Thursday, 3 September 2015

2 Sep: Evening ride to Hemingford Abbots

Nigel writes: Our Wednesday evening rides are still continuing every week throughout September, though with sunset getting earlier and earlier an increasing proportion of the ride will be in the dark. Despite the shortening days these rides continue to attract a loyal following, with six riders at Brookside for the start of tonight's ride and two more joining along the way.

My companions on this occasion were John R, John E, Neil, Ian, Tom and newcomer Ken. With the pub stop at Hemingford Abbots there was little debate about the route, so we set off through the city centre, up Castle Hill and along Hunttingdon Road to Girton Corner. We turned right into Girton village, past the Rec (where tomorrow's ride will be assembling in fifteen hours' time) and right onto New Road where we were joined by Paul.

A few moments later we joined the busway for a quiet and relaxing ten mile cruise towards St Ives.

On the busway

The weather was cold and rather autumnal, but perfectly pleasant despite a steady westerly headwind. Paul took the lead for much of the way, clearly enjoying his new and evidently much faster bike.

On the busway

As we passed the Fen Drayton lakes John E discovered that his tyre had gone soft and we all stopped whilst he and John R worked to change the tube. I'm always happy to stop for a puncture, especially if someone else is doing all the work, but I was beginning to get a bit cold and was happy when we were able to get moving again after about a quarter of an hour.

We continued on to St Ives where I discovered that I, too, was leaking air from my rear tyre. It was now beginning to get dark and we were in a bit of a hurry to get on to the pub, so I pumped up the tyre and carried on.

At John R's suggestion we agreed to head straight for the pub via Hemingford Grey, but just as we entered that village I decided my tyre had gone soft again, so I told the others to go on whilst I stopped to change my tube. This didn't take long and I was soon able to join the other in the Axe and Compasses in Hemingford Abbots.

Afterwards we set off again, crossing the Ouse meadows to Houghton and then following the Thicket Path to St Ives before returning back along the busway to Cambridge. I arrived home at 10.10pm having cycled 35 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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