We crossed and rode through Wingfield. At Tebworth we went right and followed the long lane until its end then went left and cycled by the side of the grass field until we arrived at the gate on to Hockcliffe/Woburn road. We turned right and then first left to Battlesden following the track by the hedge side to the gate. We continued through the gate to the hamlet of Battlesden. We went right up the hill and came out on the Hockcliffe/ Woburn road again but it is so much nicer this way than along the road. Turning towards Woburn (left) we went past the Paris House restaurant and then left at the top of the hill to Potsgrove. I have cycled this lane many times but never before into such a strong headwind. We had to pedal down the hill. At the junction we turned left to the Flying Fox roundabout then into Heath and Reach and back into town. This ride is 25.3 miles and on such a windy day it took us three hours.