Sunday, 29 November 2015

29 Nov: Sunday ride to Newmarket and Chippenham

John writes: Having been following the ever-changing weather forecast for several days I knew we were in for a somewhat windy ride today – particularly on the way back. So I set off from home in Swavesey at 8.30am and headed off down the guided busway and found the going straightaway harder then usual due to the wind – which was forecast to strengthen as the day progressed.

I was surprised to be joined by three other hardy souls at Brookside: Edmund, Seb and Sheila.

We set off on the usual route out of the city via Hills Road, Worts Causeway/Shelford Road and into Fulbourn. Then it was off to the Wilbrahams where we picked up firstly Conrad and then Rupert. We then headed off to Six Mile Bottom, across the A1304 onto Brinkley Road before turning left onto Balsham Lane toward Dullingham.

Staying with quiet lanes we rode alongside Stetchworth Park and onto the hills surrounding Newmarket. We arrived in Newmarket at the Racehorse Museum Café just after 11am. As usual the very kind shop assistants beckoned us through the shop in order to leave our bikes secure out the back of the café. Adrian was already there and Keith had also just arrived.

The café was not busy so we were served quickly and were ready for the next leg of the journey just after 11.30am. Rupert was heading back home apparently to cook a very large joint of beef for himself and Cathy. Adrian also left us as he wanted plenty of time to ride home into the wind.

In the knowledge that we would be facing increasingly-strong winds all the way back after the lunch stop I decided to shorten the ride to La Hogue for lunch. So having cycled via Moulton, Gazeley, Kentford and Kennett we arrived at La Hogue just outside Chippenham at 12.40pm.

As usual the place was very busy but again kind assistants managed to find us a table for six. Here we stayed for lunch just under the hour and then reminded ourselves that at some stage we had to face the dreadful (yes I am going to mention that word again!!) WIND.

Our route back took us through Snailwell, Landwade, Exning and the Swaffhams, and seemingly at every turn and long straight directly into the WIND!

Then it was finally Bottisham, Quy and the trail alongside the river where we had to fight to keep the bikes upright and not be forced over toward the river.

We arrived back in Cambridge just after 3.30pm telling ourselves that "it had after all just been a hard training day!!".

Thank you to all who rode with us during the day. Those riders from Cambridge would have completed just over 50 hard miles. Meanwhile I dragged myself back toward Swavesey along the busway into what was by 4pm freezing cold rain. John Ross

Download GPS track (GPX).

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