Sunday, 1 November 2009

1 Nov: Afternoon ride to Hauxton

Ten riders turned out for this afternoon's ride to Hauxton, where we would have tea followed by the club AGM. There had been heavy rain and stong winds in the morning; by the afternoon the rain had passed and it was beginning to brighten up. The strong south-westerly wind remained , however, and would make this afternoon's ride surprisingly strenuous.

Gareth was our leader today; his route took us south to Addenbrooke's Hospital where we picked up the DNA path to Great Shelford (next two photos).

From Great Shelford we continued to Little Shelford and the road to Whittlesford and Duxford. With Gareth leading strongly from the front, it was noticeable how the rest of the group settled into a line behind him, happy for a little shelter from what was becoming quite a tiring headwind. Apart from the wind, it was quite a nice afternoon: the sun had come out, and with evidence of recent leaf fall all over the road it was a pleasant autumn afternoon.

After crossing the A505 we continued to Ickleton, where I experienced a puncture. Rather than delay the group I told them to carry on (taking my GPS tracker with them), leaving me to fix my puncture and then continue via Chishill Grange and Fowlmere to Hauxton, arriving there at about 4.25pm. Without anyone in front to catch the wind, the road west to Chishill Grange was a slow plod, but from there to Hauxton I made good speed with the wind behind me.

Meanwhile the main group continued a little further up Coploe Hill before turning right to Chishill Grange and then returning, like me, via Fowlmere and Newton to Hauxton, arriving at the Village Hall about five minutes before I did.

Greta and John had, as always, prepared a fine tea, finished off as usual by a splendid trifle.

After tea we cleared away the tables and at 5pm conducted the important business of the AGM. This was finished a little before 7pm, after which we all cycled back to Cambridge via the Shelfords and the DNA path once more. The total mileage for the afternoon ride was 32 miles.

View this GPS track in a larger map

Gareth Rees adds:
As I watched the driving rain lashing my windows this morning I felt very sorry for the day riders and I wondered if the afternoon ride might be washed out too. But the strong south-westerly wind blew the rainclouds away to the northeast and the ride was dry apart from the puddles.

We still had the wind to contend with: it wasn't so bad at first as we cycled on fairly sheltered roads out to Duxford, but when we climbed Coploe Hill and onto Royston Lane it battered us full force. But then the setting sun came out from the clouds to illuminate our progress, and the rain-washed air gave us clear views of the south Cambridgeshire hills, and once we turned for home we had the wind behind us and it was a straightforward run up through Fowlmere, Thriplow, Newton, and Little Shelford to Hauxton. Gareth Rees

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