Sunday, 29 January 2012

29 Jan: All-day ride to Waresley, Hinxworth and Newnham

Gareth writes: It was a gloomy morning: the temperature just one or two degrees, and one of those thick cold fogs that only the fens of Cambridgeshire can brew, with visibility down to a hundred metres or so. I thought that the turnout might be, shall we say, a trifle disappointing, but I should have had more faith: ten of us set out in the mist to Waresley, lights ablaze.

I planned a fairly long stage from coffee to lunch, so to balance things I took us direct to Waresley via Bourn, Caxton and the Gransdens, and we got to the garden centre at about 10:45. The fog was lifting slightly on the higher ground, to be replaced by a bitter wind.

After coffee we split up: some returned home, three headed directly for lunch via Potton, and I led the remaining seven west across the A1. Just west of Sandy, near Girtford Bridge, Steve stopped to show us the memorial to Frederick Bidlake (1867–1933), a notable time-triallist and an early vice-president of the Cyclists' Touring Club.

We passed through the picturesque villages of Hatch, Northill, Ickwell, and Old Warden. At Southill there is a pretty café that might make a good spot for lunch on future rides. Then Stanford, Clifton, Langford, and a long drag up the hill to the water tower that marks the bridge over the A1 near Edworth. I was cold and tired, and very glad to get to Farrowby Farm and a warm drink.

Conrad requested that this photo be included, which I believe shows Averil being savaged by the Beast of Farrowby Farm.

The fog was gone, but the air was still damp and bitterly cold. Somehow, everything seems twice as difficult in the winter! On the way back, we stopped at the former Steeple Morden airfield to look at the USAAF memorial.

Caroline and John did us proud, with a spread of sandwiches and cakes that even twenty cold and hungry cyclists could not finish. Many thanks!

Distance: about 65 miles.

View CTC day ride 2012-01-29 in a larger map

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