Thursday, 31 July 2014

31 Jul: Thursday ride to Potton and Biggleswade

Edward writes: Today we met at Haslingfield Green and by 9.30 am we had nineteen riders all ready for our ride out to Potton and then on to Broom for our lunch at Jordan's Mill. For this ride we welcomed Judith who was joining us for the first time and Edgar was accompanied by his granddaughter, Isobel. Our leader for the day was David Marsh and as is the custom we divided into two groups with the agreement that the first group would wait in Great Gransden, thus allowing us to go on to Potton and arrive at more or less the same time and still in two groups.

Bourn

We left Haslingfield and went towards Barton where we would usually cross the recreation ground but the footpath (maybe also a cycleway) was being re laid so we went round the village before setting our bearings for Comberton and Toft. The breeze was in the south west and so the morning’s effort would, for the most part, be headwind, and this would be good news for the afternoon ride. As we entered Bourn we found Mike S who waved us through so that he could travel to Potton at his own pace. Next for a visit was Caxton and this was followed by Great Gransden where we found the first group and we were all able to take a brief rest and take on water as this was another of this run of hot days.

Great Gransden

We left Gransden and headed for Waresley and as we were on the last climb into Waresley Averil broke away from the peloton in a race to the top leaving Jim to take up the challenge. We passed by the garden centre, went straight through Gamlingay and two more miles brought us to Potton and the Coach House for our coffee break.

Potton

In the Coach House enclosed garden we found many more members and these included Greta, who had made her own way there, Doug, Belinda and Sharon and their friend Mark, Sarah and Richard M who had cycled over from Bedford.

After coffee, and still in two groups, we headed towards Everton where we found Tempsford Hill and the usual very exciting sprint down sometimes touching 40 mph. This soon took us to the railway crossing where we had to wait for three trains to go past two of which must have been doing their maximum of 125 mph.

At the level crossing below Tempsford Hill

Soon after this we passed over the A1 and and into Blunham and on to Moggerhanger. This now took us through the lovely old Bedfordshire villages of Northill, Ickwell, Old Warden and Southill and finally into Broom and Jordan's Mill for our lunch stop.

Jordan's Mill, Broom

Being school holiday time it was not surprising that it was very busy but there were no problems and lunch was enjoyed mostly out on the terrace. Since it opened the owners have done a lot of work creating the gardens completely from scratch and it’s all coming along a treat. After lunch, of course, there were quite a few departures: Richard to go back to Bedford, and at the Ashwell turning, Sarah, Belinda, Sharon and Mark branched off for home whilst the rest of us made our way to Hinxworth and on to Ashwell.

As we rode along the lanes between the fields it was clear how much progress has been made with the harvest and how quickly the fields are prepared for next year’s crop. As we passed by Ashwell there were still seventeen of us in the group as we now set the course for a familiar route home via Steeple Morden, Litlington and Bassingbourn. This afternoon session benefitted from a following wind, although as the sun disappeared the humidity seemed to rise, and progress was quick as we now went through Meldreth, where David left us, Shepreth, Barrington, Chapel Hill and back to Haslingfield after 59 miles and where we drew stumps at 4pm. Edward Elmer


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