My companions at Brookside for today's rider were Seb, Ian, Li and Conrad our leader, making five in total. Conrad led us into the city centre and then west over Garret Hostel Bridge. Here we stopped briefly to allow Seb to attend to a broken mudguard.
Garret Hostel Bridge, Cambridge - a beautiful location for impromptu bike repairs
It wasn't long before we were on our way again, continuing along Burrell's Walk to join the Coton Path which led us out of the city to Coton.
Burrell's Walk, Cambridge
After Coton we climbed Madingley Hill and continued to Hardwick where we turned left for Toft. I was feeling quite cold so I sped off ahead of the group along the B1046 towards Bourn. I continued through Caxton to Great Gransden which I reached at about 10.15am. This allowed me an extra loop via Abbotsley and Lily Hill before arriving at Waresley Park Garden Centre at 10.45am, just a few minutes behind Conrad and the others.
Also in the cafe were Mick, David W, Richard-from-Bedford, Edward and maybe one or two more. Afterwards about half this combined group returned back to Cambridge leaving Richard, David, Li, Conrad and me to continue onto lunch at Old Warden. With rain forecast for later we took a direct route there via Everton, Sandy and Moggerhanger and arrived at The Shuttleworth Collection at about 12.30pm.
The woods east of Sandy
As we left the cafe after lunch there were a few spots of rain but they disappeared within a few minutes and were never seen again.
We then rode directly back to Cambridge, taking a route via Clifton to Langford (where we crossed the A1) and then via Edworth, Ashwell, Kneesworth. Meldreth and Shepreth. Since our winter rides don't have a designated tea stop this meant riding over thirty miles in a single stage, which given the easterly headwind, I found quite hard going. Fortunately Conrad and David were still riding strongly and I was able to shelter behind them for most of the way home.
After climbing Chapel Hill in bottom gear we returned via Haslingfield and Barton to Cambridge, where I arrived home at 4.15pm, having cycled 71 miles - my longest ride this year so far.
Download GPS track (GPX).