Thursday, 3 November 2016

3 Nov: Thursday ride to Potton and St Neots

Edward writes: We are now into our winter ride season with slightly shorter rides planned and today for the first of these we had a good turnout for our trip to Potton and St Neots. Back in the city with John Ross leading there were ten riders and out in the country where Tony was leading we had thirteen riders. There had been a frost overnight and by 9.30am it was still pretty cold, but the weather forecast was quite good, there being little wind and no rain in the forecast.

At Haslingfield we started our ride through Harlton up to the A603 and then the Eversdens, Caxton and Bourn. As we found out during the day the weather seemed to be turning out rather better than forecast and as the sun came out, as was mentioned in the Sunday blogs, the trees looked stunning in the autumn sunlight.

Tree colour in Haslingfield


At Bourn we climbed up to the A1198 for the turning into Longstowe and as we turned south west for the only time in the day we felt a slight headwind. We reached the turning for Gamlingay where we joined the B1040 for the final run into Potton and as we left Gamlingay we were joined by Sharon and Belinda. We arrived at the Boundary Cafe in Potton just before 11am, some ten minutes or so before John arrived with his city group.

The Boundary Cafe is nice with a good selection of cakes and even a bacon and egg sarnie and the staff of two coped well with the sudden influx of over twenty cyclists.

Coffee at Potton


By 11.45am Tony readied his group for action and we started the second session on what was to be a delightful ride to St. Neots. The first part was a standard route via Everton and Tempsford hill and only a one train wait at the level crossing.

Tempsford Level Crossing

We crossed the A1 into Blunham and then went into Great Barford and from there we paralleled the Great Barford Bypass (A421) up to Roxton. At this point we travelled north towards Staploe parallel to the A1 and this was a really pleasant part of the route and rarely, if ever, used by the Thursday rides; the roads were quiet and the countryside delightful under the bright sunlight. Sadly we had to turn away towards Eaton Socon and St Neots and we arrived at the Ambiance Cafe at a well timed 1pm, just before the city group who had taken a slightly shorter route.

Arriving for lunch in St Neots

At lunch there were about fifteen or sixteen and for those outside it was still pleasant enough to eat packed lunches.

Rupert shares his chips with Alex

At 1.45pm two groups prepared for the homeward journey; John heading for the busway and Tony taking his group of eight towards Abbotsley. Our journey home, assisted by the south-westerly breeze, took us through Great Gransden and Caxton.

Leaving St Neots

Leaving St Neots

Just after Bourn, at the Kingston turn, several took a direct route back to Cambridge with the remainder going back to Haslingfield the same way as we came out in the morning. We arrived back in Haslingfield at 3.15 pm after 51 extremely pleasant miles. Thanks, as ever, to our leaders John and Tony, the ride between Great Barford and St Neots being a particular highlight. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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