Sunday, 10 February 2013

10 Feb: Sunday afternoon ride to Newnham

Tina writes: The local BBC weather forecast had predicted an afternoon of ‘grey cloud’ followed by snow showers, but surprisingly eight hardy cyclists gathered at Brookside, no doubt tempted out by the thought of a Home Tea! Light rain was falling as Eva led us down Brookside towards the station, where we joined the guided busway and onwards to the DNA path enjoying several traffic free miles.

From Shelford, Eva headed south to Whittlesford and then looped back towards Newton. We rode along in a neat group catching up on the last few weeks’ news, when cold or windy weather had deterred all but the most ‘hard core’ riders. Several clumps of snowdrops along the verges brightened the afternoon gloom and one front garden was starred with yellow winter aconites.

After carefully crossing the A10 at Harston, we wound our way through to Haslingfield – Eva had explained that she was keeping close to Cambridge this afternoon, in case the snow arrived earlier than expected and we had to make a sudden dash for tea! We were all secretly relieved to cycle past the bottom of Chapel Hill and on the far edge of the village, paused to decide whether to head straight up towards Barton or to meander another 11 miles via Harlton, The Eversdens, Kingston and Bourn. We all opted for the latter route (mad or what?) thinking that higher mileage might justify an extra slice of cake!

The quiet undulating route through the villages was very pleasant, until we turned eastwards and hit the long straight road through Toft and Comberton, knowing that we would not escape the persistent head wind until we reached Barton village. A ‘heads down and pedal’ mentality propelled us along until we reached the A603 junction. Meanwhile Eva had dropped back to check that everyone was ok and unfortunately only Cheryl and Peter H heard her puncture call and stopped to help, while the rest of us, already scenting tea and a warm haven, sped along the Barton Road cycle way and down to John and Carolyn’s house.

Several day riders were already there, as well as Greta and Julia had also cycled down to introduce little Florian to his first CTC gathering. As usual Carolyn’s mouthwatering homemade cakes, sausage rolls and scones (with cream and jam!) were much appreciated. After everyone’s fingers and toes had thawed out, Rupert took the opportunity to present the Len Nice trophy to Adrian, who everyone agreed was an excellent choice.

Thanks again to Eva for leading the ride and apologies for abandoning her in her hour of need! Thanks also to John and Carolyn for another memorable Home Tea. Total mileage; 25 miles Tina Filby

Photos by Peter Hutchison

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