Sunday, 22 January 2012

22 Jan: Afternoon ride to Foxton

Tina writes: Ten riders gathered at Brookside for what promised to be a sunny but 'breezy' ride. Neil was our leader this afternoon and took us down side streets emerging from Bateman Street onto Hills Road. Just before the railway bridge we turned left through the new CB1 development to pick up the guided busway heading south to Trumpington. Here we had our first taste of the wind which we were to battle with for most of the afternoon, as it seemed to come from all directions, but never from behind!

We took several right turns to bring us on to the DNA path as far as the Shelfords and then followed the road towards Whittlesford where Mike K suggested a slight detour to view some snowdrops in the 'grounds' of one of the substantial houses. Normally one might not expect to see snowdrops peeking through for another couple of weeks, but recent mild weather has encouraged early flowering.

From Whittlesford, we rode south crossing the A505 to Duxford and then straight over the crossroads at Ickleton, which could only mean one thing ... Coploe Hill. After the steady climb, we paused to re-group at the top for a photo courtesy of Lynn's phone. Instead of continuing up to Catmere End, we took a right turn (into the wind and uphill!), then left to Elmdon and right just past the church onto the Heydon road. We turned right on to the 'main' road towards Chrishall Grange on what should have been a relaxing downward sweep, but a stiff headwind, forced us to pedal hard to maintain momentum. Our route continued northwards over the A505 to Fowlmere, where John left us to return home to Royston, leaving us to battle our way up the open road to Foxton.

With some relief we turned into Illingworth Way where Sue and her husband Dave gave us a warm welcome. Several day riders had already arrived and were tucking into hot soup and we joined them, making around 14 people for tea. Sue had done us proud with selection of sandwiches, nibbles, cakes, chocolate biscuits (made by daughter Rosie) and piece de resistance - a chocolate and vanilla cake with a bicycle stencilled in icing sugar on top! We sat chatting and enjoying a well-earned rest, finally setting off again at about 4.15pm. It was still light and the wind had dropped considerably, as I cycled home through Fowlmere and Melbourn leaving the main group to return via Barrington, over Chapel Hill to Haslingfield and on to Barton and Cambridge.

A huge thank you to Sue and family for hosting tea and also to Neil for planning an interesting and scenic route today. Tina Filby

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