fivemack (fivemack) wrote,
fivemack
fivemack

Cycling, serendipity in Stansted

It was a nice morning, the forecast for today was good and for tomorrow damp, so without leaving time for my lethargy to kick in I got on my bike and headed East, guided by GPS and Google Maps on my iPhone. Fulbourn, Balsham, West Wickham, market day in Haverhill, Steeple Bumpstead which had no visible steeple but an online-pub-guide recommended pub - steak sandwich made with a real steak, shandy made with Amstel, the kind of pub with a little hand-written sign by the bar recommending the new Estonian lager they've got on tap.

At this point I decided that cycling was fun and that I'd carry on: Helion Bumpstead (because how could you not, with a name like that), Great Sampford, Thaxted. Thaxted turns out to have a working windmill and an enormous church; during the 14th and 15th century it was the heart of British cutlery manufacture and grew rich appropriately. Then to Stansted Mountfitchet for a train back to Cambridge. The ride's here.

But I had arranged a party this evening, at which I had promised cheese; and there are two trains an hour from Stansted Mountfitchet, the cheese shop in Cambridge closes at five, and I had no chance of making the 1548 train which might take me back in time for that.

While my forebrain was composing apologies, some portion of my hind-brain pointed out that any place with a name as posh as Stansted Mountfitchet will have a deli. And indeed it did; while waiting for the train I bought cheeses from three species, two sorts of biscuit and most of the olives.

70k on a bike (counting the bit back from the station) makes fivemack tired.
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