Sunday, 28 June 2015

28 Jun: Afternoon ride to Houghton

John writes: Six members joined me at Brookside (Angela, Catharine, Jacob, John E, Mike K, Ray). The morning's rain had ceased about an hour previously so we set off in perfect cycling conditions towards Barton, thence Comberton, Toft, Bourne..After a brief pause to inflate my soggy front tyre we took the quiet road through Knapwell and Connington. My GPS predicted an ETA at Houghton of 3.40pm so Jacob suggested an additional loop. Instead of diving under the A14 into Fenstanton he led us into a stiffish breeze towards Hilton and then onto a footpath. Here we had a longer pause where, with much assistance, I changed my front inner tube: the tyre had gone completely flat. Catharine kindly gave me a gas inflater for which many thanks.

The footpath soon became a bridleway (Mere Way) with remnants of ancient tarmac making a good cycling surface. We crossed the A14 by a farm bridge into Hemingford Grey and thence to Hemingford Abbotts with large crowds visiting the Open Gardens. From there the Meadow Lane took us across the flood plane to Houghton Mill and the National Trust tearoom 20 minutes before closing. There were enough cakes and scones left (just) as well as drinks - consumed sitting out-of-doors at the picnic tables. There was no sign of the all-day riders.

After tea we set off down the delightful traffic-free Thicket Path on right bank of the Ouse entering St. Ives by All Saints church. From there it was the familiar return journey beside the busway with John E extending his ride by a diversion through the fenland villages of Over etc. Jacob and I left the others at the Girton turning.

This was a delightful ride with two firsts for me – the Mere Way and Houghton Mill tea-room. I was home at 6:45pm having cycled about 45 miles. John Ferguson

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