Thursday, 12 May 2016

12 May: Thursday ride to Swavesey and St Neots

Edward writes: It was a bit unusual this morning when the number at Brookside (fifteen) was greater than at Haslingfield where nine met for today’s ride out to Swavesey (club favourite) and St Neots for lunch. Whatever the arrangement of the numbers the weather was set fair with blue skies and sunshine all the way. John Ross led the Cambridge ride and Ian Wright led from Haslingfield. Although it was blue skies the wind, although not very strong, was coming from the North East thus giving the early morning a slight chill.

City start at Brookside (Photo: John Ross)

The "village start" set off from Haslingfield towards Harlton and the Eversdens, Kingston and Bourn and it seemed to be a case of getting the hill work out of the way early.

Kingston

From Bourn to the A428 the road climbs very slightly all the way and when we got there we turned towards Knapwell.

Approaching Bourn

Just as we turned into the Knapwell road we could see the city group ahead in the distance which incited David W to put a spurt on to join them. When we reached the junction we turned up towards Boxworth whilst the city group headed on to Conington.

Approaching Knapwell

It's nice to see from the photo how contented Mike S looks as he sails through Boxworth.

Boxworth

After Boxworth we crossed the A14 and joined the splendid cycle path into Swavesey where we arrived at the Baptist Chapel at 10.50am just a few minutes before the city group.

Swavesey

All these reports have always mentioned how popular this venue is and today our hosts were the Swavesey Women’s Institute, and who makes better cakes than the W.I? They were well prepared for us and at least thirty members sat down to enjoy the offerings. By 11.40am and the usual exchange of personnel, two groups set off for St. Neots. John took his group round the more northerly route and Ian took the more southerly route as we both headed for Dry Drayton and Fenstanton.

Fenstanton

At Fenstanton we were joined by Bob (from Potton) who often joins us when we are this side of Cambridge. Along the road to Hilton Sarah and Averil called in to the farm to make their purchases or fresh asparagus and rhubarb, and very nice it looked, too.

Wisteria at Hilton

At Hilton we crossed the B1040 and shortly after we crossed the A1198 and with the wind on our backs we quickly arrived in Graveley.

Approaching Graveley

More or less in the same direction, the long straight stretch from Toseland to the B1043 was also easy going. This just left the run down to St. Neots and lunch at the Ambience cafe arriving at almost exactly 1.pm - two leaders and perfect timing. Already there we found Doug and Richard M; most of us sat outside in the sun and enjoyed some unexpectedly lively conversation.

Homeward bound from St. Neots

After lunch the two groups set off for home at 1.40pm. Our route home took us along the B1046 for a short while before branching off to go past Abbotsley Golf Course and on to Waresley. This put us on a familiar route home via Great Gransden, Longstowe and Bourn. At the Kingston turning Ian and Averil left us and the last ten went back to Haslingfield the same way as we had left in the morning. We arrived back in Haslingfield at 3.30pm having covered 53 miles. As ever thanks to both our leaders for another good outing. Edward Elmer



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