Thursday, 6 August 2015

6 Aug: Thursday ride to St Neots and West Perry

Edward writes: This Thursday twelve members presented themselves at Haslingfield Green for today's ride out to St Neots and West Perry at Grafham Water for our lunch stop. At 9.30am the weather was slightly cool but the forecast predicted a very warm afternoon accompanied by a south westerly breeze. This was another opportunity for Rupert to demonstrate his leadership skills and he certainly provided a new definition of what leading from the front means as within a few minutes he was almost out of sight. The rest of us hung on gamely as we went through Harlton and a moment's pause at the A603 before passing through both of the Eversdens and then on to Kingston.


We had a brief rest in Bourn before climbing up the hill for the turning to Caxton followed by Great Gransden and then on to the familiar stamping ground of Waresley.


Great Gransden

We took the quiet road to the south of Abbotsley and then on to Eynesbury and through the estate roads into St. Neots to arrive at the Ambiance Cafe just after for our coffee break.


Near Abbotsley

At coffee we were joined by Andy and Sarah and also saw Michael, Tony and Bob, from Potton, who often comes along when we travel this way. After coffee some left us for home but we still had about a dozen for the onward journey to West Perry. Unfortunately both Averil and I got left behind in St Neots and not knowing which road to take made our own to Grafham by way of Duloe and Staploe before crossing Staughton Moor via the airfield. Despite not having the rest of the group for company we enjoyed a very pleasant ride which for, a large part was with the wind and downhill, and we also stopped for a few minutes to admire a buzzard circling above us which was a lovely sight. We came to Great Staughton and then the tiny village of Dillington and a final climb up the hill to West Perry which was only a few minutes before everybody else arrived, thus bringing us all together again. We were also pleased to see David appear, having made a late start but made his own way out to Grafham.

West Perry

We took lunch sitting on the benches outside with everybody having sandwiches except Mike CC who tucked into a big breakfast, so a few hard miles required to remove those calories, Mike! After lunch we started again by riding all round the reservoir, a mixture of gravel and tarmac, but very pleasant and this took us to the village of Grafham and then the very nice cross country route down to Brampton which also had the benefit of a following wind.

Grafham Water

Grafham 'Ring Road'

This took us to the B1514 for the run into Huntingdon and Godmanchester and then across the Common into Hemingford Abbots. Mike CC fancied a beer in the Axe and Compass but this was ruled out by a greater authority (Sarah), so Mike had to go without his pint and so we all pressed on towards Hemingford Grey.

Hemingford Abbots

When we reached St Ives we said goodbye to Michael and also Andy and Sarah, and Rupert was even afforded praise for curtailing his natural instincts of riding alone. This just left us to ride up the busway to the Over/Swavesey turning where Mike CC left us. This left six to finish the ride which became a very fast ride with a favourable wind until just before Oakington where a slight change in direction put the wind against us and then on to the Girton turning where we considered the ride at an end with 58 miles to our credit. This was a lovely day, with a very warm afternoon and thanks to Rupert for all his efforts in providing us with a good ride. Edward Elmer

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