Edward writes: Fourteen members met on Haslingfield Green, including John R who was making his first ride with us. Today we had good riding weather - not too much of a breeze which seemed to be more southerly in direction and a clearing sky, following some overnight rain. John F was today's helmsman and he led us out of Haslingfield along to Harlton and then out to the A603 where we crossed to go through both the Eversdens and then to Kingston.
An unfortunate feature of the day was the fact that we had five punctures. The first of these punctures occurred in Kingston and Adrian was the unlucky one; the main group carried on whilst Adrian Mike, Averil and David M stayed behind. When we left Kingston we went down to the be B1045 and turned into the long climb up through Caldecote with all its associated speed humps. After Caldecote we turned towards Cambridge on the St Neots old road and then descended into Dry Drayton and followed the road out to the A14 and finally into Oakington.
Our next puncture happened here and Sue was the unfortunate one, and as if by magic Mike and the others arrived at the crucial time and the repair was effected and we soon carried on. Once again the main group went ahead and soon after the second group followed and we went down the busway before riding into Swavesey and arrive at the Bethel Baptist Chapel for our coffee and cakes at a slightly later than expected 11.30am.
Just as the second group arrived a small group of four members who were not on the ride were just leaving, including Jacob, Mike S, Howard and Kathy. We also had Rupert, Sarah and Richard M (Bedford) join us at the chapel. This week the ladies making the ever-delicious cakes were in fact the ladies from the chapel; each week a different group from the village takes it in turns to run the Thursday coffee shop. This remains a favourite of all our coffee stops!
When we left Swavesey we went down to the A14 for another lengthy climb up to Boxworth. By now, although the skies were mainly clear and the temperature was roughly ten or eleven degrees, we were mindful that the forecast for the day included some heavy showers. We carried on through Connington before turning into Fenstanton and another crossing of the A14, this time using the underpass. Just before the A14 John J developed a slow puncture, but this time he and Mike agreed that, with some air in the tube, he would make make to his home nearby. As we rode by St Ives, as so often happens here, many of the fields were flooded, but we made our way along to Hemingford Grey and the Garden Tea Rooms for lunch, arriving just before 1pm. This is another church organised tea room staffed by volunteers and they provided us with a fine assortment of jacket potatoes, soup and sandwiches, all of which looked very appetising. Whilst at lunch we were lucky enough to be inside when a very heavy shower hit.
At 2 pm we left the tea room for home. Some, including, Richard B and Jerry, who had a slow puncture, headed for home down the busway and Adrian and Richard M headed back to Cambourne to where Richard had parked his car. This left seven or eight to make a loop via Houghton Mill (more flooded fields here), and onto the new cycle way back to St Ives. It was nice to see acconites and snowdrops out along this path, a sign that a new season will soon be with us. John F decided that, although there was some flooding on the busway, we should go that way and walk round the affected stretch which turned out to be about 300 yards.
Geoff became another victim of the puncture virus that followed us about today and he left. with Mike CC, to fix it at Mike’s home in Over. The rest of carried on along the busway to the Girton turnoff, followed by the trip through the village but not without a another puncture, this time to Tony, but this was fixed in double quick time and we just went down Huntingdon Road onto Grange Road and we finished the ride outside Selwyn College after a very pleasant 48 miles. Our thanks to John F for taking charge for the day and another good day out. Edward Elmer
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