Our route out was the perennial favourite Barton road cycle path to Haslingfield, not an idle decision as there was method in my madness.
Phil had originally wanted to join us at the Barton junction to avoid the city traffic. I toyed with the idea of returning from tea through Wimpole Hall to deliver Phil conveniently back into the Barrington area where he rides from, but from a phone call to the Wimpole NT estate I learnt that they close the gates at dusk and as we couldn’t guarantee to meet the deadline it was decided to meet Phil in Barrington and do Wimpole via Malton Lane on the way out.
Unexpectedly, he decided he really needed the exercise, so climbed Chapel hill to meet us on our side before climbing it again with us (and again on his way hone). At Wimpole the mechanical shock of the first cattle grid that serves the ancient deer grazing parkland had his front light reverse engineer itself into its component parts. (Yes – another front light)
From there we climbed Croydon Hill and continued through Hatley St George. It was at this point that I took the group off-road onto the path that runs alongside Hatley woods and St John the Baptist Church, whose four mini-spires can just be seen in the photo (below) north of Cockayne Hatley. The ground was surprisingly dry considering the rain we've had recently, though I knew this because I had visited it the day before to check its suitability for the group. The same photo also shows that the sun had returned to grace the last three miles of our ride out.
North of Cockayne Hatley, with church in distance
Tea at the Boundary Café was pleasant and nowhere near as populated as it was two weeks ago, when our club riders descended upon the caterers in their dozens.
Tea in Potton
Tea in Potton (spot the difference)
On the way home, it had got dark by the time we reached the turning on the outskirts of Little Gransden and I got a puncture in Toft. Unlike Eva's punctures of Thursday this week, no "Super Simon" leapt out from a phone box like a well known Monty Python character sporting a flat cap and a tool box to fix it, but the residents who live just opposite Church road in Toft kindly lent me their track stirrup pump which sped things up made the job easier. Many thanks, if you're reading this: your public spirit is a credit to you. Simon Gallaway
Download GPS track (GPX).