Sunday, 11 December 2016

11 Dec: Ride to Christmas Lunch

Nigel writes: Today's ride was a short and fairly gentle-paced ride from Brookside to Bourn for the club's Christmas lunch. The ride started at Brookside at the leisurely time of 10.30am, with John Ross leading about a dozen other riders (or perhaps that should be "diners") for a rather complicated loop through the villages west of Cambridge.

At Brookside

The ride started with brief a tour of west Cambridge before turning north towards Girton.

The sky was generally overcast but with periods of pleasant sunshine during the morning, and it remained dry all day and relatively mild. There was, however, a gentle but cold westerly headwind.

Grange Road

Grange Road

Normally on a ride in December I would have worn heavy gloves, waterproof socks and overshoes, but I dressed less warmly today, thinking that the ride was quite short and the weather not particularly cold. That was a bit of a mistake and the cold breeze made me feel a bit under-dressed, so once we had passed through Girton on the road to Oakington I decided to speed ahead of the group to keep-up. I had previously spotted John's planned route on Strava so I was able to follow exactly the same route as everyone else, albeit a few minutes ahead of the others.

Storey's Way

John's route (see map below) was rather complicated in shape, with a number of gratuitous loops which had no doubt been added to ensure the ride had a sufficient distance whilst allowing scope for short-cuts if the ride was running late. Obviously no-one would want to be late for Christmas lunch! As a result it was rather fun to be following the route on Garmin: just as it looked as if I was on a direct route towards our destination my device would bleep and take me on another diversion.

Along the way I encountered a number of other riders with the same destination as me, including a small group composed of Sue, Mike S and Phil. As I approached them from behind I was welcomed by a tickertape shower of Christmas cards which were scattered from Sue's bag, and I stopped to help her pick them up again. A followed car had stopped, unsure of what was happening, and I have a friendly wave in acknowledgement before beckoning them past. The driver turned out to be Dave W, who later stopped to greet the group (and perhaps offer safe custody of the Christmas cards for the remains of the journey).

Riding on my own once again I arrived at Bourn Golf Club at about 12.05pm. There was just one bike parked outside and when I walked in I discovered I was the first member to arrive. I was mildly concerned I had come to the wrong place but Mike CC soon appeared to buy me a drink and before long everyone else did as well.

Christmas Lunch at Bourn Golf Club

Bourn Golf Club has been the venue for our annual Christmas lunch for several years now, and once again it demonstrated to be an excellent venue. Our dining area was a large conservatory which gave us the maximum amount of light on an dull winter's afternoon. The food was entirely satisfactory and certainly worth the price.

After we had finished eating, our new chair, Andy Carlyle, stood up and said a few words before handing over to our treasurer, Mike "CC" Culnane, to announce the award of the Len Nice Trophy.

Andy (Chairman) makes some remarks

The Len Nice Memorial Trophy (more details here) is chosen by an ballot of members and is given for exceptional service to the club. This year it was awarded to Rupert Goodings who has been our runs secretary for several years now. Rupert also won this award in 2012 which shows how important Rupert's contribution to the club has been for several years now.

Mike CC (Treasurer) announces the award of the Len Nice Trophy

Presentation of the Len Nice Trophy and a £50 gift voucher to Rupert Goodings (right)

The meal concluded with coffee and mince pies, after which we dispersed to ride home. For the ride back to Cambridge we had the wind behind us and once again I sped ahead of the group in an attempt to burn some of the calories I had just consumed. I arrived home at about 4.10pm, having cycled 52km (32 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

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