Thursday, 10 November 2011

10 Nov: Thursday ride to Wimpole and Gamlingay

Edward writes: This Thursday, when we met at the Joan Memorial Seat in Haslingfield, it was overcast, no wind and the prospect of a decent forecast. When we left Haslingfield we had fifteen cyclists and this soon became sixteen, and in order to lessen our impact on traffic we spilt into two groups and headed off to Harston. At Harston we turned right and went along the footpath which runs beside the A10. The hedges beside the path had recently been flailed and this may have been the cause of the three punctures we were to have during the day.

After being held at the railway gates in Foxton we turned towards Fowlmere where the road lacks hedges and the wind can be quite strong here, but today we didn't have to contend with the wind and we progressed at a leisurely rate.

Foxton station

In Fowlmere we had puncture number one and this happened to Jacob, but with Jim's assistance it wasn't too long before they got under way again and rejoined the rest of us at coffee.

Fowlmere

From Fowlmere we went past the RSPB reserve and then turned towards Melbourne and Meldreth and then made the turning to Orwell via Maldon.

Meldreth to Orwell

After Orwell we joined the A603 for the trip through Wimpole village and onto our coffee stop at the Layzee Dayz transport cafe. The second group arrived to find the first group enjoying coffee outside on the patio and this being 10 November, another reminder of the high temperatures we are still enjoying. By now our numbers had grown again, probably too many to count, but the staff in the cafe coped admirably with the sudden influx of customers.

Coffee Stop

After we got everybody underway again, and still in two groups, we carried on further up A603 to the point where it joins our old friend the A1198 (we cross it so many times). From here it was Wendy where we had puncture number two and the unlucky person was Peter. He was riding with us for the first time and we extend a warm welcome to him and hope joins us for future rides. Again, the puncture was soon sorted out and we progressed on our way to Guilden Morden where we caught up with Bob and Myrtle and our group increased in size yet again. It was very apparent that a great deal of oil seed rape has been sown yet again with many, many fields growing it, so next spring might be a testing time for those that suffer from its effects. Also nice to see is how immaculate the fields look after they have just been drilled. After Guilden Morden we crossed the A603 and then went into Wrestlingworth where we followed the road near to Cockayne Hatley and then onto the B1040 for the run into Gamlingay and our lunch stop at the Cock public house. Earlier Greta had wisely rang ahead to warn them that a large group was heading their way and they were well prepared for us, and in fact we all enjoyed a good value-for-money lunch. Just to mention numbers again we think we had a maximum of twenty-two riders with those that joined us in Gamlingay. Greta is becoming a modern-day Pied Piper.

Towards Wrestlingworth

After lunch we set off with considerably fewer riders as not all were coming back to the Cambridge area. Our route back was to the Gransdens but before reaching them puncture number three struck and the victim this time was Mike B but luckily Mike C was on hand to resolve this one. This proved a bit more tricky as it was a difficult to remove the thorn. We all reassembled at the point where we cross the A1198 to go down to Longstowe, Bourn, Kingston, the Eversdens and down to the A603. After this it was Harlton, Haslingfield, Harston and Hauxton where the ride ended.

This was a good day out: the sun made efforts to get out and when it did it did wonders for the autumn leaves as the countryside takes on a more autumnal appearance. Thanks to Greta. We covered 46 miles. Edward Elmer


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