Sunday, 18 March 2012

18 Mar: All-day ride to Woodhurst, West Perry and Waresley

Nigel writes: Today started cloudy and dull, with a forecast of rain. In the event we didn't get much more than a few patches of drizzle in the morning and some light rain in the early afternoon followed by clear skies and sunshine. But it takes more than the prospect of a bit of dampness to stop members of CTC Cambridge having a ride, and when I arrived at Brookside there were about ten people waiting. Rupert was our leader today and led us west and northwest out of Cambridge along the Huntingdon Road to Girton.

We continued from Girton to Oakington where we turned onto the busway cycleway.

There was quite a strong westerly headwind, so I was not sorry that when we reached the B1060 a couple of miles further on we left the cycleway and turned north towards Wilburton.

After passing through Wilburton we continued along the B1050 for two or three more miles until we reached Earith, where we crossed the River Great Ouse.

At Earith we joined the A1123 for half a mile before turning off onto the B1050 to Colne. Here the main group turned left for Bluntisham and our coffee stop at The Raptor Foundation near Woodhurst. I, however, was riding ahead of the group and overshot the turn and only realised that I had lost the group as I approached Somersham. I continued into the village and onto the B1086 which took me to the coffee stop from the north. Despite my route being at least two miles further I still reached the cafe before the others.

After coffee we continued west to Broughton, King's Ripton and then south to Huntingdon.

Huntingdon is not a very cycle-friendly town, with some busy roads and confusing one-way streets - and some very poor pavement cycleways. However Rupert, with just a little help from Jim, was able to navigate us confidently through the town centre and out towards Brampton. As we rode along here we noticed dozens of cyclists riding the other way on the 80 mile Wiggle "No Excuses" Sportive 2012

The final miles from Brampton to Grafham are along a pleasant quiet road, though on this occasion it was busy with hundreds of cyclists going the other way.

We arrived at our lunch stop at the Harbour Restaurant in West Perry at about 1.30pm. It was very busy, perhaps because of Mothers' Day, but the service was efficient and we didn't have to wait long for our food.

It was approaching 2.30pm when we set off after lunch. Rupert led us to Waresley along the shortest route: the B661 to Great Staughton and then along the B645 to St Neots.

At St Neots we crossed the Ouse on the new Willow cycle bridge from Eaton Socon to Eynesbury and then continued to Waresley via Lily Hill. We arrived at the garden centre at 3.45pm to find Ian D and the afternoon already ahead of us in the long queue for coffee and cakes.

As we sat in the cafe the sky cleared and the sun came out.

Afterwards we returned to Cambridge via the direct route via Great Gransden, Caxton and Bourn.

I arrived home just before 6pm, having cycled 74 miles.

Photos 1,5,6,7,8,10,12,13 and 16 by Julia Hochbach.

View this route (not a GPS track) on alarger map

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