Thursday, 23 May 2013

23 May: Thursday ride to Swavesey and St Neots

Edward writes: Today was another twist in our fortunes with the weather in that it was very cool and blustery and with a forecast for rain in the afternoon. This was familiar weather to those who had returned from France where the weather was cool and windy. Tony H was our leader today for the ride out to St. Neots and nine riders arrived at Haslingfield not deterred by Tony’s uncanny knack of leading rides on days when the weather is doing its best to displease.

We set off into a stiff northerly wind through Harlton and onto the Eversdens. This brought us to Kingston and Bourn and the long, but slight climb up to the A428. Whilst the main group kept to the road it goes without saying that Adrian put in a bit of off-road work by going through Childerley Gate before rejoining us all in Boxworth. This was now downhill to a busy A14 which we crossed on the flyover and a mile and a half later we were in Swavesey and the Baptist Chapel. As we always report this is a firm favourite with the club and the ladies, this week represented by the Swavesey Fete organisers, did us proud with a fine selection of home-made cakes plus a drink all for £1.50. As is often the case we were joined by other members, many of whom were tempted into a second course.


Sadly, it was time to leave and out we went into the wind and the threat of rain looking imminent. We went to Fenstanton, back over the A14 and along into Hilton where we caught in a heavy shower, but luckily the cricket pavilion was nearby so we took shelter there until it had passed. From here to Graveley and its wind turbines requires a couple of long stretches into the wind but we finally made it and then turned past Toseland wood and another long run down to the B1043 and then into a busy market day in St. Neots and lunch at the Ambiance Cafe.

St Neots

Strangely, most of us sat outside to either eat sandwiches or food ordered from inside. However, Sarah had made a cake, she said to welcome back the French tourists, but really she just likes baking cakes, and this was readily eaten by us all. After our treat it was time to move on but not before taking shelter from a sudden squall. Sarah left us here to head towards St.Ives and probably into the wind the rest of us headed to towards Waresley but with the benefit of the wind. All around were threatening clouds as we made our way via Waresley to Great Gransden, Caxton and Bourn.

It now looked like a race against the ever-darkening sky and getting home, but sadly the weather won: from Toft through Comberton and Barton we were caught by heavy rain and hail. We reached the Coton roundabout where the tour ended but having received a thorough drenching. Thanks to Tony for his leadership and this gave a ride of 52 miles Edward Elmer

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