It had been raining heavily all night and all morning, but miraculously the rain stopped completely at 2pm, just in time for this afternoon's club ride to Royston. Not surprisingly there was a small turnout at Brookside: just me, Gareth (our leader today), Mike K and Jacob.
Gareth led us south along Trumpington Road to Addenbrooke's and along the DNA path to Great Shelford. Although there was no rain at all for the whole ride, evidence of the previous night's rainfall was all around us, with wet roads and enormous puddles.
After reaching Great Shelford we followed a loop past the station and then took the road to Whittlesford. Somewhere along the way we stopped to admire a fine display of snowdrops.
We crossed the A505 and continued through Duxford and Ickleton and then up Coploe Hill. Half way up the hill we turned right to Elmdon.
After Elmdon we dropped down to the B1039 and continued on to Duddenhoe End. By now I was riding some way ahead of the group, and perhaps inevitably I lost them briefly before meeting up again at the cricket field on Langley Upper Green. Apparently we had taken slightly different routes through Duddenhoe End. From Upper Green we continued to Lower Green. This marked the most southerly part of today's ride, and it was time to turn north towards Royston.
It was now 4.10pm, with the signpost at Lower Green saying that it was 7 miles to Royston. I suggested to Gareth that we should call Tina and let her know we would be slightly late for tea, but Gareth said that he had arranged tea for 5pm. leaving us plenty of time.
So we turned right and followed the lovely little road through Little Chishill to Shaftenhoe End. Water was streaming off the sodden fields and running down the road in torrents; and when we reached Shaftenhoe End we encountered a huge flood which we had no option but to ride straight through.
After another mile or so we were in Barley, where we picked up the B1039 which took us all the way down to Royston.
We reached Tina's house in Royston just after 5pm, where we found Tina waiting with pots of tea and coffee and a fine spread of sandwiches and home-made cakes. It was good to see Bob and Myrtle were also there; they live just round the corner. Inevitably there was no sign of the day ride - if anyone had ventured out this morning they would have long returned home to dry off. Many thanks, Tina, for an excellent tea.
After tea we switched on our lights and returned home to Cambridge. We started with a short ride north along the A1198 as far as Kneesworth where we turned right onto the quieter road to Meldreth. We had a slight tailwind behind us as we made an easy progress through Shepreth, Barrington, over Chapel Hill to Haslingfield and finally through Barton back to Cambridge. I was back in Cambridge by about 7.30pm after 48 miles.
View this GPS track on a larger map