Sunday, 18 January 2015

18 Jan: Sunday ride to Melbourn and Gamlingay

Nigel writes: Today was a beautiful winter's day, with the early cloud soon disappearing to be replaced by clear skies and bright sunshine. Despite relatively low temperatures, starting at 2C and rising to 4C in the afternoon, there was very little wind making it really rather pleasant.

I turned up at Brookside to find seven other riders waiting: Eva, Alex, Greg, Mike CC, Yvette, Tom and Clare. There was no designated leader today, but Mike had prepared a route and offered to lead.

On the busway south of Cambridge

We set off south from Brookside, following our usual route down to the busway, Addenbrooke's and the DNA path to Great Shelford.

On the busway, turning towards Addenbrookes

We continued south, following NCR 11 to Stapleford and Sawston. As usual, the pace was leisurely and the atmosphere sociable, and the fact that most of this route was along cycle paths made it easy for people to chat to other riders as we rode along.

Crossing the Sawston by-pass

When we reached the centre of Sawston we turned west, crossed over the Sawston By-pass and joined the relatively new cycle path that leads across the river and through some farmland to Whittlesford.

Crossing the Cam between Sawston and Whittlesford

Just beyond Whittlesford the cry of "puncture" was heard and we stopped to allow Alex to remove his wheel, find a thorn and and replace an inner tube. This ceremony took place on a pleasant triangle of grass but it was quite cold and I was relieved when we were able to get going once again.

Alex mends a punchure near Whittlesford

We turned north-west towards Newton and then south along the B1368 towards Fowlmere. We were just beyond Newton when Mike looked around and asked "where are Yvette and Greg"? I went back to find them, and after a few minutes found Yvette mending a puncture with Greg offering the usual encouragement. After a few minutes we were soon on our way. The three of us rode on through Newton and Fowlmere, arriving at Philimore Garden Centre on the northern edge of Melbourn at the rather late time of 11.30am. As we arrived Adrian, Joseph, Mick and Vic were leaving.

We entered the cafe to find Mike and the rest of our group already there, together with Sue who had made her own way there.

After a pleasant and warming half hour in the cafe it was time to be on our way again, with Mike, Alex and me carrying onto lunch in Gamlingay (joined by Sue as far as Orwell) and the others returning back to Cambridge.

We were now running quite late so Mike led us on a direct but very pleasant route to lunch, through Shepreth, Malton and Orwell to Wimpole Hall and from there through Arrington, Croydon and the Hatleys to Gamlingay. We arrived at Woodview Farm Cafe (which is on the main road about a mile south of Gamlingay) at about 1.30pm. Adrian and Joseph were already there. Jerry B was there with his family on the next table.

This was my first visit to Woodview Farm Cafe and it was very pleasant, following the usual pattern of a cafe and farm shop and offering a good range of light sandwiches, paninis and cakes.

Woodview Farm Cafe, Gamlingay

The service was fast and efficient but we were feeling in a leisurely mood and it was approaching 3pm when we left the cafe and prepared to set off for home. I rode back to Cambridge with Alex, via Waresley, Great Gransden, Caxton and the B1046 to Cambridge. We reached the outskirts of Cambridge at 4.20pm just as the sun was setting, but since the sky was completely free of clouds it still seemed quite light. I arrived home at 4.30pm, having cycled 52 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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