Thursday, 20 March 2014

30 Mar: Thursday ride to Gamlingay and Moggerhanger

Edward writes: Today's weather was indifferent for our ride out to Moggerhanger for lunch and Gamlingay for coffee. Although cooler than of late the forecast was for there to be a stiff wind blowing from the south west all day, but to remain predominately dry with the possibility of rain in the late afternoon. This proved to be the case. Today our leader was Sarah and she was to lead about sixteen riders away from Haslingfield Green and the climb up Chapel Hill and the descent into Barrington.

Barrington was followed by Shepreth and Meldreth where Nick joined the throng and then on to Bassingbourn. From Bassingbourn we went to Shingay and took the little road that connects to the B1042 which at last has been repaired and then the turn for the climb up Croydon Hill. Although a hard climb, as we were heading north west at this point, the wind was more or less behind us and this made the run through the Hatleys and into Gamlingay a reasonable ride with only some side buffeting from the wind.


We had coffee at LJ’s sandwich bar and, although quite small, we received a warm welcome and seats were provided outside which was a great help as Greta, Doug, Bob (Potton), David Mr and Sue had also joined us and we were making the cafe very overcrowded; this could make it difficult for them to serve their more regular customers.


After coffee there was the usual exchange of personnel but there were still sixteen going on to Moggerhanger. We went out of Gamlingay over the Heath Road and headed into Everton.

Between Tempsford and Everton

This, of course, gave us the exhilaration of Tempsford Hill where very high speeds are achieved before bringing us to the railway crossing which required three trains to go through before the gates went up.

Waiting at Tempsford Level Crossing

Rupert left us here as he apparently had left his water bottle at the cafe. We crossed the A1 which brought us into Blunham and now it was decidedly face wind all the way as we made for Great Barford.

Great Barford

Over to our left we had a clear view of the huge hangers at Cardington where a modern airship is being constructed. At Great Barford we turned left and rode along side the river which, happily, has returned to more normal levels. This soon brought us to Willington and a trip along the A603 for about a mile to the turning into Cople and within striking distance of our lunch stop at the Woodland Cafe in Moggerhanger where we arrived in textbook fashion at 1 pm.

Near Moggerhanger

This cafe is rapidly becoming a club favourite and today the sun had finally broken through and enabled us to sit outside and enjoy a very pleasant lunch. Although the cafe was busy even before we arrived they dealt with all our orders extremely well and we were able to head for home at 2pm. The good thing about going into the wind in the morning session means that the all the hard work is done and we can now relax and enjoy the ride home with the wind on our backs. In Moggerhanger there was a magnolia tree looking magnificent but, as so often happened with this tree it coincides with either a frost or a cold wind and it quickly goes past its best. Even so many gardens are now showing their spring colours and of course daffodils are making a spectacularly striking scene.


Our next village was Blunham where we took the former railway track into Sandy where Bob left us and, after negotiating the cycle ways, we left the town for the climb up to Everton. This then took us to the well-worn route home through Waresley and into Great Gransden and Caxton. With the wind on our backs we were soon through these villages leaving us to go through Bourn where the group split into two with one going towards Cambridge via Toft and Comberton and the other to return to Haslingfield via Kingston and the Eversdens.


We arrived back at Haslingfield at 4pm after 57 very satisfactory miles and we afford our thanks to Sarah for leading us round with such élan. Edward Elmer

GPS track from an identical ride on 30 Jan 2014. View on a larger map. Download GPS track (GPX).

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