Wednesday, 9 February 2011

6 Feb: Afternoon ride to Chesterton

Tina writes: It was still windy (though not as ‘gale force’ as it had been on Friday) but, undeterred, nine people arrived at Brookside for the afternoon ride.

Mike K led us north over Midsummer Common and along the river where several rowing ‘eights’ were out training. We crossed Stourbridge Common and headed up NCR 51, through Fen Ditton and on to Newmarket Road. With the wind behind us most of the way, the going was easy, and we tried not to think about the inevitable headwind on our return journey.

We turned off the A1303 towards Little Wilbraham, where a diagonal side wind slowed the pace as we practised leaning sideways to keep the bikes upright! Just over the A11, we turned right for a few hundred yards along the A1304 before forking quickly left on to a quieter road signposted for West Wratting. We enjoyed several miles of traffic-free lanes and gentle undulations which provided some welcome shelter from the wind. While Mike dropped back to make sure everyone was OK, three riders shot off up a hill to the right, but a few shouts from the leader soon brought them sheepishly back, as we turned left!

Taking a sharp left at the top of a hill, we headed back towards Dullingham and met a party of four day riders led by Ian W; Adrian and his two ‘puncture repair supporters’ passed us a few minutes later.

From Dullingham it was a straight ride back to Swaffham Bulbeck and Bottisham where we retraced our tracks along the A1303 cycle path, this time battling into a fierce headwind. With great relief, we turned into the more sheltered Newmarket Rd P&R and then back across Stourbridge Common.

When we reached the Green Dragon bridge, instead of continuing along the river into the city, we took a right fork over the bridge to Chesterton, where Julia had produced a colourful spread which promised our entire 5-a-day in a single meal. There was plenty of salad as well as dips, open sandwiches and cakes - courgette and pistachio offering a mouth-watering combination! Only two surviving day riders (Ian & Adrian) and George joined us for tea, making twelve in total.

Thanks to Mike for a great ride (about 30 miles in total), which certainly blew away all those cobwebs. Thanks also to Julia for a delicious tea! Tina Filby


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