On a warm, bright afternoon I was surprised to find only five others at Brookside for this afternoon's ride to Gamlingay. Perhaps the overcast skies and the threat of thunderstorms later on had put people off. Or perhaps there was a football match on the TV. In any case, the six of us - Mike K, Mike Sl, Simon F, Ian, and Pete had a fine ride.
I was the leader today, and chose a route which took us south-west to Barton and Haslingfield, where we climbed over Chapel Hill to Barrington. There was a noticeable headwind, though it didn't seem too much of a problem.
We continued in the same south-west direction through Shepreth and Meldreth to Kneesworth, where we crossed the A1198 before continuing through Bassingbourn and Litlington to Steeple Morden. The limit of our south-westerly traverse was Ashwell, where we turned north onto the narrow, meandering lane that continues, without interruption by side roads, for four miles to Eyeworth. Mike K kept warning of rain ahead but in fact it brightened up, with the sun at last emerging from behind the cloud cover. It remained sunny all the way to tea.
Tea was at The Cock in Gamlingay. There we found David S, who had cycled there separately, and Mike S who had come by car. After a while Gareth arrived, the sole remnant of the day ride, making a total of nine at tea.
After tea the sun was still shining and Mike K suggested we returned to Cambridge via Wimpole Hall.
Just east of Wimpole Hall, instead of turning south as usual towards Orwell, we continued east along an off-road track I had not been along before. This is a mixture of footpath (through the Wimpole Estate) and bridleway which took us up to the top of the ridge that runs east-west along here. The track was quite rough, and would probably be quite muddy in wet weather, but a warm evening in early summer was the ideal time to explore it.
This isn't a particularly high ridge (77 metres) but nevertheless we enjoyed fine views as we rode over the top before dropping down on a steep gravel track to Great Eversden. It was a measure of our unfamilarity with this route that when we arrived at Great Eversden none of us was sure what village it was.
From Great Eversden we rejoined the road and continued to Cambridge via Haslingfield and Barton. I was home by 7.15pm (with no sign of the promised thunderstorms), after riding 50 miles.
View this GPS track on a larger map