Wednesday, 25 November 2015

25 Nov: Evening ride to Hemingford Abbots

Nigel writes: Tonight was our second monthly "moonlight" ride of the winter, a relaxing cruise along the busway to St Ives and beyond. I don't know how many turned up for the last one, but this one attracted a good turnout, with Alex, Gareth, Tom, John R and John J joining me at Brookside, and Paul meeting along the way in Girton.

Today had been clear and sunny, and although the sky had now clouded over slightly the evening was fine and dry, and still clear enough for the full moon to be clearly visible. It was really quite cold, with a slight north-westerly wind blowing into our faces as we rode along the busway, and I was regretting not having put on overshoes or brought thicker gloves.

When we reached St Ives we cycled through the town centre and joined the Thicket Path to Houghton, which was quite wet under-wheel. At Houghton Mill we dismounted, wheeled our bikes through the mill and over the lock, and re-mounted for the ride across the meadows (on a recently-widened path) to Hemingford Abbots.

A few moments later we reached The Axe and Compasses, where we stopped for drinks and bowls of chips. By now I was feeling quite frozen and it was a relief to in the warm. Already in the pub were Mike CC and Mike who had made their own way there.

At the pub in Hemingford Abbots

After about three-quarters of an hour it was time for those of us who lived near Cambridge to head for home, whilst the Swavesey contingent stayed on for another round or two.

I rode home with Paul, Alex, Tom, and Gareth, though Gareth soon disappeared off into the distance leaving the rest of us to ride back along the busway at a more moderate but still brisk pace.

As is so often the case, the journey back was relaxed and enjoyable. Although the thermometer on my Garmin registered a slightly lower temperature (2.2C) on the way back than on the way out, the lack of a headwind meant it actually felt less cold.

Somewhere along the long section past Northstowe I was startled to hear the sound of a flock of geese, swooping around in close formation and just visible in the moonlight against the dark sky.

The slight breeze behind us pushed us along gently, and I arrived home at 10pm exactly, having cycled 35 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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