Thursday, 25 February 2016

25 Feb: Thursday ride (village start) to Gamlingay and Biggleswade

Edward writes: This morning there was a touch of frost, and the day started overcast, but luckily with little wind, which was good as what little there was had a very cold edge to it. As for the past few days the temperature wasn’t expected to rise much above five or six degrees centigrade. All in all conditions for cycling were very good encouraging thirteen riders to gather at Haslingfield Green and seven started from the city centre.


Today we had Averil in charge for ride out to Gamlingay for coffee and then on to Jordan’s Mill in Broom for lunch. We left Haslingfield and out to Harlton and the Eversdens and already the clouds began to disperse and the sun was making a serious effort to break through. When we reached Bourn we veered left and made the gentle climb up to the A1198 and Longstowe. The road from Longstowe to Little Gransden, although not especially busy, is a bit of a bone shaker as the original sections of concrete are still evident beneath subsequent re-surfacing.


At the junction for Little Gransden we turned left which put us on the road for Gamlingay and this finishes with a nice, long descent. Woodview Farm, our coffee stop is barely a mile out of town on the road to Potton and we duly arrived just before 11am.

Little Gransden

Already enjoying coffee were Sharon and Belinda and arriving at the same time as us, Richard M. The group from town arrived a few minutes later with Susan arriving a little later still. Fortunately the cafe had been informed of our arrival and they were able to deal admirably with such a vast throng in such a short time.

Approaching Gamlingay

Preparing to leave after coffee

By 11.40 am Averil assembled everyone for the departure which was to be in two groups with Rupert leading the second group.


We went along the B1040 to Potton and then Everton which, of course, took us on to the very exhilarating Tempsford Hill and with the momentum gained doesn’t take much pedalling to reach the level crossing which this time was only closed for one Grand Central express to pass through. It was a nice thought that the Flying Scotsman had passed along this line only a couple of hours or so earlier!

Puncture repair in Blunham

After the railway we came to the A1 and shortly after into Blunham where Peter Wi had a puncture - which sounded more like an explosion! If a puncture happens it’s always a good policy to have Mike C close at hand and he duly obliged with the repairs and Mike CC kindly gave Peter his folding tyre to use, and not many minutes had passed before we were on our way again.

Leaving Blunham

At the Chalton turning we turned left and travelled south out to the A603 for a few hundred yards before turning off to travel south again to the tiny village of Hatch. This was followed by a road called Vinegar Hill which brought us into Upper Caldecote and here we turned east on to the B658 until we turned south to run parallel with the A1 and soon we arrived at Jordan’s Mill just before 1 pm. We later learned that Rupert had taken his group by way off Southill, whether by accident or design is not known.

Leaving Broom (Jordan's Mill)

The usual format for lunch occurred, with those eating sandwiches outside joining everybody else for teas and coffees later. We set off again at 2pm and after Sharon, Belinda and Richard had left seventeen began the journey home. Our homeward route took us through Langford and the long, but not arduous, climb up to the A1; descending on the slip road the wind felt very cold, but luckily our road home would be more easterly, and with the sun out conditions were very nice. In fact, under the sun, the countryside began to show its many colours and it was good to observe that the recent frosts had not damaged the early blossoms. We passed through Hinxworth and, via Loves Lane, we by-passed Ashwell and on to Steeple Morden.

Abington Pigotts

When we approached Littlington we veered left and took the more attractive road via Abington Pigotts and then Bassingbourn. This left us with Kneesworth, Meldreth, Shepreth and Barrington. This left a few to go over Chapel Hill into Haslingfield whilst others went home via the A10 cycle way to Harston. Those completing the full circuit would have covered 54 miles and our thanks to Averil for a splendid day out, ably assisted by the weather forecasters, which took us via some new, or less frequently-visited roads. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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