Thursday, 6 November 2014

6 Nov: Thursday ride to Gamlingay and Old Warden

Edward writes: Overnight temperatures fell, at least outside Cambridge, to -2C but this gave us a beautifully clear and crisp morning for today's ride out to Gamlingay and the Shuttleworth airfield at Old Warden.

Although cold about 18 members met for this ride which was being led by David M and so we left Haslingfield in two groups but within less than half a mile Martin, in the second group, had a puncture. We were not able to alert the lead group but this was not a problem; in fact it was probably a help as it would enable LJ's, our coffee stop in Gamlingay, to be not quite so overwhelmed with so many cyclists descending on them all at once. It didn't take long for us to be underway again and we progressed through Harlton out to the A603 for the crossing into the Eversdens.

Haslingfield

Then came Kingston and Bourn where we took the route via the fords before going out to Caxton. Now that the immediate chill had gone from the air and with blue skies above and crystal clear views all round and the wind not too daunting cycling was a real pleasure. As we approached Great Gransden we turned into Sand Lane and detoured into Little Gransden past the old windmill and then took the road into Gamlingay where we found the first group still being served.

Gamlingay

At LJ's our numbers grew to 24 and as there is limited space inside most of us were able to sit outside and enjoy the sun. As usual plenty took the opportunity to indulge in their ever-popular bacon sarnies. After coffee there was the usual exchange of personnel but still about 18, albeit a different 18 from those who started at Haslingfield, carried on to the lunch stop.

Gamlingay

Thus we left Gamlingay using the heath road into Everton and then down through the woods, over the railway, into Sandy where we followed the cycle way around the town to join the track along the railway alignment on the former Bedford to Cambridge line. Next we came to Moggerhanger for a crossing of the A603 before entering more lovely countryside as we made our way through Northill and Ickwell and soon after to the Shuttleworth airfield for our luncheon interval.

Shuttleworth Airfield

Although the clouds were beginning to form there was still enough sun for it to be pleasant enough for those with sandwiches to sit outside in reasonable comfort before joining those who were having a meal inside. With the reduced light in the afternoons we set off for the return leg at 1.30pm. The blue skies had given way to cloud but with the light breeze in the south west it was mostly on our right shoulders. After leaving the airfield we came to Broom and then south along the B659 to Langford where we turned for the long climb up to the water tower where the A1 passes underneath.

Approaching the A1 crossing at Edworth

A brief stop here enabled us all to regroup before setting off through Edworth and Hinxworth and the four miles of twisting roads to Ashwell. Then, of course, it was all plain sailing on familiar roads back home passing through Steeple Morden, Litlington, Bassingbourn, Meldreth, Shepreth, a final flourish over Barrington hill and down into Haslingfield where the ride finished at 4.45pm and a regulation 53 miles.

Shepreth

Our thanks to David for a great ride and especially keeping us all together with nobody being left behind, a good example of ride leadership.Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

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