Sunday, 18 October 2015

18 Oct: Sunday ride to Gamlingay and Biggleswade

CTC logo Alex writes: Nine of us gathered at Brookside for this morning's ride: me, Greg, Rupert, Peter, John R, Charlie, Paul, Sheila and new member Seb. I was leading and had planned what I hoped was an efficient route to get us to our coffee and lunch stops in time without going over distance.

We set out through Newnham on the cycle path leading to Barton, turned onto the Barton Road to Haslingfield, and from there puffed up Chapel Hill where we could survey Cambridgeshire laid out below us. The day was chilly and a slight mist softened the landscape. Only a gentle wind blew from the North. The sun added muted orange tints to the cloud strata. In all there was an austere aesthetic to the landscape today.

After the descent into Barrington we turned to pass through Orwell, the grounds of Wimpole Hall and then Arrington.

Pausing in the grounds of Wimpole Hall

We cycled up Croydon Hill onto the long road to Gamlingay. Just to ensure everybody earned their coffee, I took a right turn heading North before arriving at Gamlingay, climbing the hill so we could speed into town on the more pleasant Long Lane descent.

Around six other members were already installed in the Woodview Farm Cafe. The place was busy but service was efficient and so, suitably refuelled with cakes and coffee, and after the usual comings and goings, around a dozen of use started out on the second leg of the journey to lunch.

This featured a new (to me) stretch of road with an ascent up to the water tower on top of Cockayne Hill (70m) and a very pleasant descent on smooth roads through Wrestlingworth.

Getting high on Cockayne Hill

Rupert then left us to head home and we turned right onto the slightly-less-pleasant B1042 taking us south west to cross the A1. We then started heading North towards Biggleswade and our lunch stop at Jordan's Mill.

Jordan's Mill was busy be we found some seating outside and once our orders had been taken service was swift and so we were able to set off before 2pm confident we'd be home before dark.
Lunch at Jordan's Mill

We cycled north, re-crossed the A1 and then traveled the unprepossessing roads of Biggleswade, then continuing north on the B1040 before turning left onto the wonderfully-named Carthagena Road, which started a small loop to the west of Potton ensuring that we didn't re-cross our route from the morning. The sky darkened appreciably as we headed back east and a few specks of rain made us think we were in for a drenching. But, as it was the rain never came in earnest and before long we were on familiar territory passing Waresly Garden Centre. From here members started peeling off to make their way home and as I cycled through Caxton, Bourne and Toft our group became less and less until, back in central Cambridge, I was the only one left.

When I arrived home I found I had cycled 103 km (64 miles). My metric Eddington number stands at 65. Alex Brown

Download GPS track (GPX).

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