Tuesday, 29 June 2010

20 Jun: Afternoon ride to West Wratting

Peter Hutchison writes: There were just four of us at Brookside at 2.15: Eva, Mike Sl, Jacob and myself. We phoned ahead to warn the tea place to expect fewer people than twelve but they had already made tea! I had decided that we should try to get as far as Helions Bumpstead if time allowed, so I led the ride straight out of town through Trumpington and Stapleford to Sawston. We crossed the A11 over the footbridge outside Babraham and continued through Abington, Hildersham and Linton to Bartlow.

The weather had started off windy, cool and grey, but by now the sun had come out and it had turned into a beautiful, mild afternoon and we soon removed our jackets.

At Bartlow, we decided we had time to do the full loop to Helions Bumpstead, so turned right down to Ashdon. We sped past field after field of crops growing high, and the verges were full of bright red poppies and wild roses. The only motor vehicle we saw on the Olmsted loop past the transmitter (see photo) was a tractor.

Jacob and Mike took an off-road shortcut to bypass Helions Bumpstead but Eva and I continued down and through the village and met them the other side. We then continued and arrived at West Wratting at just after 5, to be greeted by Steve and David S, making 6 for tea. We made a fairly creditable dent in the excellent spread, and some of us took some home.

After tea, everyone except me wanted to get straight home so they headed back through Balsham and Fulbourn. I decided I wanted a longer ride as it was one of the longest days of the year and fathers’ day in to the bargain, so I took an extended loop via the Woodland Cemetery to Dullingham, then through Newmarket, Exning, Burwell, Reach and home from there. By now it was a wonderful evening with soft light and long shadows. Rabbits were practically jumping out from under my wheels and I met several partridges on the road as well.

I arrived home at 8.25pm having ridden 60 miles. Best ride of the year so far? I think so. Peter Hutchison

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