Sunday, 28 October 2012

28 Oct: All-day ride to St Ives, West Perry and Waresley

Ian writes: Today's ride was officially leaderless, and as I waited at the start I was wondering whether it would be just me and John, an ex-Cambridge DA visitor from Glasgow. However before long, seven more members turned up, all clearly hoping that the weather forecast was pessimistic, and we were soon on our way to Nuts Bistro in St Ives.

We set off west out of Cambridge taking the familiar route along the old Bedford road. Most of the group soon decided it wasn't actually as cold as they thought, though no doubt the climb up Madingley hill had something to do with that. When we reached the turn for Knapwell turn it was then downhill all the way to St Ives - with a tailwind which helped us speed us along to reach our coffee stop by 11am.

At Nuts Bistro in St Ives we were joined by Lynn, Eva, Vic, Adrian, Brian and Martin, though when the time came for departure there was the usual reshuffle with ten proceeding to lunch, boosted in part by the weather actually looking quite promising, and the others returning home.

The route west towards Grafham Water was a bit of a struggle into the wind, though once we were beyond Brampton the hedges that lined the road meant we weren't completely exposed and made this section of the ride quite pleasurable with glimmers of sunshine and some attractive autumnal colour. Time was getting on so when we reached Grafham village we rode directly to Perry on the road rather than using the off-road cycle track. We passed the visitor centre along the way, not realising that we would be returning back there once we discovered (from Doug who caught up with us at Plummer car park) that the Harbour View cafe at West Perry was no longer in business.

After various combinations of soup, jacket potatoes, sandwiches and cake, and appetites satiated, we prepared to set off back towards Cambridge. However it was apparent that the weather was deteriorating and that the rain that had been forecast was indeed on its way.

The general consensus was therefore to strike direct for Cambridge via Buckden, the Offords, Hilton and the busway cycleway. However Doug, John and myself diverted at Graveley for a more southerly route via Abbotsley. When we reached the Waresley turn it was still little after 3pm so in order to make the most of the remaining daylight we decided that a visit to the garden centre cafe would have to wait for another day and we headed straight home. My arrival back in Fen Ditton coincided more or less with dusk with 67 miles clocked up. Ian Wright

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for leading the ride. I never thought I would go through the same underpass in the same direction twice in one ride. But there you go.