Edward writes: Today was one of those days when those who arrived at Haslingfield felt that they just had to get out on their bikes. It was a nice sunny morning, quite mild and with a slight breeze, although this was to stiffen during the morning, only to fade away during the afternoon. Sixteen riders were out to take advantage of this day, many probably thinking there wouldn’t be too many more days like it before winter really sets in.
Amongst the sixteen was Simon, a long-standing CTC member, who joined us for today’s trip to St.Neots. Today’s leader was Ian W and we left Haslingfield by way of Harlton and out to the A603 and then through both Eversdens and on to Bourn. Again, owing to the high numbers, we arranged ourselves into two groups and in Bourn the second group paused to enable the first group enough time to get well ahead. We left Bourn and went up to and over the A428 near to the Cambourne turn and then turned to Knapwell. In Knapwell we noticed tree felling, but it appeared to be a lime coming down, and not an ash as we might have expected. Nevertheless, under the bright autumn sunshine, the trees were looking at their best. It may not be New England but still pretty good. Following Knapwell we turned right and headed through Boxworth which soon brought us to the A14 and thence into Swavesey and to one of our favourite coffee stops.
Coffee was at the Compass Cafe in the Bethel Baptist Chapel and it was the turn of the chapel’s ladies to provide us with home made cakes, teas and coffee. This is obviously a popular spot with the residents of Swavesey as it was very crowded so we took our drinks into an adjoining room. With the usual coming and goings we had twenty one cyclists at coffee, including Sarah and Andy, now the proud owners of new Condor bikes.
It was soon time to start again and we left in two groups into a stiffening westerly breeze which, for most of the way to St.Neots, was blowing directly into our faces. Particularly hard going were the stretches from Hilton to the A1198 and from there up to Graveley. Strangely, whilst also going due west, the long two mile stretch from Toseland to the St.Neots turning wasn’t too bad, it benefitting from there being more hedgerows. Once we reached this turning it was just a short run into the town and our lunch break at the Ambience Cafe.
At lunch we were joined by the Bedfordshire contingent of Richard M and Brian B. When we started again we left St. Neots by the cycle way which took us over the river before taking us to the Potton Road. We now had the benefit of a following wind, albeit declining all the time. On the road to Waresley Howard had a puncture and he was assisted by Rupert with the flint proving quite difficult to remove. By this time the first group was now out of sight and unaware of our much slower progress. We now split the second group leaving a small group with Howard and another small group led by Ian to continue back to Cambridge. This entailed going through Waresley, Great Gransden and Caxton before once again arriving in Bourn.
Rather than returning to Haslingfield, and also the light was rapidly disappearing, we ploughed on through Toft, Comberton and Barton before going our separate ways at the Coton roundabout, or the magic roundabout as Jacob has dubbed it. This gave us a distance of 52 miles, and of course our thanks to Ian for acting as our leader. Edward Elmer
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