Sunday, 27 January 2013

27 Jan: Sunday all-day ride to Cambourne, Ashwell and Shepreth

Conrad writes: After a week of cancelled rides because of the snow, I agreed with the runs secretary on Saturday that the all-day ride could go ahead. As it turned out, it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine in the afternoon, no rain but a vicious south-westerly wind.

Today's coffee stop was Cambourne which, being only 10 miles away, posed a challenge in terms of a suitable route. After some consultation, I led five other riders around Market Square and up Castle Hill onto Huntingdon Road where we turned into Girton. We made our way through Oakington and Longstantion on a route that took us away from the strong winds. The respite was short-lived when, at Swavesey, we turned directly into the wind as we made our way towards Boxworth. The going was tough and very slow as we made the long climb up to Boxworth and then to Knapwell before we turned right for the short section towards Cambourne.

At Cambourne, we found that the designated coffee stop, Greens, was closed and so we joined six other riders who had made their way there directly at the cafe in Morrisons. I was not surprised when only four other riders joined me for the second section --- the others obviously had had enough of the wind.

We went down School Lane to Caxton where we were stopped by what I can only describe as the raging waters of the Caxton Ford. The water was so high and extensive that we could not reach the footbridge and had to turn back to the main road and take the next turn. After that, it was a straightforward route through Great Gransden, Gamlingay and then left at Potton. At this point, a rebel faction decided to take the B road to Wrestlingworth while Rupert, Tom and I chose a small loop further eastwards. This gave us a chance to enjoy a tailwind for the first time that day before we turned south and I found myself cycling at a 45 degree angle to counteract the crosswinds. We made our way through Guilden Morden and were reunited with the rebels just outside Ashwell,

After a quick lunch at the Three Tuns, we almost flew back to Cambridge with the aid of the tailwind that blew us through Litlington and Meldreth. Only Tom and I stopped at the Teacake at Shepreth where we each dug into a slice of Victoria Sponge cake. We waited till 3:40 pm but there was no sign of the afternoon ride so we left and returned to Cambridge by the usual route through Barrington, Chapel Hill and Haslingfield. I arrived home at 4:25pm after riding 96 km (60 miles). Conrad Chua

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