Thursday, 23 October 2014

23 Oct: Thursday ride to Swavesey and Perry

Edward writes: This Thursday would be our last ride out before the clocks go back this weekend thus bringing darkness to the late afternoon. We met at Haslingfield Green and we left with sixteen riders with Tony, our leader for the day, for our trip to Swavesey and then onto Perry at Grafham Water. The weather was fine, dry and mild with only a slight breeze from the south west. This was fortunate as the earlier part of the week was dominated by high winds.

Towards Boxworth

We left Haslingfield and made our way through Harlton and over the A603, through the Eversdens and on to Bourn. This gave us the gentle climb up to the St Neots old road beside the A428, all made easier by a following wind. We went through Knapwell and then turned right for Boxworth before our first crossing of the A14 where were able to enjoy our first experience of the new cycleway into Swavesey; a big improvement for us as this road is frequented by fast moving traffic.

New cycleway into Swavesey

New cycleway into Swavesey

Now in Swavesey we soon came to the Bethel Baptist Chapel which is well known as a club favourite and where we were to meet many other members, including Jacob, Howard, Kathy, Rupert, Sarah, Richard M and John E, and we settled down to enjoy the coffee and the lovely display of home made cakes, and what a display! Needless to say there were many who were tempted back for further helpings, and who could blame them. This week the ladies doing the honours were from the festival committee.

Swavesey

Swavesey

Too soon it was time to move on and there was quite a big exchange of personnel with some going back down the busway into Cambridge but this still left seventeen to go on to our lunch stop. This took us through Fen Drayton, coming in along Horse and Gate Street, and then on to Fenstanton (Ian left us here) where we crossed the A14 using the underpass.

Fen Drayton

We had now turned back to face westward and the breeze was head on but it was never difficult as we went through Hilton and Graveley (surprisingly not all the wind turbines were going) and into Offord D'Arcy and Offord Cluny where about half got across the railway but the other half had to wait for a passing express.

Offord Cluny

All together again we went over the little bridges and by the old mill and a mile or so later we came to Buckden to start the least pleasant part of the ride as we competed with busy traffic on the last two miles or so to Perry and lunch at The Wheatsheaf or sandwiches down by the marina.

Those who went to the pub were happy with what was on offer and also the friendly and prompt service. We started the afternoon session without Sarah, who headed for home, and about four others who apparently headed for the cycle shop on the other side of the reservoir. We left the pub and took the road beside the prison and it brought us to the south east of Dillington and soon after to the B645 at Great Staughton. We were only on the B645 briefly before turning off to more quiet roads via Staughton Moor, and past the airfield to Little Staughton. We now headed south before turning east and enjoyed four miles of tail wind into Eaton Socon and St Neots and here we observed a red kite circling overhead.

Staughton Moor

We left St Neots along the cycle route over the willow bridge and joined the B1046 to Abbotsley where it's possible to see four figures on each corner of the church tower.

Figures on Abbotsley Church

Next came Great Gransden and a familiar route home via Caxton and Bourn. In Bourn we spilt for the final time with some going back to Cambridge via Toft and Comberton and the others following Tony back through Kingston and the Eversdens where we saw two buzzards and nearby a kestrel sitting on a telegraph wire, so quite a good day for wildlife. After Harlton we came to Haslingfield again at about 4.40pm and 64 miles to our credit. It was good to get a long ride in before we lose the daylight and thanks to Tony for a good day out to be remembered for going at a regulation 12 or 13 miles per hour so we all kept together throughout with nobody miles in front and nobody dropped off the back. Edward Elmer



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