Thursday, 22 August 2013

22 Aug: Thursday ride to Croydon and Old Warden

Edward writes: This Thursday was in sharp contrast to most of the previous days. We had all been enjoying warm sunny days, but today was very different. The overnight rain had stopped by about 7am and we were left with overcast skies, but the temperature was still high with the added discomfort of high humidity thus making for a very sticky ride, especially when waterproofs had to go on. Despite all of this we were able to leave Haslingfield under Mick C's guidance with a dozen riders and this was to rise to eighteen by the time we arrived at our coffee stop. This was a good number especially as seven members were either at the Birthday Rides or toiling along the Pennines from Derby to Berwick upon Tweed.


Mick took us out from Haslingfield along to Harston and then the climb and descent into Newton. We joined the B1368 but veered off into Thriplow where the rain started again and here we stopped to don our waterproofs. We left Thriplow and the next mile took us to Fowlmere and by now the rain had stopped and of course we all became very hot under our waterproofs.



Next we came to Shepreth followed by Meldreth and the two miles to Orwell where we were joined by a number of other riders including Clare who was making her first ride with us and Andy who was probably joining us for the second time. We soon arrived at Wimpole Hall and followed the track through the grounds which took us to Arrington and then Croydon and the Queen Adelaide pub for our coffee break.


This is the second time we have used this pub this year and it was a particular pleasure with coffee and tea all ready for us and a friendly welcome from the landlord. It’s certainly worth bering in mind for future rides which pass this way.
We left the pub at 11.30am and made our way to the bottom of Croydon hill and to sighs of relief we turned away so that we went through to Shingay and then on to Guilden Morden. Once out of Guilden Morden we went through to Ashwell via Loves Lane (formerly Love Lane!), and then out to Hinxworth for the crossing of the A1. This gave us a nice long downhill into Langford and, although there was a minimum amount of breeze from the west, we made rapid progress to Langford. This left us to run through Broom, past Jordan’s Mill and finally to Old Warden and the Shuttleworth Air Museum for our lunch stop.


We enjoyed a good hour’s break here and were joined by Richard M who had cycled over from Bedford and David W and grandson. During lunch the rain started again and was to stay with us for the most of the afternoon, never heavy but never far away. Our journey back took us through Northill and Ickwell with their many thatched cottages and then on to Moggerhanger and Blunham where we joined the old Cambridge to Bedford railway for the last mile into Sandy.



After negotiating Sandy we left it along the road to Everton and then Gamlingay Heath. Sadly, from a group of sixteen we suddenly became a group of five as the leading group, far ahead of the leader, went on to Gamlingay whilst the rest of us went on to Waresley.

Great Gransden

After Waresley we took a familiar route home through Great Gransden where Mike CC had a puncture and luckily for him the puncture specialists of Mick and Adrian were ready with their help. Needless to say this didn’t delay us long and next up was Caxton and Bourn where we said goodbye to Mike and this left four, namely John F, Mick C, Adrian and me to finish off the ride through Toft, Comberton and finally Barton and the Coton roundabout where we would end the ride with 64 miles to be added to the spreadsheets. Despite the weather we still had a very enjoyable ride under Mick's leadership and we'd all like to thank him very much for a job well done. Edward Elmer

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