Thursday, 20 June 2013

20 Jun: Thursday ride to Waresley and Biggleswade

Edward writes: About a dozen riders met at Haslingfield Green for today's trip out to Jordan's Mill by way of Waresley. Today we were to be led by Averil and we met under overcast skies but pleasantly warm and little wind, with most of the humidity from yesterday having gone. Once again we were joined by Greta who would return home from Waresley, but it's good to note her steady progress and each week extending her rides.

Kingston

We left Haslingfield on the road to Harlton and then over the A603 before heading through the Eversdens and then on to Kingston. Next on the list was Bourn where Greta, escorted by Brian, took the alternative, but flatter, route via Longstowe, leaving the main group to go the more undulating roads to Caxton and then through Great Gransden before the final ups and downs to reach Waresley Garden Centre. Whilst there we were joined by several other members who had cycled out to Waresley to have coffee with us before cycling off again, including Richard M who joined us from Bedford, Doug and Howard. The weather by now was very pleasant, although a hint of rain was always in the air, and it was very nice to sit outside and enjoy the company and the warm sunshine. Bearing in mind the terrible weather we've had this year this was something of a treat.

Waresley

Waresley

Waresley

Soon it was time to take to the road again and those coming on (still about a dozen) headed towards Gamlingay before, at Adrian’s prompting, we did a mile or so of off-road before coming out on Carthegena Road which took us past the John O’Gaunt golf club and into Sutton. There then followed a nice couple of miles up to Eyeworth with the roadsides now displaying much hawkweed, mallow and dog rose, all making the ride even more more colourful and enjoyable.

From Eyeworth we followed the B1042 through Dunton into Biggleswade and here Adrian took a decisive role to take us through the small back roads of Biggleswade to another off-road track beside the River Ivel. We agreed, in management speak, that this was a case of Averil doing the strategic planning but leaving the details to an able and willing deputy. What it does, though, is to reinforce our view that Adrian has a near encyclopaedic knowledge of almost any road you care to mention in the whole of East Anglia. When we reached the end of this very pleasant riverside ride we found ourselves right outside Jordan’s Mill and our lunch stop.

Gamlingay Heath

This is still a new stopping place for us and it is very nice with seating inside and out. We chose to sit outside and just about finished our lunch before a light rain set in and this was to be with us, not unpleasantly, all the way home. After lunch we said goodbye to Andy and Sarah who were to head home (but not without a false start) through Broom, and the rest of us went down to the B659 and on to Langford. This took us on the long straight road over the main railway line and the A1. Although this is quite a busy road with fast moving traffic it nice to record that we could hear skylarks from the fields on either side.

From Hinxworth we soon reached Ashwell and then the familiar route back via Steeple Morden, Litlington, Bassingbourn, Meldreth and Shepreth. This just left a climb over Barrington hill and the descent into Haslingfield and a very pleasant 51 miles under our belts. We thank Averil for taking us round and also to Adrian for supplying his knowledge for the off-road bits and his incredible navigation of Biggleswade. Everybody appreciated both their efforts. Edward Elmer


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