John writes: Glorious weather tempted six riders to slowly winkle their way from Brookside, through crowds of pedestrians, cyclists and dogs, to the Pye Bridge and across the Cam to join the GBW cycle path at Orchard Road East. At Longstanton Jim, a first-time rider with CTC and to whom we extend a warm welcome, invited us to inspect his large and productive allotment.. After a 20 minute halt and generously provided with sweet-corn and apples by Jim we continued beside the GBW to Swavesey and through this straggling village to Fendrayton. The ride-leader was pleased his Garmin, found the foot/cycle path to Fenstanton church, past the King William IV pub and under the A14. The pub had been a welcome lunch stop on his recce.
Now half-way to the tea-stop and we sped against a strengthening NWly wind towards Hilton and Graveley. En route we met an assumed escapee from the all-day ride (Rupert) dashing Easterly. At Hilton Steve made a bee-line for the tea-stop and, at Graveley, Jacob followed suite, predictably by an off-road route.
Now with a favourable wind we cycled Southerly. On the left lay the well-wooded Croxton Park and on the right was the fine view over the Ouse valley towards St. Neots. The westering sun was now low on the horizon and clouds had rolled in with the breeze. Ahead a distant hot-air balloon was visible. Waresley church poked its quirky spire above the trees. This section of the ride is amongst my favourite Cambridgeshire routes. It was especially attractive owing to the fine weather and surprisingly light traffic. On the outskirts of Abbottsley we turned left, sped through Great Gransden to Caxton and the Cross Keys, reached at 5'o'clock and after 30 miles of cycling.
This was the ride-leader's first visit. Reunited with Jacob and Steve and meeting two other CTC riders (names unknown to me) we enjoyed a splendid tea. After a short stay Jim returned to Longstanton independently and the five remaining riders set off to Bourne where Mike S's recumbent machine amused some small children. Thence through Toft, Comberton and Barton. At Newnham, reached 10 minutes before sunset, we dispersed to our various homes: one rider, another John, going to catch a train to Royston.
The total distance was about 40 miles which, given the shortness of the days, should be maximum for an afternoon ride at this season. There were no punctures or other breakdowns. John Ferguson