Sunday, 1 March 2009

1 Mar: Day ride to Malton, Old Warden and Gamlingay

We met at Brookside, Cambridge at 9.30am for what was expected to be the longest day ride of the year so far. It was dull and overcast, with patches of drizzle forecast though they never appeared. Mick led us to coffee at Malton Golf Club via a slightly unorthodox route via the Shelfords, Newton, Foxton, Barrington and Orwell. At coffee, where a few more riders were waiting , I enjoyed a cappucino and toasted teacake with jam for £2.25.

Then we continued to lunch at the Shuttleworth Air Museum at Old Warden. Mick took us via Meldreth, Bassingbourn, Litlington, Ashwell and Hinxworth, over the A1 and then on via Broom to Old Warden. My nut roast lunch was £6.25 though some over-priced drinks put the total cost up somewhat.

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After lunch the sun came out and it stayed bright for the rest of the day. We split into various groups, with some going directly home and others going directly to tea at Gamlingay. Four or five of us stuck with Mick who took us on a loop west to Cardington (past the airship hangars) and the Country Park on the edge of Bedford. There we joined the NCR51 cycle path which follows the course of a dismantled railway all the way back to Sandy, with a pleasant loop just before Danish Camp which took us along the river (below). We arrived at the Cock PH in Gamlingay at 4.35pm, five minutes late but at exactly the same time as the afternoon riders led by Jacob. After a splendid tea of sandwiches and cakes we all cycled directly back to Cambridge.

Total distance today was about 73 miles, the longest ride of the year so far.

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