Sunday, 12 December 2010

12 Dec: Christmas lunch ride

Our goal today was to have a pleasant morning's ride to Bourn Golf Club, eat a substantial Christmas lunch at the restaurant there, and return home again. Of the 22 members booked to have lunch, eight turned up at Brookside at 9.30am, ready to work up an appetite.

Today started off bright and sunny, and despite a frost overnight it was well above freezing. Still cold, but much milder than during the week. Lovely weather for a winter ride, in fact.

I (Nigel) was the leader today. We set off west out of Cambridge along Barton Road to Barton, where we took the road to Haslingfield. We then climbed Chapel Hill and dropped back down again to Barrington.

A right turn in Barrington took us to Orwell, where we stopped to wait for slower riders next to a house where Santa was already paying an early visit...

Just beyond Orwell we crossed over the A603 and continued to Wimpole Hall, where we ride past the stable block and right through the grounds, passing in front of the Hall itself. When we came this way exactly a year ago we came across a delightful display of vintage bicycles, with riders in vintage costumes (photos here), as part of Wimpole's annual "Victorian Christmas" event. Today we spotted a few people walking around wearing victorian costumes, but no victorian cyclists.

We left Wimpole, crossed the A1198, and continued west. This took us through Arrington and Croydon, up Croydon Hill and through East Hatley and Hatley St George. Just beyond the second Hatley we turned right (north) onto a quiet narrow link road which took us up Fullers Hill to the Gamlingay - Gransdens road.

We then turned back east towards our lunch destination, riding through Little Gransden, Great Gransden and Caxton before arriving at Bourn Golf Club exactly on time at 12.00pm.

Christmas Lunch was a most enjoyable and sociable event. It was nice to meet both familiar faces (including Edgar and Maurice whom I hadn't seen for quiet a while) and some unfamiliar faces. My table spent much of the meal discussing our plans for some long rides in 2010, such as whether we would attempt the dauntingly-long Hauxton 300km Audax in April.

Afterwards we returned directly back to Cambridge (or wherever else we lived). We started off at a gentle pace but before very long Gareth overtook at speed and John and I took the bait. After a while we slowed down to a more comfortable pace but it still wasn't long before we were back in Cambridge. I was home by about 3.45pm after having cycled 37 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

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