Thursday, 19 July 2012

19 Jul: Thursday ride to Swavesey and St Neots

Edward writes: Today’s ride to St. Neots was from the Haslingfield start point and was under grey skies and not particularly warm; the forecast was for grey skies all day and lengthy showers, and it didn’t disappoint. About fourteen cyclist assembled and these included three first-time riders - Joanna, David and Richard who was taking the opportunity to get some mileage in before doing this coming Sunday’s London to Cambridge cycle ride. We welcome all three and hope that they enjoyed their day out, despite the weather, and will join us again in the future.

At the start in Haslingfield

Ian W was our leader for this ride and he led us out at regulation Thursday ride pace to Harlton and then on to the Eversdens. After the Eversdens we turned for Kingston and then on to Bourn. The weather at this point was still reasonable so we were able to progress without much ado up to the A428 which we crossed and took the road through to Knapwell. After Knapwell we turned right and headed into Boxworth which then brought us to the A14 which we bridged and then ran into Swavesey and the Baptist Chapel for our coffee stop.

Towards Boxworth

This is always an excellent stop and this week the ladies came from St Andrew’s Church and the choice of cakes on display was truly tempting - if only Adrian had been with us! A coffee and homemade cake for £1.50 can hardly be bettered. The little hall was crowded and no wonder. At coffee Sarah, Bill, Mike K were already enjoying the fare, but when we resumed the ride Richard B and Brian M returned home via the Busway.

We left Swavesey and headed towards Fen Drayton but Ian led us on an off-road track towards the lakes but bringing us out in Fen Drayton where we rejoined the road which took us down towards the A14, but turning to ride parallel to it into Fenstanton. We took the underpass which gave us the road to Hilton and by now the clouds were becoming ever lower and more threatening. In fact in Hilton we stopped to put on our rain gear and also to shelter under the trees but the rain was to be more or less with us all the way into St. Neots. (In Hilton we also saw two Green Woodpeckers.)


In Graveley we became a bit strung out as Richard was beginning to struggle a little so the main group waited until we knew that those at the rear had closed the gap. On entering St. Neots Joanna had a puncture but help was on hand and she was soon on her way to our lunch stop at the Ambiance Cafe near the river. Already there were Doug, Tony P and Richard from Bedford.

Cycleway in St Neots

After lunch we left St. Neots at about 2.15pm by way of the Willow Bridge cycleway and this eventually took us out to the road for Abbotsley. In Abbotsley Mick and I became separated from the main group owing to our desire to look at the many scarecrows on display. Abbotsley obviously had great fun with their Olympic themed scarecrow display and there were many fine scarecrows to be seen.

Scarecrows in Abbotsley

Mike and I went home via Gt. Gransden, Caxton, Bourn and the Everdens whilst the main group went via Gt. Gransden and Longstowe, Bourn and then on to Toft, Comberton and Barton. On the road between Kingston and Gt Eversden it is possible to see the wind turbines between Balsham and West Wratting. I’ve ended the map at Fen Causeway which gave a total of 53 miles. Our thanks to Ian for a splendid ride which everyone enjoyed despite the best efforts of the weather. Edward Elmer

View this route on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Ed told me to look at the blog - it is fabulous!

    My grand inaugural ride was this one. With 63 miles clocked up, 3 soakings and 2 punctures, I consider myself initiated! Worse was to come!

    Thursday 26 was a proper ride! Up, down, up, down, up, down, the hills of Essex was a challenge for me, and some! 72 miles in total in 28 degrees and I was totally ...... at the end. I loved it though and will be back for more punishment next week, but please don't tell Rupert - he will, to be sure, offer to take me round the entire ride again so I can prove my training is at least up to his! NOT!

    Joanna ( joined as a guest 19 July, now committed!)