Edward writes: What a contrast! Last Thursday snow on the ground and bitterly cold temperatures, this Thursday nearly springlike, little breeze, the promise of some sunshine and the prospect of a great ride, and so it turned out. Again in contrast to last week when only six people went out, the crowds rolled up; twelve riders left Haslingfield as we set off towards Harston for the beginning of our ride. Sadly, Greta was unable to join us so Mick C again took command of the ride.
Of course these are familiar roads, but after Harston we took the road over the hill to Newton where we turned right for the trip round the back lanes of Thriplow and then on to Fowlmere. At the war memorial we turned right heading for Shepreth, but diverting past the RSPB bird sanctuary and then crossing the A10, which wasn't too busy, and then entering Shepreth passing a field of snowdrops as we entered the village.
From here it was but a short hop to arrive at Malton Golf Club where we are always assured a friendly welcome. At coffee our numbers grew again and at one count we had seventeen riders; the change in the weather must have spurred on some pent-up cyclists who had been kicking their heels waiting for the better weather.
After coffee we headed out to Orwell followed by Wimpole Hall where we were asked to stand aside for a horse who apparently might have been spooked by our 'luminesence', not to mention our bright yellow jackets!
After we had passed through Wimpole we went through Arrington and Croydon. It's always nice along this stretch as the views to the left reveal unbroken countryside for as far as the eye can see. At Croydon Hill some of our number turned right and headed up the hill, but taking a shorter route to our lunch stop in Everton. The remainder then went down the hill to the B1042 for a short while and then turned to go through Shingay and the long run up to Guilden Morden. From now until lunch we were against what little wind there was and after Guilden Morden there are a number of steady climbs so plenty of effort was expended all the way to lunch. Our next call was Wrestlingworth where some of us got separated from the main group, the official ride went through Cockayne Hatley, whilst the others took the Potton road. There was hardly any difference in mileage and we all successfully reunited at the Thornton Arms in Everton, all of us having travelled through Potton.
We arrived at The Thornton Arms at about 1 pm and after a leisurely lunch we left again at about 2.15pm. During this hour or so several riders made their own way home and this left ten to ride back to Haslingfield. We left Everton and retraced our steps for a little before making the turning to Waresley and managed to go by the Garden Centre without turning into it!
After Waresley we took the longer route round to reach Great Gransden followed by Little Gransden and Longstowe. From here it was not too many miles before we reached the turning to Kingston where the final parting of the ways took place with the Cambridge riders heading off through Toft and Comberton and the remainder going through the Eversdens and Harlton before arriving back in Haslingfield at about 3.40pm, having peddled away for 49 miles. A special thanks to Mick C for once again taking charge in Greta's absence, and we take this opportunity to wish Greta a speedy return to fitness, as she is very much missed. Edward Elmer
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