Monday, 31 August 2009

30 Aug: Day ride to the Mildenhall Rally

Mike Stapleton writes: Sunday's day ride to Mildenhall was led by Joan, who led the ride out over the cycle bridge by the station so I could take a movie of the club riding out of Cambridge. Joan continued to Fulbourn where I tried to get another shot, but unfortunately this didn't quite work as I thought they would come up the main street but instead followed me over the hill so the first I knew about them was hearing them coming up behind me - and with the sun behind them.

Joan took us out through Bottisham, Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior to Reach where we had coffee under the spreading chestnut tree. There were lots of chestnuts on it, which surprised me as I thought the chestnut trees were all sick. After coffee we wended our way to Exning so we could take the little roads to Freckenham. One of them has a little hump backed bridge that looks as though it was old but in fact it was rebuilt some years ago.

We arrived at Mildenhall at midday to the sounds of commentary from the school area where the rally is held. There was the usual huge gathering of cyclists, event riders and of course the trade tents for which some of us made a beeline. There were all the usual stalls with hot dogs and the cafeteria which were all doing a roaring trade.

Wherever we turned we found old friends you we had last seen years ago. A whole lot of club members appeared – even Ray from Barrow who was there on his trike. Ray said it was his first time out this year. Then George Stevenson and Geoff arrived, followed by Bob and Myrtle and then Simon Proven, fresh from riding the 300km the day before. We also saw Malcolm and Gwen. If I've missed anyone out please accept my apologies. It was great to see you all.

Then there were the rides. The kieran was in full swing when we arrived and later I watched the bicycle ring race. I videoed the latter ride which was a masterpeice of cheating, much to the amusement of all concerned. Even the crowd joined in by placing tyres in the ring for riders who could not find a ring. There were several pairs in rings at the start but eventually the Marshalls weeded them out. I think Pete Whelan won and sang the traditional rainbow song quite well at the end!

Then we had to head home. Adrian and I got left behind - which was just as well as we were both tired and it was much easier to ride at our own pace against the steady breeze. We arrived at Anglesey Abbey in time for tea with the rest of the gang which we enjoyed out on the grass under an umbrella. There was a spot of rain during tea so we moved in under the umbrella. By the time we were ready to leave it had dried up so the ride back to Cambridge was reasonably pleasant, if a little windy. I truly great day was had by all. Many thanks to Joan for leading us. Mike Stapleton.

1 comment:

  1. The horse chestnut trees are suffering from infestation by the horse chestnut leaf miner moth. The damage to leaves looks really bad, but apparently the trees survive by shedding the infested leaves and growing new ones.