It was a hot, humid, afternoon, with thunderstorms forecast for later. Eight riders turned up for this afternoon's ride: Averil, Richard, Simon, Mike Sl, Ian, Tina, Pete and me. Averil led the group out east along the river and across the commons to Fen Ditton.
With the help of a steady tailwind we made rapid progress.
At Six Mile Bottom we carried straight on and climbed the long hill to Brinkley.
At Brinkley we rested for a few minutes. Without the cooling effect of our self-generated breeze we quickly became hot and it was a relief to be able to set off again.
Averil's route took us on a loop through Great Bradley, Cowlinge and Kirtling before turning back to Woodditton. We paused at the crossroads there for a few minutes as I inspected a sculpture at the cross-roads that I had not noticed before. It was a curious and confusing combination of wind-vane, model of the solar system, and an image of a pair of comic figures sawing through a log of wood, all on top of a cartwheel.
At Woodditton we were close to Stechworth, our planned tea stop, but with 50 minutes left Averil took us on a final loop via Saxon Street and Cheveley before returning west to Stechworth. Here we stopped for tea at The Marquis of Granby.
Also at tea were David S and Steve G, who had ridden there directly, as well as quite a large contingent from the all-day ride. Gareth sat down next to me looking pretty tired; he reported that he had already done 90 miles by that point.
After tea we returned back to Cambridge. Pete and I had planned a longer route via Newmarket but with thunder already audible as we prepared to depart we soon abandoned that idea, and within a minute of leaving the pub the skies opened and we found ourselves riding through a torrential downpour.
The whole group stopped under some trees in Dullingham for several minutes before carrying on to Swaffham Bulbeck, Bottisham and Quy. Although the rain slackened off after a while it continued to rain steadily all the way back, making this my wettest club ride for a year or two. I was soaked and rode fast to keep warm. Fortunately it wasn't very far back to Cambridge. I was back home by about 7.15pm, dripping wet, after having ridden 45 miles.
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