Thursday, 10 December 2015

10 Dec: Thursday ride to Cambourne and Sandy

Edward writes: This morning at Haslingfield Green we met in dry and breezy conditions for our ride to Sandy via Cambourne. The weather forecast, which up until last evening at least was predicting heavy rain for most of the day, it was little surprise that only sixteen cyclists met for this ride. The forecast may have persuaded some to contemplate a good book, possibly bake a cake or even reflect on Arsenal’s victory the previous evening. Before the start we had the pleasure of welcoming back David W who had nobly given up the comforts of Lanzarote to join us in our English winter. So it was that we set off in two groups with Mike C at the front of the first group, this being his ride, and a few minutes later I led the second group.

The wind was in the south to south west quarter and for the first part of the ride through Harlton to the A603 it didn’t cause us any difficulty. We went through the Eversdens to Kingston and, now travelling northerly, and with the wind behind us this made the climb up through Caldecote to Highfields much easier.

Great Eversden


At Highfields Caldecote we joined the St Neots old road and headed westerly until we reached the turning for Knapwell. Once again we were facing north and the wind was almost directly behind us which, naturally, made for a very easy ride through Knapwell up to the junction for Boxworth and Elsworth. We soon reached Elsworth and turning south no one was under any illusions for what came next. Of course we now faced a stiff head wind and on a road which gently but steadily climbs all the way back up to the St Neots old road. This was certainly hard work and it was a relief to arrive in Cambourne for refreshments.


It was about 11.20 am when both groups arrived and here we met Bill, Gerry and Eva who all joined us for coffee at Morrisons, although some did prefer to take their coffee in the nearby cafe called Green’s. We had a slightly shortened break today and by 11.50 am about a dozen started the next session to Sandy which took us through Cambourne and onto the A1198 to Caxton. This put us in a south westerly facing direction and really into the worst of the wind as we made for Waresley, a not unfamiliar sight to many of us!


We passed Waresley Park and Gamlingay Wood on our way to Everton which presented us with Tempsford Hill, but this time riding into the wind and consequently downhill speeds were a bit moderate.

Tempsford Hill

We finally ran into some rain, albeit a light drizzle, and although it made riding unpleasant, as were still face wind, it was nowhere near the heavy rain predicted. For once we crossed over the railway without being stopped for the usual long wait and a little while later we crossed the A1 for the ride into Blunham. Mike opted for an extra loop here as we went up to Great Barford where we turned left and cycled alongside the River Great Ouse before reaching the former Cambridge to Bedford railway line which we joined for the run into Sandy just two and half miles distant.

Railway path near Great Barford

Joining the railway path near Great Barford

This point where we joined the railway path marked the last of face wind riding and as we turned we felt immediate relief. This brought us into Sandy town centre and Gunn’s cafe for our lunch, arriving at 1.20 pm and found both Doug and Richard M.

Lunch followed its normal format with some inside and those with sandwiches coming in for a tea or coffee later. At 2.30pm we began the ride home and at long last we were on easy street as the wind assisted us on our journey which began on the track through the woods and on to the Everton road.

Sandy Woods

We crossed Gamlingay Heath and when in Gamlingay we left the town with the climb which took us onto the road for Longstowe, and then Bourn.

Leaving Gamlingay

We finished the ride at the Coton roundabout via Toft and Comberton, arriving at 4.30 pm and 55 very satisfying miles. Our thanks to Mike C for the route and another good Thursday ride. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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