Edward writes: When there is a decent day ahead we can expect a large group for our Thursday ride and today was no exception, with seventeen members assembling in Haslingfield for our trip out to Swavesey before taking lunch in West Perry beside Grafham Water. Mike C was today's leader and with his infinite knowledge of the local area a good ride was assured.
At 9.30 am we started by going out to Harlton where we took the small road that leads out to the A603 which we crossed to take the road into Comberton. Fortunately the winds of the last few days had taken a day off and riding was very pleasant with the wind never at any stage being an issue. We left Comberton via the appropriately named Long Road taking us on the climb up to Hardwick which allowed us to cross the A428 and go downhill into Madingley and on to Dry Drayton. Once out of Dry Drayton we crossed over the A14 where we soon came into Oakington and on to the busway where there being no traffic and a flat surface we soon reached Swavesey and the ever popular Bethel Baptist Chapel.
This week the cafe was staffed by the Women's Institute and who better to make home made cakes than the ladies of the WI, and of course they were wonderful tempting many of us into a little over indulgence, and why not!
Seventeen rose rapidly to somewhere in the mid twenties with many new arrivals - too many to recall them all, but sadly we had to move on and we proceeded on to Fenstanton for another crossing of the A14 and then heading on to Hilton. The weather forecast of scattered showers in the afternoon looked as if some of them may arrive early as one or two black clouds loomed into view.
We went into Hilton and through Graveley and then to the railway crossing at Offord Cluny where an Inter City train was in the process of overtaking a local train bound for Peterborough.
Next we came to Buckden and a couple more miles brought us to West Perry for our lunch stop at a little after 1 pm and 36 miles.
At lunch the group split roughly 50/50 between The Wheatsheaf pub and those with a packed lunch going down to the marina. At lunch we found Richard M who had cycled over from Bedford and also Vic who had made his own way to Grafham at his own pace.
After lunch those from The Wheatsheaf joined up with those at the marina and we set the course for home at 2.20 pm.
Homeward bound was south to the Dillington turn where we enjoyed the quiet road to Great Staughton on the A645. After a few yards on this road we turned onto the road that leads to Little Staughton which had just been resurfaced with chippings and at times, with the accumulation of stones, felt quite dangerous as they seemed to grip the wheels.
After a couple of miles it was relief to get back to a regular surface again as we went through Bushmead and turning east for the four mile run into Eaton Socon. This road is more or less downhill all the way and with the benefit of what little wind there was we soon arrived in Eaton Socon and then St Neots.
We passed through St Neots and then on to Abbotsley and Great Gransden where we heard the first clap of thunder and a downpour didn’t seem far away, and so it proved and as we approached Caxton it was time to stop and don the waterproofs. Luckily, however, it was short lived and we soon arrived in Bourn where the group, still fourteen strong, split with some going back to Cambridge via Barton with the others going back to Haslingfield via the Eversdens and Harlton. We arrived back in Haslingfield in failing light before removing the bails at 4.45pm and 66 miles. Our thanks go to Mike for another great ride fulfilling all expectations. Edward Elmer
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