Nigel writes: Today was cloudy and dull with a southerly wind which was due to bring rain later in the evening. I cycled over to Brookside to find John E proudly demonstrating a brand new bike purchased earlier today, and after a short while we were joined by Gareth and Rob. I didn't expect anyone else to join us so we set off promptly at 6.30pm.
Our route this evening was an anticlockwise loop. The four of us headed out of Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway to Barton, where we turned south to Haslingfield. We then turned onto Chapel Hill and climbed to the top, which gave me an opportunity to take a photograph of John (right) with his new steed.
We continued south to Barrington and Shepreth and crossed the A10 to Fowlmere, where we separated from John who was still getting the hang of his new bike and would follow at his own pace. From Fowlmere we rode south to the A505 and Chrishall Grange. By now the wind had picked up and we could see evidence of rain on the horizon. Riding slowly into the wind, we climbed up the hill towards Chrishall and Elmdon. Fortunately the rain kept its distance and we remained dry. At Elmdon we turned back north-east (and downhill) towards Ickleton, and with the wind behind us at last we made rapid progress through Ickleton and Duxford to Whittlesford, where we stopped at The Bees in the Wall at about 8.30pm. We walked into the pub to find Steve and Paul already there; they had arrived at Brookside about a minute after we had left, and had made their own way here.
This was our first visit to this pub for a couple of years, and although it was pleasant and friendly the only food available was fish and chips, which was rather disappointing. Nevertheless we had a pleasant half hour in the pub. Whilst we were there a member of staff told us that John had phoned to tell us that he had had trouble with his lights and wouldn't be joining us (thanks for taking the trouble to call, John).
Afterwards we all returned back to Cambridge. We didn't have far to go and with the wind still behind this was an easy and pleasant ride, still with no sign of the approaching rain other than the occasional stray drop. I arrived home at 9.45pm, having cycled 31 miles.
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