Ray writes: Today was the warmest of the year so far and the spring sunshine had brought out most of our regular riders and a few new faces for this afternoon's ride to Potton. Ten of us set off from Brookside, quickly leaving behind the city centre pedestrians and traffic as we made our way down Barton Road. Today's route would take us over Chapel Hill, through the grounds of Wimpole Hall, up the hill to the Hatleys, and on through Gamlingay to a welcome cup of tea at The Coach House in Potton.
There were a few comings and goings on the ride out. We were joined at Barrington by Mike S and Phil N, taking our number to twelve. David F left us shortly afterwards, as we came through Orwell, and John F made his own way home from Gamlingay via Waresley, so we were ten again. John E left us after tea for a more direct route home (he had to get all the way back to St Ives).
I wanted to make the most of the nice weather, so had planned quite a long route home. We headed south from Potton then turned left for Sutton and Eyeworth. Our plans to ride this road earlier in the year were scuppered by roadworks, so this was my first time here. It turned out to be a quiet, pleasant lane. When we got to the ford at Sutton, most of us crossed on the footbridge while Simon braved the water - without incident, I am happy to report.
From Eyeworth we made our way towards Ashwell. We had been fighting a headwind most of the way out, and it was a very noticeable sidewind on this exposed stretch of road. We didn't get the tailwind I had been looking forward to until we reached the edge of Ashwell, where we turned towards Steeple Morden. From here it was a familiar route home, the "Bassingyawn" route as Mike K calls it, through Littlington, Bassingbourn, Meldreth, Melbourn and Fowlmere, then Shelford and the DNA path to Cambridge.
We stopped briefly while Simon scavenged a spirit level someone had fly-tipped at the side of the road. He cycled all the way home with this zip-tied to his crossbar, but texted me later to tell me it didn't work; his bubble was burst.
I hadn't been paying attention to the time, but it had gone 6pm as we came through Newton and it was 6.45pm when we got to the railway station, a round trip of 55 miles from Brookside.