Edward writes: Fifteen cyclists met at Haslingfield Green for today's ride, including Curly who joined us for the trip out to Ashwell and Jordan's Mill in Broom; also joining us was Lynn who was making one her infrequent visits to the UK. Our leader for the day was Mike C who, like Adrian, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the quiet roads and byways so a good ride was assured. The weather forecasters had said that today would be the first of a gradual warming up process over the next few days, and so it proved. It was overcast and we saw little sun all day, the wind was still fairly strong from the south west which meant we would be riding into it until lunch. Despite the slight chill in the wind we were all grateful for the higher temperatures.
Mike chose to lead us out from Haslingfield to Harston and then on to Newton. We made our way from Newton to Thriplow where the daffodil weekend will be April 5 and 6 and so far, despite the mild weather, not too many are out; always a tricky job for the organisers to get their timing right.
Next on the list was Fowlmere and then down to the A10, but now briefly with a following wind. Along here we were joined by Nick who later in the day would have cause to remember this ride. Now we followed a conventional route through Shepreth, Meldreth, Kneesworth, Bassingbourn, a loop round Abington Piggots, Litlington, Steeple Morden and Ashwell where we arrived at 11.15 and 21 miles.
Also at Ashwell we were joined by Greta, Adrian, Mike S, Sue and Jacob and this briefly overwhelmed the staff in Day’s but they coped well with the sudden rush for coffees and cakes.
Just before 12 midday it was time to leave and a number returned to go home but this still left about fourteen to go on to Broom. We took the narrow cross-country lanes through the farm and onto Loves Lane before joining the road to Hinxworth. Next was the stiff climb into the wind to go over the A1 which was followed by the long descent into Langford. Mike’s original plan had been to loop round via Clifton but road works caused a change of plan and we headed north on the B659 to the turning to Broom and, of course, Jordan’s Mill where we arrived at 12.45pm.
Doug was already there and the milder weather allowed most of us to sit outside on the terrace to eat our lunch.
We left the Mill just before 2 pm and Mike S made his own way home and Adrian went on a track along sided the river to Biggleswade. As we entered Southill Nick came to a halt as one of his jockey wheels had come away from the bike and couldn’t be found.
Some swift adjustments allowed him to continue for a while but in Old Warden he had to shorten the chain to avoid using the jockeys wheels, all of which was accomplished very quickly and we were really not very much delayed.
Once on the road again we went through to Northill and took the Cople turning before turning for Moggerhanger. Of course we were heading eastward benefiting from the following wind and progress was quite rapid. After Moggerhanger we took the former railway into Sandy which was a great deal drier than the last time we took this route. The cycleways took us round Sandy and we climbed out to come to Everton. Nick, still going strong, left us to go into Gamlingay whilst the main group went via Waresley where Jacob and Mike CC thought a cup of tea was in order and left us to go into the garden centre. This left about seven or eight to return home through Great Gransden, Caxton, Bourn, (Averil and David Ms left us here), the Eversdens, Harlton and finally Haslingfield where the ride ended at 4.45pm and 63 very enjoyable miles. As ever thanks to Mike for his duties today, giving us a very enjoyable day out. Edward Elmer
View this GPS track on a larger map. Download GPS track (GPX)