Thursday, 28 February 2013

28 Feb: Thursday ride to Malton and Sandy

Edward writes: After a week of gloom this Thursday the weather worked well for us, in fact promising to be the best day of the week; and so it turned out. Although cool when we set out the sun, as promised, made its way out and until mid-afternoon when the day started to cool down, gave us a very good day for cycling. At the start twelve cyclists gathered at Haslingfield Green for our ride out to Malton Golf Club and then on to Sandy in Bedfordshire. As the weather was good it seemed an ideal time to stretch our legs and do a few more miles than of late.

We left Haslingfield for Harston where we met Greta who was on her way to the golf club and we would see here there a little later for coffee. Meanwhile, we rode on into Newton and then on to Thriplow. Their daffodil weekend is in two weeks’ time and and only the yellow tips are visible on the most advanced bulbs, but no doubt all will be on show at the right time. After taking the long route through the village we took the road to Fowlmere and then on to go past the RSPB bird reserve and thence on to Melbourn, another village, according to the roadside notices, having to debate a major housing development.

Melbourn

We turned right at the traffic lights in Melbourn and this took us over the railway into Meldreth which brought us to the Orwell turning for the run up to the golf club at Malton.

Malton GC

At the golf club a total of nineteen met for coffee including, and most pleasing, Greta, who was hoping for a twenty mile ride going at her own pace.

Malton GC

After coffee Greta and Sue left us whilst the remainder pushed on into the wind up to Orwell and then through the Wimpole Estate.

Orwell

This brought us into Arrington followed by Croydon and, of course, a short, sharp climb up the hill.

Croydon Hill

After the hill this left a pleasant, steady ride through the Hatleys into Gamlingay where stopped to allow some re-grouping. After Gamlingay we rode on to Everton and followed this by the very fast downhill known as Tempsford Hill. This brought us to the East Coast Main Line which entailed a short break while we waited for a couple of trains to rocket through. Next we crossed the A1 to bring us into Blunham and here we joined the former railway which is now a cycleway for the run back into Sandy and lunch, with the time at 1.20pm and 35 miles on the clock.

The cafe staff served the light snacks quite quickly and we were on our way again shortly after 2pm. We left Sandy by way of the busy junction where the A1 comes close to the town, bringing us to the B658 and heading due south and with a near-following wind so we made good progress as we passed through Upper Caldecote before turning into the wind for a short run and then turning south again to pass near Broome and also Jordan’s (the cereal makers) and then on to the road leading to Langford. This meant a two mile climb heading east into the wind to reach the water tower where we crossed the A1.

Crossing the East Coast Main Line

Essentially this brought us unto the home straight as we soon passed through Hinxworth and then Ashwell, whose church can be seen as far back at the crossing of the A1. Also noticeable are the quantities of snowdrops out this year - it seems to have been a bumper year for them. From Ashwell it was Steeple Morden, Littlington, Bassingbourn and back into Meldreth for the second time. Another sign of spring was the first signs of flower on a forsythia bush seen in Meldreth. The last two villages were, of course Shepreth where Adrian and Geoff stopped for a tea in the Teacake and the remainder carried on into Barrington, over the hill and finally Haslingfield giving us a total of 63 miles with the time at 4.30pm. On their way home many people will have finished with 70 plus miles, thus making very good use of the better weather. Edward Elmer


View this route on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a nice long ride, Ed :-) Very nearly 81 miles for me all told (about three times as far as I have been doing of late) .... cream-crackered next day!!

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