Today was yet another fine sunny autumn day. There was a cold northerly breeze for most of the afternoon but the more or less constant sunshine kept the temperature comfortable. There were nine riders at Brookside for this afternoon's ride to Caxton. I led the group south-west out of Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway to Barton and from there to Haslingfield.
We climbed Chapel Hill and dropped down to Barrington, where we turned right onto the road to Orwell.
We then crossed the A603 and through the grounds of Wimpole Hall
This brought us to Arrington. We crossed the A1198 and rode through Croydon before climbing Croydon Hill, the second of today's two "proper" hills.
As we rode along the long road from Croydon to Gamlingay the ride stretched out as we each rode at our own pace. At intervals along this road two of our riders (one from the front and one from the rear) decided to turn back, leaving seven of us to continue to Gamlingay, which we reached just after 4pm.
With a full hour left before tea, and the sun still shining brightly, this left us time for a little loop. I took us through Gamlingay Cinques to the junction near Thistle Hill Farm where we at last turned back towards Caxton. This final half hour's riding took us along the quietest and most attractive roads of the whole trip: the narrow lane that climbs over Lily Hill to Waresley, and the wider undulating road from there to Great Gransden.
From Great Gransden it was only three miles to Caxton where we stopped for tea at The Cross Keys. Most of the riders sped ahead and arrived on time, leaving me and the tail of the ride to arrive a few minutes later at 5.10pm. I never worry about being slightly late when we go to Caxton for tea because there is always plenty of food, and today was no exception.
At tea we met Gareth, the only person from the all-day ride who had stopped for tea, and several others who had ridden there directly: Julia, Ian, George, Peter, Steve and David S, making a total of fourteen.
After tea we all returned to Cambridge via Bourn, Toft, Comberton and Barton once again. It was still light when we left the pub at 5.45pm but by the time we reached Cambridge it was completely dark. A full moon rode in the east, obscured by a few light clouds. I was back in Cambridge by about 6.45pm, after having ridden 42 miles.
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