Joseph Sugg writes: With another poor day on the cards, I paid close attention to the forecast. The BBC website is usually fairly accurate and today was no exception. It suggested that after a very wet start it would clear up quickly to give an otherwise clear day. I arrived at Brookside in heavy rain, and not surprisingly no one else turned up. Undeterred, I nipped back home and rang Mike. We eventually began the ride at 10:30am from Grantchester.
Mike and I took a fairly direct route to Cambourne, through Barton, Comberton, Toft, Bourn and Caxton, before taking the bypass road into Cambourne. Coffee was planned to be at Martin's. Not surprisingly we had a lot of trouble finding his house. Cambourne is a very strange place. We needn't have bothered, because when we eventually found his house Martin wasn't in; he had obviously given up on us (that's if it was indeed his house that we found).
Despite being in need of coffee we didn't stop at Morrison's. Instead we left Cambourne by the same route we had come in, and when we reached Caxton we turned towards the Gransdens. The ford in Caxton was in flood and we had to use the bridge. This is highly unusual for a ford which is usually bone dry. At this point we first noticed the wind which had now decided to announce its presence as we struggled on to the Garden Centre at Waresley. We arrived there at 12:30pm so our coffee stop turned into lunch. The cafe was very busy with lots of people ordering their reasonably-priced Christmas lunch.
After consuming a bacon baguette, a scone and coffee, we were ready for the road home. We set off to Gamlingay where we turned off towards the Hatleys, with the wind partially in our favour for the first time. We decided to go all the way down Croydon Hill, reaching speeds of over 35 mph despite the wind. This is one of the best hills in the area. It's not nice to go up, but great to go down!
At the bottom of the hill we turned left and then right towards Wendy, where we turned right followed a left onto the Abington Piggots road towards Bassingbourn. Once in Bassingbourn we finally had the full benefit of the wind, which was much appreciated.
We went up to Meldreth before cutting through Melbourn and past the RSPB reserve to Fowlmere. From Fowlmere we had a good ride back to Shelford, averaging over 20mph. We passed a quick Brompton rider but were also passed by a "quicky" on a Bianchi.
I continued through the Shelfords and back along the main road to Grantchester, getting home before dark at about 3:45pm. It was well worth making the effort today. My total mileage was 55 miles. Joseph Sugg.