This morning was fine and sunny, though rather windy, so I was looking forward to this afternoon's ride. However by 1.45pm heavy rain had arrived so I decided that staying at home was a more attractive option. By about 2.30pm, however, the rain had stopped and the weather brightened up.
I was beginning to regret my decision to stay at home when my mobile rang. It was Jacob, who had been delayed at home by a puncture and was trying to find out which direction the afternoon ride had taken. I said I wasn't with the ride but fancied getting out on my bike anyway, so we agreed to meet up on Mill Road and ride out to Fowlmere for tea.
It was nearly 3pm when we set out down Mill Road. Mike Sl. and David S had come along as well. Without any particular route in mind we headed down Mill Road and then along the Snakey Path to Cherry Hinton Hall. From there we climbed Lime Kiln Hill and then dropped down on the other side towards the Shelfords. After a short delay at the level crossing we carried on to Whittlesford and Duxford, where we turned on to Grange Road, the long straight road that overlooks the airfield.
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After having been quite bright the weather suddenly deteriorated sharply and it began to hail. We were now riding directly into a headwind, with sharp pieces of hail attacking our faces. It was quite unpleasant for several minutes until the hail relented and turned into rain.
Mike Sl stopped for a puncture somewhere along there and was never seen again (though Jacob phoned to check all was well). Meanwhile the rest of us continued to Fowlmere, taking a short cut along the A505 to save time. By now the rain had stopped and been replaced by bright sunshine, though it remained cold and windy.
At the Queen's Head at Fowlmere we met Mike St. and Adrian from the day ride as well as Steve, who had ridden out from Cambridge, making a total of six at tea. The official afternoon ride was nowhere to be seen: we presume the ride had been cancelled.
There were sandwiches and cakes sufficient for twice our number piled in front of us, but we all knew our duty to the club and tried to eat as many as we could. After admitting defeat we returned to our bikes and rode directly back to Cambridge along the B1368 and A10, with a detour through the Trumpington P&R on the way.
I was back home in Cambridge by 6.15pm. Total distance: 25 miles.