Thursday, 18 February 2010

18th Feb: Thursday day ride to Gamlingay

Joseph Sugg writes: Thursday rides begin at either Haslingfield or Hauxton at 9:30 am (check runslist for details). Today the start was at Haslingfield Church which meant a 7 mile ride to get to the start. It was a cold and crisp morning. Rupert caught up with me on the way there and by the time we left there were nine of us, a very good turn out for a winter Thursday, although turnout in the summer is often in the high teens.

We set out towards Harlton and the Eversdens and from there rode through Kingston to the B1046. The roads were icy in places, due to overnight frozen surface water, and Greta and John decided to stop at Bourn Golf club. The rest of us carried on towards the original planned coffee stop at Cambourne.

We carried on through Bourn and up the hill, then over the A428. A left and a right took us to Knapwell. Then a left at the crossroads to Elsworth before another left in the village. This took us back down to Cambourne and back across the A428.

We stopped for coffee at Morrisons. The coffee and cakes here are very reasonable and not bad quality either. In the cafe we met Bill from Ely who had made his own way to Cambourne.

After enjoying coffee and an eccles cake we walked out of the supermarket to be greeted by sleety rain. By now it was also considerably colder. We carried on out the southern end of Cambourne and through Caxton via the ford, which was in flood again.

We continued towards Great Gransden. When we reached the village Rupert and Arnie turned back and left the six of us to continue through the sleet past Waresley Garden centre and on to Gamlingay, finally arriving at a very welcome sight: The Cock at Gamlingay.

The Cock is a regular haunt of the club, especially in the winter, popular both for lunch and tea stops. There was a good winter menu on offer, including vegetable soup and fishermans pie. We were greeted by a roaring fire which we used to dry out our damp clothes. Little did we know we were going to get a lot damper.

At the pub we met Richard from Bedford. Bob and Myrtle arrived a little later. If you come out on a Thursday you will meet a range of people who you won't see at weekends. We stayed in the pub for a while, enjoying the warmth, and it was a wrench when we finally had to go.

The normal plan on a Thursday is to get back mid-afternoon, so we usually head back by a fairly direct route (we tend to go a little further in Summer). Thus, we used the well travelled B1046 to get back to Cambridge. This route takes you back via Longstowe, Bourn, Toft, Comberton and Barton and back into Cambridge. The weather became progressively worse the further we went. By the time I got home I was pretty wet, and very glad to get back in the warm. I was back by 3:00pm with a total mileage of 51 miles. Joseph Sugg

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