Thursday, 19 June 2014

19 Jun: Thursday ride to Hemingford Grey and Grafham Water

Edward writes: This week we found ourselves with fourteen riders starting off at Haslingfield Green, an unusually low turnout and this did not increase significantly during the day. The weather wasn’t great; although there was almost no wind, it did blow in from the north, no sun and low cloud all day, but plenty good enough for a good cycle ride.

Caldecote

Ian W was today’s leader for our trip to Hemingford Grey for coffee and then on to Grafham Water for lunch. When we started we found ourselves facing the little wind there was as we passed through Harlton on our way to the A603 and the Eversdens and Kingston. This led us on to the climb through Caldecote and Highfields with its accompanying speed humps. This, of course, brought us to the old St Neots road which we used until the turning for Knapwell and Connington and after the slight descent all the way through the two villages it brought us to Fenstanton. We took the underpass of the A14 and via Low Road to St Ives and a last mile or so to Hemingford Grey and the Hemingford Garden Room for coffee.

Hemingford Grey

This coffee shop, which is run by the church, has a very pleasant outside seating area and on a warm day it would be very nice to enjoy some summer weather; as it was we still enjoyed the break despite being a bit cool. After coffee things fell apart a bit as some half dozen of us got left behind from the main group. Not knowing the official route we went to Hemingford Abbots, over the common and into Godmanchester and then on to Offord Cluny.

Hemingford Abbots

We soon got to Buckden and West Perry where we took lunch at the Harbour View restaurant. We managed to make contact with the main group and discovered that they had branched off in Common Lane, over the meadows to Houghton Mill before finding their way through Huntingdon, Brampton and then Grafham and had lunch at the Grafham Visitor Centre which was what the runs list said!

West Perry, Grafham Water

We eventually came together at the Harbour View restaurant and after a puncture (me this time) which Mike fixed in almost no time at all, we set off again at 2.15pm with a group much the same size, but different personnel, as had started in the morning. For our trip home we had the benefit of the wind as we headed our way towards Great Staughton, but on the approach to the village we turned off to go round Little Staughton airfield and on to Bushmead. With the wind on our backs it was now downhill all the way into Eaton Socon and our arrival coincided with all the school children making their way home thus competing for space on the cycle ways.

Bushmead

We now headed for Abbotsley, Great Gransden and Longstowe where we stopped to regroup, as various people had branched off to head for their homes, but we still had ten riders to put the finishing touches to the ride. At the Kingston turn we split for the last time with some going into Cambridge and some others finishing in Haslingfield soon after 4.30 pm with 60 miles to savour. Our thanks to Ian for directing operations. Edward Elmer


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