Thursday, 2 February 2012

2 Feb: Thursday ride to Elsworth and St Ives

Edward writes: Today wasn't a day for the faint-hearted but eight riders assembled at the green in Haslingfield. Last night temperatures were in the range of minus 3 to minus 5, but at least there was little wind and the prospect of some sunshine. Today was the turn of Mick C to step forward and take over the reins in Greta's absence. Of course, with Mick in charge, this ride had the possibility of being quite long. We got under way and set off through Harlton and then through the Eversdens. It was still early and the sun hadn't made much different to the temperatures and there were many cases of cold hands; in fact Adrian's heated gloves were beginning to make people envious as he seemed quite comfortable.


We pressed on, passing through Kingston and on to Bourn where we met Rupert, thus bringing our numbers up to nine. On leaving Bourn we headed up towards the A428 but at the last minute branched off onto a little track which took us into Cambourne which we meandered through before leaving and going out towards the A428. This took us on to the old St. Neots road which for a short while runs parallel to the A428. On this road we were lucky enough to see at quite close range a Buzzard circling overhead. We were now in open country and for the most part the wind was in our favour, but with the twists in the road at times, when we faced the wind, we felt its raw cold. However, compensation was at hand, because by now the sun was out and the views over the fields, and particularly looking towards Elsworth Church, were quite stunning. We arrived in Elsworth and the George and Dragon where the hosts were well prepared for us and coffee was soon served. We were joined here by Bill, who had cycled from Ely, and also Jim, who lives locally, so now - despite the cold - we had eleven riders.

Leaving the coffee stop in Elsworth

The only problem of coffee on a cold day is having to start again as it always feels particularly cold, but it has to be done and we set off towards Boxworth. After Boxworth we crossed the A14 and soon came to Swavesey. In Swavesey we turned towards Longstanton which then gave us access to the Busway. From here it was a nice run into St. Ives with the wind on our backs and the sun out it was enjoyable few miles of cycling. In St. Ives some of us went to Nuts Bistro but, as it was busy, some others found the Robin Hood pub for lunch.

Nuts Bistro in St Ives

After lunch Rupert, Adrian, Bill, Ian W and Jim left us to make their own way home and the remainder went out of St.Ives over the river and down to Fenstanton where we used the underpass to cross the A14. This took us on to the road to Connington and Knapwell. It was on the road between Knapwell and the old St. Neots road we witnessed an interesting weather phenomenon as icicles had formed on the trees (see photo above), so we certainly knew it was cold.

St Neots Old Road

We crossed the A428 and back into Bourn, which took us to Toft, and Comberton where we turned right for the road which goes to the A603 which we crossed and then into Harlton again and finally back to Haslingfield where the trip ended. Our thanks to Mick for the day out which, despite the cold, was very enjoyable and invigorating. We did 45 miles. Edward Elmer

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