Tina writes: Today's forecast had promised a cloudy, but dry morning and so it was. There were even some sunny interludes, to encourage thoughts of sitting in the garden at Grantchester for morning coffee. Seven riders Mike S, Cathy, Howard, Nigel, Simon, new rider Jen and I set off along King's Parade and down Hostel Garrett Lane to cross the river and then onwards to pick up the Coton footpath. Spring was definitely in the air with hedges still white with sloe blossom and daffodils along the verges.
From Coton we headed up the hill towards Madingley and stopped to chat briefly with two riders, members of Shrewsbury CTC, who were cycling up the guided busway to St Ives, via Dry Drayton and Oakington. Turning left at the roundabout, we continued for a couple of miles and then turned to cycle down through the pretty village of Hardwick, enjoying the Spring sunshine and the quiet road flanked on either side by fields of green wheat growing strongly despite drought conditions. In Toft, we turned back towards Comberton and Barton where we crossed the A603 to find the bridleway to Grantchester. Mike S had assured me this would be fairly dry and was certainly preferable to the busy M11 roundabout and road option.
The bridleway took us across some fields, bridged the M11 and then brought us into Grantchester just opposite the Rupert Brooke pub. From here it was a short ride to the Orchard Tea Gardens, where we collected our cakes, scones and drinks and did indeed sit out in the garden among the flowering fruit trees. Small chaffinches and a robin hopped around looking expectantly for crumbs.
Clouds and a chill wind prevented us from lingering too long and we set off again along the Grantchester Meadows path enjoying the riverside scenery, arriving back on the Barton Road at about 12.30pm, where we dispersed in various homeward directions.
Thanks to everyone for coming and hope Jen will join us again on another ride. Total distance: 15 miles Tina Filby
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