Sunday, 11 January 2009

11 Jan: Day ride to the Thousand Guineas and Newmarket

As the weather forecasters predicted, a complete change in the weather arrived this morning: following a cold frost overnight, today was very mild and (in the morning) lovely and sunny.

We departed as usual from Brookside, Cambridge at 9.30am. Adrian led six of us (me, Mick, Ian, Julia, Peter D and Martin) east out of town along NCR 51 through Quy, Bottisham, Swaffhams Prior and Bulbeck, Reach and Burwell, before we stopped for coffee at the Little Chef at the "Thousand Guineas" service area where we met Vic and Geoff. This service area is actually on the A14 but we came in the back entrance and had no need to go anywhere near that busy road.

I had forgotten that Little Chefs still existed, so when we walked in it (and found it completely empty) it was interesting to discover that they are much the same as they have always been. I had scrambled egg on toast and a cafetiere coffee for just under £7.50.

After coffee Adrian led five of us to Newmarket via a circuitous but very nice route that took us through Snailwell, Chippenham, Red Lodge, Kentford and Moulton.

We had lunch at the The Golden Lion (JD Wetherspoon), where we found yet another two members. I had a steak and ale pie and a pint of Tiger for a mere £6.49. Astonishing value.

Then after lunch, with the sky clouding over, various people peeled off to go home by different routes, leaving Adrian leading me and Mick the official route home via Saxon Street, Stetchworth, Dullingham, Six Mile Bottom and Quy to Cambridge. I was Home by about 4.20pm. 55 miles in all.

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