Thursday, 28 January 2016

28 Jan: Thursday ride to Cottenham and Wyton

Edward writes: As with last Thursday, we were lucky enough to have Alex volunteer to lead today’s ride from our alternative start point at Brookside in Cambridge where twelve people gathered. This left Andy to lead sixteen riders away from the traditional start point at Haslingfield Green, and here we met under blue skies even if a little nippy after an overnight temperature of two degrees. After a mixed bag of weather over the last few days - rain and high winds - this was very acceptable for our ride out to Cottenham for coffee and Wyton for lunch.

Harlton

Even with sixteen riders we thought it sensible to create two groups with Andy at the front of the first group and Mike leading the second group. We went out of Haslingfield and up to Harlton and at the village pond turned into Washpit Lane which took us up to the A603 where we encountered a little more traffic than usual. After everyone was across we headed on the quiet road which leads up to Comberton, over the high street and out to the long undulating stretch to Hardwick.

Approaching Comberton

We went over the A428 and then downhill into the quiet village of Madingley and on to Dry Drayton. With the sun out our countryside seems to have come to life again after the gloomy days of January and this enabled us to observe snowdrops and aconites to add to the colour.

Approaching Hardwick

Madingley

We went over the A14 which put us on the road to Oakington and after crossing the busway, through Westwick, eventually arriving in Cottenham Community Centre at 11.am.

Already there were at least half a dozen members who had made the trip independently and when the twelve from Cambridge arrived it’s safe to assume we had somewhat taken over the place. (It was good to see Mike S on his electric bike and he can be seen happily bowling along in the second picture.)

Cottenham

Despite our numbers the cafe dealt really well with the various requests and we were able to get under way again by about 11.45 am. With so many people it’s difficult to keep track of who did what and who went where but somehow three groups set out on the journey to Wyton. Andy led the first, Sarah the second and possibly Rupert the third group.

Over

After Cottenham we came to Rampton, then Willingham before arriving in Over. Along with the sunshine we also had the added advantage of a following wind thus making it easy riding.

Busway at Swavesey

When we got to Over we went down to the busway for the run into St Ives where a navigational error occurred, i.e. not looking at the list Andy had provided. Thus the second group went through St Ives town centre along the Thicket cycleway into Houghton whilst Andy’s group went by road through Wyton.

Along the Thicket Cycleway, St Ives

Whatever the route we all arrived safely at the Wyevale Garden Centre in Wyton at 1.pm. and this began a very pleasant lunch break. The cafe is very big and after a little queuing to order our food we sat down and our food was very soon with us - most people having a light lunch such as jacket potato whilst others indulged in something rather more substantial.

A nice lunch!

For such a big place the service was very friendly and efficient with enquiries to check that we were all happy and so it’s easy recommend it for future rides.

Preparing to set off from Houghton

By about 1.45pm Andy assembled everyone for the ride home. Quite a few chose a direct route back along the busway but about a dozen took the designated route which meant for some a second ride through the Thicket. This was all very pleasant and after another trip through St Ives town centre we joined Low Road to Fenstanton, back under the A14 and on to Connington. For the first time we had to ride into the wind and through Connington and Knapwell it is always climbing right up to the St Neots old road. We managed it easily enough and two more miles into the wind, but now downhill, brought us into Bourn. By now the sun had left us but there was no threat of rain and we finished off the ride through Kingston, the Eversdens, Harlton and finally Haslingfield. This was a journey of 51 miles and thanks to Andy plus his band of helpers for another successful day out. Thanks also to Alex for leading from Cambridge as this is showing that starting the rides from two places is proving a success. Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

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