Thursday, 28 May 2015

28 May: Thursday ride to Swavesey and Moggerhanger

Edward writes: This morning continued the pattern we are experiencing this month which seems to have been one nice day followed by an indifferent day, and today was the latter. Today's ride was out to Swavesey followed by Moggerhanger for lunch and as Swavesey is on the busway it was no surprise that numbers were slightly down at thirteen. This is because many members who live in Cambridge and choose the busway to Swavesey rather than go out to Haslingfield. Our leader today was Jim and he lead us away from Haslingfield in blustery conditions with the wind from a cool north westerly direction which meant, for the most part, it would either be against us or buffeting us from the side. The plus part of this meant we could look forward to a relatively easy return home with a following wind.

From Haslingfield we headed to Barton and over the motorway to the Coton roundabout and into Coton where we found the traffic on the A1303 at a standstill and backed up the hill past the American Cemetery. This made it easy to get across and as we crossed the A428 we found the reason for all the traffic on the A1303, the A428 was completely empty - no doubt a traffic incident.

Past the rear of the American Cemetery

We continued into Madingley and Dry Drayton and onto a fairly busy road out to the A14 and after crossing it we entered Oakington.

Dry Drayton

Jim took us to Longstanton using the route through the former Oakington airfield and after leaving Longstanton we could see the start of groundworks for the new town of Northstowe. For the final stretch into Swavesey we went down the busway and as we approached Swavesey the weather took a turn for the worse as we ran into a heavy drizzle squall making it all unpleasant.

Oakington to Longstanton

Good cheer was at hand as we had arrived at the Baptist Chapel and could look forward to all the home-made cakes which this week were provided by the ladies of the festival committee. As expected our thirteen who started became almost thirty as a host of members were already enjoying the wonderful offerings - they certainly know when to turn out in such numbers! So we all sat back and enjoyed it all, but we had to move on and although plenty returned home at least twenty set out for Moggerhanger in much improved weather, still windy but the sun was making an effort. We went along to Fen Drayton and Fenstanton, the underpass of the A14 and up to Hilton.

Fen Drayton

The next section to Graveley was probably the hardest part of the day as it was directly into the wind. Even though it was quite tough we still had much to enjoy with the May flower still looking good and, of course, loads of Queen Anne's Lace in the grass verges.

Graveley

From Graveley we turned south towards Croxton where we crossed the A428 again and then to Abbotsley followed by the Gamlingay Cinques and on to Everton. This gave us the fun of Tempsford hill where, with so many riders, caution was the watchword, so no speed records were broken. When we reached the East Coast Main Line just one Virgin express heading to London went through and to our surprise the barriers went up as it's not uncommon to wait here for four or five trains to go through. Next it was over the A1 and this brought us within touching distance of our lunch stop as we only had to go through Blunham and finally we reached Moggerhanger and the Woodland Cafe at just before 2 pm and 44 miles.

Moggerhanger

As usual lunch was sandwiches for some outside and something from the menu for those eating in; for those outside it was quite pleasant as the sun made several appearances. It was just before 3pm when the final thirteen set off again; another group who were not going back to Cambridge had left slightly earlier. We retraced our steps back towards Blunham and then took the former Cambridge to Bedford railway into Sandy where Adrian was asked to takeover to guide us through Sandy on a slightly different route from the one we normally take.

Sandy

After this little diversion we were back in Jim's hands again as we headed back to Everton and riding became much easier as the wind was now firmly behind us.

Gamlingay Heath

We crossed Gamlingay Heath into Gamlingay and out to the Hatleys and five miles later we were going down the hill into Croydon and Arrington.

Wimpole

We went through the grounds of Wimpole Hall, Orwell, Barrington, over the hill into Haslingfield where the ride ended at 4.45 pm and a very satisfactory 67 miles. Although the weather wasn't the greatest it was another great day out and thanks to Jim for such a good ride. Edward Elmer



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