Thursday, 15 September 2016

15 Sep: Thursday ride to Gamlimgay and Old Warden

Edward writes: After some extremely hot and uncomfortable days a slight respite was predicted with temperatures only reaching a mere 28C. However, as we gathered at Haslingfield Green it was under a heavy mist which gave us cooler and more comfortable riding weather. The mist was expected to lift by 10am but in the event it was after midday before the sun really got out. At Brookside, where John Seton was leading, eight gathered and in Haslingfield with Averil in charge, 10 riders met. Today’s ride would take in Gamlingay before going on to Old Warden for lunch.

Averil led the way and very quickly a brisk pace developed which was probably caused by Greg and Averil at the front engaging in a lively conversation. Our route through Harlton and the Eversdens passed by in a blur with the villages barely noticeable to the naked eye.


Soon we were climbing the hill up to the A1198 at Longstowe which was enlivened by a skirmish with car driver who apparently wanted us to ride two abreast, which is an unusual complaint. Not long after we arrived in Gamlingay and LJ’s for our coffee break and of course their bacon sarnies. The speed of our ride paid dividends as we were well in front of the city start group and able to be front of the queue.


LJ’s is always popular and they prepare well and get through our requests in very smart order. In all there were about twenty-five there including Richard (Bedford), Bob (Potton), Sharon and Belinda (Buckden) and Adrian (Cambridge), but not riding - the dogs needed a walk. Someone who wasn’t out today would have been sorry to have missed the girl with the blue eyes!


After coffee and the usual departures for home two groups made their way to Old Warden and now at a much more sedate pace. As we went along Heath Road we came across a stall selling vegetables and both Sarah (runner beans) and Rupert (carrots) helped the local economy along with their purchases.

Sarah with her runner beans

Everton came next which meant an exhilarating descent of Tempsford hill only to be brought to an abrupt halt at the level crossing where we had to wait for four trains (or was it five?) to go through. At least we made friends with the truck drivers who acknowledged us when we all pulled over to allow them through. Luckily the gates didn’t come down again before some who waited had crossed.


The rest of the journey to lunch took us through Blunham, Moggerhanger, Northill and Ickwell before arriving at Old Warden aerodrome at about 12.45pm where the sun had finally made its break through and a subsequent rise in temperature.

Eyes were soon cast on the old yellow aircraft which turned out to be a Miles Magister which made its maiden flight in 1937.

Miles Magister at Old Warden

The usual arrangements for lunch took place before we all sat down to have a post-lunch tea or coffee.

Lunch at Old Warden

For the trip home we once again had two groups which, in contrast to the morning, was cycled in hot sunshine. We now headed east which gave us some assistance from the very light north easterly wind as we went through Broom, past Jordan's Mill and the long climb up to the water tower next to the A1.


After Edworth and the turning to Ashwell events went a bit awry as the leading group used the Love’s Lane way in whereas we in the following group, not having noticed this, followed along the main road. Sensibly the first group stopped for ice creams and sat on the village Green which caused the second group to miss them by going through the village on the high street. Thus it was that the ride followed the usual route home except perhaps for a detour around Abington Pigotts. When we finally split in Meldreth it left three to return to Haslingfield and would have given a ride of 58 miles. Thanks to our two leaders, Averil and John, and anybody else who chipped in. Although it was hot, in a week's time we may have something different to contend with; after all we will be well into September. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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