Sunday, 15 January 2017

15 Jan: Sunday afternoon ride to St Ives

Simon writes: With a little trepidation, and a helping of hope that the forecast for dry weather this afternoon might bare a credible resemblance to reality, I set off from my boat at Bates Bite Lock along the tow path to Brookside.

Well it nearly stopped raining all afternoon but it was like a typical English summer's day, damp but not cold. Everyone else wore a waterproof jacket but I was sure that I'd suffer more from the effects of "boil in the bag" syndrome if I did. Although getting slightly damp was inevitable at least it was fresher than the alternative - and these modern synthetic fabrics really do a fair job of breathing and not soaking up the wet stuff.

Those brave enough to take a little of the rough with the smooth at Brookside included Simon D, David, John E and new member Alan. The route that I researched after Thursday morning's ride followed a parallel path from Boxworth over bridleways through Lolworth and Bar Hill to Dry Drayton, but it was decidedly too muddy to appeal to anyone but Jacob H so I stuck with what works and hoped not to get groans from the group.

To this end we kicked off with the Coton foot path, the gentle climb up the old St Neots road as far as Cambourne before turning towards Knapwell and Connington.

It was here that we were joined by John J, an affirmation of his earlier email to ask if he might join us somewhere en route. When we got to Fenstanton he and John E took a short cut to "S'tives", as the locals would have it, and for John E to add some water resistant leg wear to his Sunday ensemble, while the remaining group did the last loop through the Hemingfords, Houghton Mill and The Thicket.

I had expected to see Johns E and J already at the River Tea Rooms, languishing in their umpteenth cup of tea, but curiously we reached the tea room a few moments before they did.

Tea in St Ives

After tea Simon decided to pay his mother a visit. John E was essentially home anyway and before I could return from the toilet John J and Alan had set off, presumably down the busway. With one last little known detour up my sleeve I took David back through Fenstanton and Fen Drayton to the Hollywell Ferry road that joins up with the busway further along.

Now with a tail breeze and no rain we steamed all the way from St Ives to Milton Road Cambridge inside an hour, an average of 16.5mph. Simon Gallaway

Download this route (from Brookside to St Ives only) (GPX).

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