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