Thursday, 26 November 2015

26 Nov: Thursday ride to Swavesey and St Neots

Edward writes: With seventeen riders at the start point in Haslingfield Green it would appear that numbers for the Thursday winter rides had started to decrease but this would be to ignore the fact that our coffee destination would be the Baptist Chapel in Swavesey. Before we left Mike C was called in to effect some temporary repairs to Sue H's bike, and also at the start we had the opportunity to welcome Vincci who was making her first ride with us. Another feature of the day was the appearance of Craig and Frances arriving on a tandem.

Mike doing repairs in Haslingfield

Haslingfield

Tony was today’s leader for the ride out to St. Neots and as in previous weeks we set off in two groups with Mike C taking control of the following group. We left Haslingfield in slightly overcast but benign weather and went out through Harlton to the A603 and on through the Eversdens and Kingston.

Harlton

As we rode through Kingston and on to Bourn the clouds cleared and we enjoyed brilliant sunshine and blue skies making a fantastic winter’s scene.

Craig and Frances on the Tandem

Kingston to Bourn (Mike CC at the back)

We left Bourn on the always rising road up to the St Neots old road where we turned off the ride through Knapwell and Boxworth. This brought us to the crossing of the ever-busy A14 and on to the still relatively new cycle path into Swavesey and the Baptist Chapel for our coffee stop.

Bourn

Leaning against the chapel wall we found simply dozens of bikes and inside we soon found out that we were not the only cycling club which has discovered the secret of the home made cakes here. Indeed there was another club enjoying the fare but it was also clear why seventeen at Haslingfield was no surprise; we believe we had thirty-four, possibly a few more, members gathered in the main hall. This week it was the turn of the ladies of the Swavesey Festival Committee who were doing the honours with the cakes and as usual it was as perfect as it could be.

Swavesey

On cycle rides all good coffee stops have to come to an end and this time there was a major dispersal with some going back to Cambridge but twenty or more, split into two groups, started the next session of the day to St. Neots.

Ready to leave Swavesey

Our route took us to Dry Drayton and Fenstanton where we crossed the A14 via the bridge and then south west to Hilton and Graveley, which from the A1198 includes the beautifully surfaced road all the way up to Graveley.

Hilton

In Graveley the wind turbines were just about turning in the gentle breeze and we then came to Toseland followed by the long two mile straight to join the B1043 south of Great Paxton for the final run into St. Neots, some of which is on a very good cycle path.

Lunch was at the Ambiance Cafe and everybody felt able to eat outside, either with a packed lunch or chosen from the menu, leaving Rupert and Jacob to do their usual to buy fish and chips elsewhere which apparently wasn’t to their demanding standards.

Rupert with fish and chips in St. Neots

By 1:45 pm we all assembled for the ride home and after saying goodbye to Sarah and John J we left St. Neots over the common.

Leaving St Neots

Our route home first took us to Abbotsley and on the way to Great Gransden we said goodbye to Sharon and Belinda. In Great Gransden my pump fell of the bike and was promptly flattened by a passing car! From Great Gransden we travelled to Caxton where Richard M left us and the first group had got so far ahead that we in the second group didn’t see them again. We reached Bourn and at the Kingston turning a large number carried on directly into Cambridge via Toft with everybody else returning to Haslingfield the way we had come out in the morning, via the Eversdens. When we arrived at Haslingfield Green we had travelled exactly 50 miles thus making an ideal winter’s ride for which we thank Tony for the route and also Mike for his assistance in keeping the two groups apart. Lastly, after seven punctures last week there were none reported this week. Edward Elmer



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