Thursday, 25 July 2013

25 Jul: Thursday ride to Swavesey and St Neots

Edward writes: Another Thursday and another steamy hot day and this encouraged nineteen members to meet at Haslingfield Green for our ride out to St.Neots. Today’s leader was Ian W and after we got everybody organised we set off in two groups out of Haslingfield along to Harlton from whence we turned midway through the village to go on the short, but badly surfaced road, which leads up to the A603 for a hundred yards and then off it for the road to Comberton. Once in Comberton we crossed the main road and took the long straight road up to Hardwick before crossing the A428 and going down into Madingley.


Haslingfield

Comberton

In Hardwick Jacob (surely not!) led a group for some off road work through Childerley Gate. At this time of the morning there was hardly any wind (a feature of these hot days) so riding was an easy pleasure, and thus we were soon passing through Dry Drayton and then over the A14 (rather us than them) and then through to Oakington. We travelled through the village and out to the busway for the run down to Swavesey. Along the busway we saw some very attractive blue flowers about a meter high (sadly no picture and no identification). Otherwise the verges were dominated by the ever-present Rose-Bay Willow Herb and of course Knapweed.

After a very easy four miles or so we arrived at the ever-popular Baptist Chapel for our cake (cakes in some cases) and coffee stop. This week the hospitality was provided by the Festival Committee and the ladies provided their usual array of high quality home made cakes. Trade was brisk, not surprisingly as cake and coffee only cost £1.50, but we were all served quickly and cheerfully and we all sat down to enjoy the fare. At coffee there was the usual exchange of personnel but still about eighteen headed off for St. Neots.

Swavesey

Swavesey

From Swavesey we went through to Fenstanton where we used the underpass of the A14 to join the road to Hilton.

Hilton

Hilton

Ian was leading the group at a regulation military medium and thus we were easily able to keep two groups together and not having long waits to allow for regrouping. Next up was Graveley and quickly followed by Toseland and then to the two mile long arrow-straight road which leads to the B1043 and the final run into a very busy St. Neots.

Toseland

Thursday, of course is market day and the schools have just broken up and It was no surprise to find a very busy Ambiance cafe but they coped very well and we enjoyed a leisurely break sitting outside. At lunch we were joined by Bob (Potton), Richard M (Bedford) and Doug (Stevenage) and Greta (Hauxton) who had made her own way out to St. Neots.

After lunch we went towards Eaton Socon on the old Great North Road before joining the new cycle path over the river and we soon found our way to the Potton Road to begin the journey home. This took us to Abbotsley where the splendid scarecrow exhibits were on show. They do this every year and some superb scarecrow were dotted about the village and they must have a lot of fun.

Abbotsley

Abbotsley

Abbotsley (Photo: Jacob Hassan)

After Abbotsley we went to Gamlingay by way of the Cinques and then it was on the road through both the Hatleys and the run down Croydon Hill but remembering to apply the brakes for the sharp turn into Croydon and then Arrington. Now near the end of or trip we went through Wimpole Hall where some decided that a cup of tea was in order whilst the rest pressed on to Orwell, Barrington, a last climb up the hill and down into Haslingfield where the ride ended after 57 thoroughly enjoyable miles. Our thanks to Ian for conducting such an enjoyable day out. Edward Elmer


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