Saturday, 21 May 2011

21 May: Introductory ride to Bourn

Julia writes: It was gloriously sunny and pleasantly warm when Ian and I arrived at Brookside this morning just before 10:00 am and we were expecting the nice weather would have tempted quite a few people out for a ride. So we were a little surprised to find only three riders waiting there initially. While we introduced ourselves to the newcomers and handed out the guest entry forms for them to sign, three more cyclists turned up to join the ride, so eventually we set off with 8 people. It was an interesting and diverse group of four British men (Nigel, Chris, Paul and Ian) and four foreign women: Nellie from Greece, Erika from Italy, Luci from Hong Kong and myself from Germany.

Ian led us west out of Cambridge on the Barton Road cycle path, from where we continued to Comberton and Toft. As usual for a Saturday ride we went at a very gentle pace, Ian at the front of the group and me at the back to make sure we don't lose anyone. Just how important this role of the back marker is became clear to me on the last Saturday ride two weeks ago, where I somehow managed to lose a few people between Horningsea and Fen Ditton - it is easily done! In Toft, we diverted off the main road through School Lane, where I got ahead of the group to take a few photos.

Just before School Lane rejoins the road, we passed a field of colourful lupins in full bloom, so another picture stop was required.

The flowers are not only beautiful but also provide a hug feast of nectar and pollen for insects, especially bees and bumble bees.

We then continued along the main road to Bourn (below) and after a few gentle climbs and descents reached our coffee stop, the Abantu fair trade shop and café.

It was the first time I visited this venue, and I would thoroughly recommend it. It's a beautiful place with a nice terrace to sit outside, a good selection of cakes and a wide range of beautifully crafted fair trade gifts, jewellery and vintage crockery.

We sat down for some refreshments and chat and stayed for at least half an hour (it was so comfortable and pleasant there that I lost track of the time) before setting off again and making our way back to Cambridge via Alms Hill, Hardwick and the Coton footpath. We arrived back in the bustling city centre around 1.15 pm, where we stopped for a final group photo before everyone went their own way. Total distance: 20 miles.

Thanks everyone for a great ride, and I hope to see you again soon! Julia Hochbach

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