Thursday, 30 April 2015

30 Apr: Thursday ride to Gamlingay and Moggerhanger

Edward writes: With about sixteen members away in Suffolk on the club's spring break it wasn't a surprise that just thirteen riders met this morning at a very sunny Haslingfield Green. Given the circumstances this was a very good turnout.

For today's ride we were under the guidance of Tony and our itinerary would take us to Gamlingay for coffee and Moggerhanger for lunch.

Gathering at Haslingfield (Photo: Alex Brown)

Naturally, we set off with a climb up Chapel Hill, and with good visibility we enjoyed the usual good views and also noted that the railway track into the old cement works has now reached the road.

Cresting Chapel Hill (Photo: Alex Brown)

The breeze was in the West and after a chilly night was still quite cold and most of the morning's work would be facing it. We rode through Barrington and then turned to Orwell, over the A603 for the approach to Wimpole Hall.

Orwell (Photo: Alex Brown)

After the estate grounds we came to Arrington and Croydon where it seems some progress has been made on the Queen Adelaide pub.

Passing Wimpole Hall (Photo: Alex Brown)

After Croydon, of course, came the inevitable climb up Croydon hill and then the five mile run through the Hatleys before entering Gamlingay at 10.45am. We met Richard M, already there, and seconds later we were followed in by Charlie and Mike B who had arrived at Haslingfield about five minutes after we had all left. They could see us ahead at various times but couldn’t quite catch us up and later Bill also joined us but would return home afterwards.

Lj's in Gamlingay is a popular and friendly stop which is almost certainly because many have a liking for their bacon sarnies.

Ed's bacon sarnie (Photo: Alex Brown)

After coffee five left us for home and in the meantime Richard suggested that as were going via Tempsford hill we should go into the village and look at the memorial to the people who served in the SOE during the last war, and everyone was happy that we should do this. But first we had to head towards Waresley and then turn to head south west to the Everton Road, Everton village and then the excitement of a rapid descent of Tempsford hill, past the new solar farm, the railway and when on the roundabout over the A1 we turned right for the short trip into the village and the memorial. This, of course, was very interesting and thanks to Richard for the suggestion.

SOE Memorial, Tempsford

After this visit we retraced our steps back to the traffic island and headed off to Blunham, Moggerhanger and the Woodland cafe, arriving about 12.45 pm.

By now the clouds had darkened the sky and the weather had a distinctly showery look about it. However, there was still enough sun to encourage us to sit outside, particularly as inside was very busy. But soon more clouds arrived accompanied by a drop in temperature so we all moved inside where ensued a very relaxing and pleasant lunch.

Lunch at Moggerhanger (Photo: Alex Brown)

Lemon and Blueberry Cake (Photo: Alex Brown)

At 1.45 pm we started the return leg to the accompaniment of a willow warbler singing nearby and now with the benefit of a following wind.

Leaving Moggerhanger (Photo: Alex Brown)

We went back through Moggerhanger and then turned onto the former railway for the run into Sandy. This was followed by the climb out of the town where we enjoyed the glorious sight of carpets of bluebells all the way through the woods.

Bluebells at Tempsford

Such a lovely time of the year with blossom on the trees and people's gardens now in full spring colour - a wonderful sight and another reason to enjoy our cycling. We again went through Everton and next came Waresley and then Great Gransden where our luck ran out and we were caught by a shower which, luckily, didn't last long. It seemed that we had been able to dodge the rain as many times black clouds loomed up and made threats but didn't come to anything other than a bit of huffing and puffing.

A legend in his own socks

We were now on a well used track as we came to Caxton and then Bourn where six of the group headed for Cambridge and the remaining four went via the Eversdens and Harlton to Haslingfield where the ride ended at about 3.30pm and 49 miles. Despite the mixed weather this was a particularly enjoyable ride and what’s more nobody became separated and we all kept together all day which is an achievement in itself. Finally thanks to Tony for his efforts in leading the ride. Edward Elmer.



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