Lunch today had been planned for Jordan's Mill at Broom but in view of the forecast for rain in the afternoon it was decided that we should shorten the ride and take lunch at Moggerhanger.
Gathering at Haslingfield (Photo: Alex Brown)
With about fifteen riders at Haslingfield Green, and today we welcomed Heather making her first Thursday ride with us, we split into two groups to try again to avoid being a nuisance to other traffic.
Approaching Kingston (Photo: Alex Brown)
Mike C, today's leader, led the first group out to Harlton and a few minutes later I led the second group.
Mike C is leader today (Photo: Alex Brown)
Our route took us to over the A603 and through the Eversdens, Kingston and Bourn where Mike, bearing in mind yesterday's rain, avoided the ford and took the route up the hill for the turning to Caxton.
Caxton Road (Photo: Alex Brown)
In Caxton, Sheila, who was in the first group, had a puncture and as the second group approached it quickly became the lead group. Just before reaching Great Gransden we turned into Sand Lane which took us through both Great and Little Gransden where we made the turning for Gamlingay. As we climbed the slight hill and out into the open road we also faced southwards and therefore we rode directly into the wind. A mile out of Gamlingay it soon became downhill enabling us to reach LJ's, our coffee stop, just before 11.am.
It wasn't long before the second group followed us in and we were also joined by Richard M, Mike S, Doug, Sarah and Andy who was looking resplendent in his green striped wind-cheater.
Andy rocks up (Photo: Alex Brown)
LJ's is popular with the Thursday riders, especially for their bacon sarnies, with nobody being put off by the reports from the World Health Organisation. After coffee and the usual exchange of personnel thirteen riders carried on for lunch as we left Gamlingay over the heath and on to Everton.
Everton, of course, means Tempsford hill but no great speeds were recorded as the wind was a bit strong for any adventurous riding. Soon we reached the main line railway and we had to wait about five minutes for one Grand Central and three Virgin expresses to pass before the gates rose allowing us to press on to Tempsford and the crossing of the A1.
Waiting at Tempsford Crossing
We cleared the A1 and came to Blunham and shortly after we arrived in Moggerhanger and the Woodland Cafe for lunch. As the route had been shortened it was about 12.45pm when we arrived to find the cafe full and those who ate inside were told to expect waits of thirty to forty minutes.
Eddie places his order (Photo: Alex Brown)
Shortly before 2pm we set off in three groups for the afternoon ride home with Sharon and Belinda heading northwards; Doug, Sheila and Mia to head for Hertfordshire, and everyone else retracing the route back to Blunham to take the former railway track into Sandy.
Ready to leave Moggerhanger
Once out of Sandy we made our way back to Everton where John J, Stuart, Andy and Sarah went home via Gamlingay while Mike, Craig, Geoff and me proceeded to Potton. Our route home took us via Potton, Wrestlingworth, Guilden Morden and Bassingbourn. This was all comfortable riding as, for the most part, the wind was behind us and we finished our day through Meldreth, Shepreth and Barrington. (After three years, when the quarry at the former cement works has been filled in, the railway track is expected to be lifted and converted to a cycle route to Foxton station.) After the climb over Chapel Hill we arrived back in Haslingfield at 4pm and 52 miles, and after all the re-planning only a few spots of rain! Our thanks go to Mike for another enjoyable day out. Edward Elmer
While the riders eat, the bikes rest (Photo: Alex Brown)
Download GPS track (GPX).