Sunday, 25 October 2009

25 Oct: Afternoon ride to Fowlmere

The Sunday afternoon rides continue to go from strength to strength, with fourteen riders assembling at Brookside for today's ride to Fowlmere, despite today being the day the clocks went back one hour. Julia led us through the crowded streets of the City Centre, over Garret Hostel Bridge and west out of the city to Coton.

Although the temperature was very mild, we were cycling into a stiff, blustery wind which made our progress more strenuous than usual. As we left the city it started to rain, quite heavily, but it was just a quick ten minute shower, after which the sun came out and it remained dry for the remainder of the ride. The headwind remained, however.

At Coton we turned south towards the A603 and picked up the cycleway to Barton. Somewhere along the way Julia stopped to take her jacket off, leaving her at the back of a long line of cyclists. When we reached the Comberton turn the group, not realising the leader was behind it, carried on along the main road, despite shouts and gesticulations from the rear that this was the wrong way. I sped ahead myself and called on the group to turn back. We retreated and took the road to Comberton instead.

After Comberton (above) we continued to Toft before taking the turn to Kingston. Our new direction meant a stiff headwind was replaced by a stiff sidewind, and both Tina and I were almost blown off the road as a result.

After passing through Kingston (above) we continued on to the Eversdens and Harlton, the wind now properly behind us at last. When we reached Haslingfield we climbed Chapel Hill and as we descended into Barrington enjoyed superb views of the countryside in the late afternoon sun.

From Barrington we continued to Shepreth. For the second time the group was ahead of the leader, with me near the front. At Shepreth I took the turn towards Fowlmere; only when we waited at the A10 crossing did Julia catch up and tell me she had planned to turn right in Shepreth and take in an extra loop. Bit it was too late to turn back now and we continued slowly into Fowlmere, arriving at the Queen's Head slightly early at about 4.20pm.

At tea we met two more from the day ride and three who had ridden directly, making a total of nineteen at tea. We had booked for twelve, and unfortunately the pub was (not unreasonably) unable to provide extra food and drink with no notice, so we shared what food there was.

After tea we switched on on our lights and road back to Cambridge. We followed the B1368 through Newton before taking the right turn to Little Shelford. With the wind fully behind us now we made rapid progress. At Great Shelford we took the DNA path to Addenbrookes and arrived back in the city centre at about 5.50pm, after riding a distance of 32 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

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