Friday, 29 September 2017

28 Sep: Thursday ride to St Neots and Kimbolton

Edward writes: By the time a dozen riders met in Haslingfield the overnight rain had cleared and all was set fair for our ride out to Kimbolton via St Neots. Susan was in charge today with Dr John doing the honours in the city. Not unexpectedly we started with a climb over Chapel Hill into Barrington where, at the re-grouping point by the church, we discovered that Averil was not with us. Immediately Mike, soon followed by Adrian and ever-ready to rescue a damsel in distress returned back over the hill to Haslingfield. Here they found Averil's chain had trapped itself between two of the front chain rings. This left the main group to carry on with the ride leaving Mike, Adrian and Averil to make their own way to St Neots.


Our route took us through Wimpole Hall and, after Arrington and Croydon, the climb up Croydon Hill. This achieved, we took the five miles through the Hatleys to Gamlingay, but by now we were running late and we didn’t arrive at the Ambiance Cafe in St. Neots until 11.30am to find that the city group were nearly ready to leave. To our surprise we found that Averil, Mike and Adrian had already arrived and drinking their coffee.

Arriving at St Neots

Susan cracked the whip and had us on the road again by 11.50 am only to find that Averil's front tyre had punctured and consequently one group became two whilst some waited for Mike to do the honours with the tyre. After the repairs we handed over the reins to Adrian to lead us as quickly as possible to Kimbolton. This took us through Duloe, Staploe, Little Staughton and Pertenhall and as we approached Kimbolton Averil’s back tyre punctured - she certainly likes to spread the pain around! As ever Mike took charge, assisted by Adrian, while Averil looked on. As you would expect Mike by now is quite good at fixing punctures (especially Averil's) and so we were not delayed long and arrived in Kimbolton at 1.30pm.

Puncture No. 2 in Kimbolton

Lunch was at Oliver's cafe and by all accounts they coped pretty well with us all. Dr John led his group away at 2pm and at 2.15pm Susan assembled her group and we started the return leg. This took us east along the B645 until the turning for Perry and after Grafham it was mainly downhill to Buckden and the Offords.

What little wind there was assisted us as we passed through Graveley, Hilton and Fenstanton. Next came the sluggish ride through Connington and Knapwell before arriving at the St Neots old road. We finished the ride through Hardwick and Coton and arrived home by 5pm and with 68 miles under our belts. Our thanks to John and Susan and, for the village group at least, an eventful day out. (Note for Averil: Make an early appointment at Shelford Cycle Engineering Company.) Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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