Thursday, 11 May 2017

11 May: Thursday ride to St Neots and Kimbolton

Edward writes: The much-longed-for change in the weather finally arrived today. After weeks of the wind being in the north-east it had finally shifted to a more pleasant south easterly direction. As often happens the change is quite sudden and with it came a big rise in humidity. With blue skies and sun it also brought a change in attire with many getting into shorts for the first time this year. Those still wearing longs found it a bit hot to say the least. Out at Haslingfield there were thirteen riders and back in the city Dr John led his group for our long ride out to Kimbolton by way of St Neots.

Preparing to leave Haslingfield

Mindful that this would be one of our longer rides, from Haslingfield we took a direct route out to St Neots which meant Harlton, the Eversdens, Kingston and Bourn. All this came with helpful assistance from the following wind. We took a short break in Bourn to allow for some "stripping off" and some much needed water.

Bourn

Caxton

Then it was straight through to St Neots passing Caxton, Great Gransden and Abbotsley before arriving in St Neots a minute or two after 11am and found four or five who had cycled out independently. Five minutes later the city group arrived swelling the numbers at coffee to about thirty. The Ambiance Cafe had no trouble dealing with all the tea, coffee and cakes they had to serve.

Coffee at St Neots

After coffee both groups opted to follow John's route to Kimbolton and we left the cafe in two groups but not before many chose to head for home. With roughly seven or eight in each group we headed west to Duloe before turning south to make for Colesden. We were now into the best part of our ride; the countryside was at its best, with blossom everywhere and the occasional sounds of skylarks. And the mere fact that the sun was shining and it was warm made all the difference.

A little after Colesden we turned north, still being helped by the following wind, and went through Colmworth and onto Little Staughton. Pertenhall came next and Kimbolton was almost in sight but first we had to deal with Averil's puncture, and where was Mike when we needed him? But we managed and Mike's tuition must have rubbed off as we were soon on our way again enabling us to arrive in Kimbolton at about 1.15pm after 35 miles.

Lunch followed the usual pattern with about eight going into Oliver's for their meal and a similar number eating their sandwiches in the church cemetery!

We all met again in Oliver’s for tea ready to start the return journey at 2.30pm. Both groups started out by travelling east along the B645 as far as the turning for Dillington which, after a couple of steep climbs, took us up to Perry beside Grafham Water.

Now on the B661 we headed to Buckden and the parting of the ways with John's group going home by way of Huntingdon, the Hemingfords and the busway while the South Cambs group opted for the Offords (no wait at the level crossing) and then Graveley.

Graveley

The journey home soon became a repeat of the outward ride and we arrived back in Haslingfield at 5pm, 66 miles after leaving it in the morning. Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

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