Sunday, 15 March 2009

15 Mar: Afternoon ride to Connington

Today's ride was clearly going to be the warmest so far this year, with sunshine, light winds and a forecast of temperatures of up to 15C. So there was a healthy turnout of seven riders at Brookside this afternoon, with a couple of very welcome new faces.

As today's leader I led the group west out of Cambridge down Fen Causeway, across Lammas Land and along the Barton Road to Barton. Then we turned onto the very quiet B1046 through Comberton, across the Greenwich Meridian (marked by a stone plaque beside the road) and into Toft, where we turned made a short diversion past the church.

We rejoined the B1046 and followed it for a further mile or two before turning right into Bourn. This entails a very short climb and then a descent into the village, where we turned left into Caxton End, a tiny lane notable mainly for the presence of two fords along it. One was dry, but the other was very much wet: some of us rode through whilst others preferred the footbridge.

Then it was on past Bourn windmill to Caxton, and then Great Gransden. Just before Abbotsley we turned right and began our progress north towards the tea stop.

Ths took us through Croxton, across the busy A428 and to Graveley. No part of today's ride can be described as hilly but after crossing the A428 the landscape changed from gently undulating to flat as a pancake, so we made good progress to Hilton and Fenstanton before turning right to Connington and Tea at the White Swan.

Here we met the riders from the day ride as well as some other members who had come directly. On entering the pub the landlady ushered us into the restaurant where a particularly impressive spread of sandwiches and cakes was waiting for us (far more than we could all eat, and excellent value for £4 each).

After tea we headed back to Cambridge. We took the road south through Knapwell, joining the old A428 near Bourn Airfield. This took us through Hardwick and down Madingley Hill and then into Coton, finally entering Cambridge along the Coton Footpath.

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Today's ride was as expected the warmest so far this year, and several of us were trying out summer jackets, fingerless mitts and exposed knees for the first time since last Summer. The clocks go back in two weeks, so it was good to have this early reminder of the summer of cycling we have ahead. Total mileage: 40 miles.

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