Sunday, 28 October 2012

28 Oct: Afternoon ride to Waresley

John writes: Nine riders met at Brookside for the 1.20pm start. (They were all males: where were the ladies?) We cycled westwards along the Barton Road cycle path into a westerly breeze. There was heavy cloud cover and rain threatened. We rode through the villages of Barton, Comberton and Toft to Bourn, where we turned north and crossed the A428 into Knapwell. So far we had made good time, and since there was hardly any traffic I made the fateful decision to continue up to Conington and the edge of Fenstanton where we turned left into the teeth of the stiff breeze.

By now a steady drizzle had come on. Conscious of the café closing-time of 4.30pm we pressed on quickly through Hilton to Graveley where we turned left. Stopping to re-cross the A428 at Toseland we lacked two riders, John E and another whose name no-one seemed to know. John was used to riding on his own, but I was concerned about the other rider. I returned almost to Graveley but could find no trace of him. I offer my sincere apologies to him through this report which I hope he sees.

Time was now very short so the remaining six of us (Steve had left us at Bourn from where he made a beeline to Waresley), so we turned left at the south end of the Croxton Road and arrived at Waresley Garden Centre at 4.15 p.m. Steve was there: in fact he was the only customer.

After a splendid tea in the refurbished and expanded café we returned to Cambridge by the direct route through Caxton, Great Gransden, Bourn and Toft. The sun had set whilst we were having tea and the cloud obscured the nearly full moon. We all had lights and sped back to Cambridge aided by the tailwind. There was a brief stop between Caxton and Bourn while Mike Sleep fixed a new front light to his recumbent.

The two lessons for me were (1) with a large group, appoint a back-marker and (2) if time is liable to be tight, get near the tea-stop before putting in loops.

According to my GPS the distance was 41 miles. John Ferguson

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the report.

    I was riding with John as he was lagging most of the day due to the wind, and decided to ride with him when we left Hilton as he had dropped off the pace a couple of times.

    We lost you at the left turn to Toseland. John thought that as no one was at the junction we should carry on. So we ended up going through the Offords and the Paxtons. I put the Sat Nav on and got us back towards St Neots and I decided that the Tea Room would be close to closing and we would be riding for quite a while in the dark so made a decision to return.

    I know the area fairly well and I offered John to ride with me but he wanted to carry on so I led to the outskirts of St Neots and turned around and went back towards Great Paxton, Toseland, Yelling, Papworth, Hilton, St Ives and back towards North Cambridge.

    I found that it was quite a distance and with the shorter hours and being so close to no facilities was not really my sort of riding. We still made great pace but I think we could slow down slightly as not all riders are on skinny wheels, some have heavy items and even with the wind and rain I list the following stats -

    Total distance was 54.92 Miles, Average Speed was 11.8 MPH, Max Speed was 25.8 MPH with riding time of 4:38'09