Sunday, 5 February 2017

5 Feb: Sunday afternoon ride to Waresley

Simon writes: Today was my first experience of trialling the prototype rider registration forms. An insurance requisite we're told. Waiting for me at Brookside or arriving soon after were John E, Phil M, Peter W, Matt E, Paul D and I'm very pleased to say we had a new guest rider to join the group in the shape of Andrew S.

As is my custom when heading for Barton to start a ride I favour the Granchester Bridleway, over the M11, rather than the Barton road cycle path, as being not so narrow, not so noisy and nowhere near the busy fast traffic of the A603.

Sadly this confused Stan, who, guessing roughly which way we would go, had planned to try and meet us on the Barton road and so it took him all the way to tea at Waresley Park garden centre to catch up with us. I'm sure it was still worth the effort in the end.

For my sinful neglect of the chain on the bike I developed one, if not several, sticky links and my chain kept jumping a tooth when applying pressure up hills. It had been treated to some oil for last Thursday's gruelling ride to Clavering, but had got rained on and then sat in the shed until today.

The plan had been to get to Gamlingay via the shortest route so as to be able to do a 7-mile loop through Gamlingay Cinques and Abbotsley before dropping back down the B1040 into Waresley from the North.

The group was becoming a little strung out near "Simon's Rodents" (nothing to do with me) on Tetworth Hill. As I turned my dutiful attention to shepherding riders at the rear through the turns at the road junctions, the ones at the front took the first signposted road to Waresley instead of taking Pitsdean road through Abbotsley as I had planned. This cut the loop short by a few miles but wasn't without its serendipitous rewards.

Manor Farm Road, as it becomes at the other end, is a beautiful and sheltered quiet leafy lane, the absence of traffic allowing it to become the domain of couples out for a Sunday stroll, some with dogs, some unaware that it's almost immoral to go for a Sunday walk without an appreciative puppy. The shock wave of a propane crow scarer rumbled from afar like a distant battle field gun. "There was something in the air that day, the skies were grey..." We’ll get to Waresley but where's my guitar?

The owners of a country house were landscaping a small lake in their front garden with a duck nesting box in the middle.

After the short-cut through Manor farm road we arrived in Waresley, slicing it so finely as to be within three nano-seconds of 3pm, where we met Paul D after his earlier announcement to sacrifice the loop selflessly and reserve our tea table. Simon Gallaway

Tea at Waresley Park Garden Centre

Download GPS track (GPX).

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