Thursday, 9 June 2016

9 Jun: Thursday ride to St Neots and Kimbolton

Edward writes: As the former prime minister didn't say, a week is a long time with the British weather. Most of last week was pretty dreadful, but this week it's been gloriously sunny and hot, if a little humid. At Haslingfield twelve members, including Peter W who was back in good shape from his coastal epic, met to help David Tassel in his inaugural leadership role with a ride out to St. Neots and Kimbolton for lunch. The Brookside start was without a leader so Rupert gamely stepped into the breach to lead a group of five, but later joined by two others.

With just twelve riders the group from Haslingfield didn't formally make two groups but we sensibly spread ourselves out a bit to minimise any traffic problems.

Leaving Haslingfield

We left Haslingfield and passed without incident through Harlton, the Eversdens, Kingston and Bourn where we stopped for a short break. Unusually there was virtually no wind which, if it counted at all, came from the east.


We passed easily through Caxton, Great Gransden and Abbotsley before arriving in St Neots and the Ambiance Cafe shortly before 11am and for our first break of the day. Within five minutes Rupert had brought in his group from Brookside, among them Yasmin proudly riding her new bike (which Greg didn't forget to mention in his last blog. Also at the coffee stop, and always good to see, was Vic.

At the Ambiance Cafe, St Neots

The sun by now was starting to heat the day up and everybody chose to sit outside before the usual rearrangements of people going home and the start of the next session to Kimbolton. With seventeen going on to lunch we left in two groups.

Two Greats

Now began a fabulous journey through roads that were largely uncharted for a Thursday ride. Once we left St Neots, David's local knowledge was used to good effect and took us through such places as Honeydon, Bolnhurst and Keysoe, all through an agricultural landscape. Our last village was Pertenhall and we arrived in Kimbolton at about 12.50 pm after a really superb ride (the weather helps, of course).

Arriving in Kimbolton

We had been booked into Oliver's Cafe in the high street and we divided fairly evenly between the cafe and sitting in the nearby churchyard.

Kimbolton Churchyard

After eating their sandwiches this group joined the others in Oliver’s and we were all able to sit in the cafe's little courtyard. This was a nice lunch break and special mention must be made of the staff who were friendly and helpful all the time.

Oliver's Cafe, Kimbolton

After lunch we again split into two groups. Rupert took his group home via Graffham, Huntingdon and the busway whilst David led his group back to Pertenhall before turning off to head south through Little Staughton to Bushmead for the slightly downhill four miles into St. Neots. David's local knowledge was at it again as he took us through a maze of estate roads before bringing us out on the Abbotsley road.

Three wise men?

We didn't go to Abbotsley, but instead went past the golf course and into Gamlingay via the Cinques. Five more miles brought us to Croydon - where the Queen Adelaide still seems to be a building site. When we got to Wimpole Hall Peter’s largesse knew no bounds as he generously offered to buy everyone an ice cream - sadly only two took up his offer.

A rustic scene

The remaining five reached Haslingfield at 4.30pm after a trip over Chapel Hill and a superb 66 miles and certainly a ride for the scrapbook. Thanks to David for a successful debut. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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