Sunday, 29 May 2011

29 May: Afternoon ride to Caxton

Tina writes: Eleven riders, including new rider Bob, met at Brookside. After Andy had deftly dealt with Sarah’s flat tyre we set off south down Trumpington Road, along Barrow Road, left on to Long Road and right down Robinson Way. Unusually, we didn't turn down the DNA path, but continued straight on to Red Cross Lane and across Babraham Road to Nightingale Avenue. Bob B then took us on a pleasant tour of residential roads, finally emerging on Worts Causeway. We turned left onto Babraham Road and then right up Granham’s Road for the long haul up and over the Gogs. We paused at the top to admire the view and wait for stragglers before the downward sweep to the Shelfords and the right turn to Hauxton.

At the A10 junction, we stopped to chat to Greta, who was on the homeward stretch of her ride back from coffee at St Neots, and then continued across and down a track leading to, and on past, Rectory Farm. The ground was dry and bumpy, underlining the lack of rain over the past few months, but the surrounding fields were green with emerging arable crops edged in places with dandelion yellow and the occasional red splash of poppies. We passed a farmer harvesting his rape seed crop with a ‘traditional’ tractor and then continued on down the track, crossing the Cam, edged with flags and rushes, enjoying the rural off-road interlude.

The track brought us to the edge of Haslingfield, where we cycled through the centre of the village and on to Harlton, then across the A603 to the Eversdens.

By this time the group had splintered into two, with Jacob leading the front riders off on an extra loop, while Bob waited for slower riders to catch up and take a more direct route through Kingston.

After Kingston we turned left along the B1046 past Bourn Golf Club and then right uphill to the village.

We took the Caxton End turn where both fords were unsurprisingly dry continuing on along the gently undulating road and past Bourn Post Mill, (so called as it is constructed around a central post – Bob B is a mine of local information!)

We arrived around 4.25pm at the Cross Keys just ahead of the breakaway party, meeting George, David and Steve who had ridden direct. Nigel and the remaining day riders arrived soon afterwards, making about twenty riders in all, spilling out of the main bar into the room behind. Luckily the Cross Keys always provide a magnificent spread and there were plenty of sandwiches and cakes to go round.

After an hour’s chat, most riders took a direct route back to Cambridge through Bourn, Toft and Comberton. Mike S and I pedalled south from Bourn, retracing the route through Kingston and Eversdens to Haslingfield, but then up and over Chapel Hill to justify teatime indulgence!

Thanks once again to Bob for leading today and devising yet another variation on the Cambridge to Caxton route. Tina Filby

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