Sunday, 19 February 2017

19 Feb: Sunday afternoon ride to Melbourn

Simon writes: Far back in the midst of a riverboat building project in a barn, a mate and I kept a makeshift kitchen, trying to fry eggs with one hand whilst wielding a welding torch with the other.

Our respective girlfriends decided to pay us a visit and their first comment was "Don't you boys ever do any washing up?" To which we triumphantly replied “Yer, we tried that but it made the bowl dirty so we gave up”

In a not dissimilar vein our club Secretary has said on several occasions recently, "Simon, you should clean your bike!"

The fear is the prospect of fighting a losing battle, against the muddy water that every ride starts with on the river tow path (from said afore mentioned boat) in a rainy season. Nevertheless, here is the photographic proof that it was treated to John's gentle but persuasive directive.

Setting off from Brookside this week was a quintet consisting of Phil N, John E, Neil S, Paul D and yours truly.

With a westerly wind the route planned was to leave Cambridge on the busway south and the DNA path, without any detour, to allow us time to spend on some of the hills south of the A505. The theory goes that wind drag increases exponentially with speed, so if we're only crawling up a hill at say 6mph, it wouldn't feel as strenuous as trying to do 14mph on the flat into it. The shelter offered by the hedgerows on the hilly lanes diffused the rest of the wind and, hey ho, it worked.

So, starting with Coploe Hill as far as Royston Lane, we picked up Quickset Road and a slight drop in altitude to pass through Elmdon.

A short climb out of Elmdon skirted the north side of Chrishall and on to Heydon. For the next three miles past the Heydon Grange Golf course I don't think any of us turned a pedal for the descent back to the A505. The Fowlmere road doesn't quite link up directly, forcing us to do exactly half a mile of the A-road, but now with a billiard-table-smooth tarmac and a tailwind that half mile disappeared like a blip.

If you've never taken a break from your saddle for a tranquil stroll around the RSPB reserve between Fowlmere and Melbourn I would thoroughly recommend it.

After tea at Wyevale Garden Centre in Melbourn, Paul insisted that he needed more hills to train for an anniversary climb up Snowdon (not on that Dolan road frame I hope) and voted we return via Barrington's Chapel hill. As always, this plays to Phil's convenience as that's where he hails from but blow me if he didn't ride over it with us and then back again, just for the hell of it!

See you all next time! Simon Gallaway

Download GPS track (GPX).

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