Sunday, 1 October 2017

1 Oct: "Shorter" Sunday afternoon ride to Wimpole

John writes: Today's ride was an example of what IT professionals refer to as "software reuse", but us mere mortals might instead call "shamelessly stealing someone else’s ideas"! As Ray only signed me up to lead this ride on Saturday morning, I didn't have much time to plan a novel route, so I was pleased that Ray also sent me a link to an evening ride Nigel had led recently, that went past today's tea stop on the way to Barrington. I decided to copy much of this route, which made my job as leader very straightforward indeed.

The forecast was for the remnants of some Atlantic storms to drop rain over Cambridge through the afternoon, so I was pleased to find that regulars Mike K, Jeff B, Sue H, Phil N, Neil S and John E, along with new member Dennis had braved the weather.

We set off past the gridlock of cars trying to get to Grand Arcade car park, and on via Silver Street and Grange Road towards the cycle path to Coton. From there we took the old Bedford road towards Cambourne and then turned into the wind towards Bourn. From there we went past Wysing Arts and onto Ermine Way – the A1198 – which wasn't too busy on this grey Sunday. We soon turned onto the quieter Old Wimpole Road and went through the woods and down to the turn for Wimpole Hall. Here we met Dave W.

The tea rooms served us cream teas and cakes, and we had the traditional discussion about the difference between Devon and Cornwall cream teas in terms of having jam or cream on top. I have since checked, and the Cream Tea Society say "etiquette gurus Debrett's say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top" so I’m afraid I had confirmed how badly brought up I was by doing the exact opposite. We sat outside, and by the end of our stop the strengthening wind was making the canopies flap about rather alarmingly.

We continued after tea via Orwell and Barrington, where we said goodbye to Phil and Sue. As I had promised an easy ride that avoided hills, we let Dave W tackle Chapel Hill on his own, and proceeded via the A10 cycle path to Harston. Here we had the usual dilemma between using the road or the so-called cycle path. We chose the road, but concluded that until the new cycle path is completed, the optimal route through Harston is to go another way instead. From there we went via Trumpington Meadows and onto the guided busway cycle path into Cambridge.

We were very lucky with the weather, as although it looked like rain all afternoon, not a single drop actually fell during the ride. My ride home had a final surprise, as I thought I had imagined the sound of bagpipes in the distance. As I got to the bridge over the Genome Path, I found the source of my hallucination – a cyclist who had carried a set of bagpipes to this remote location in a golf club bag, and was practising next to the cycle path.

The full ride today was just over 30 miles, and was the third in a series of shorter rides on alternate Sundays, designed to be a bit easier for new riders or Saturday morning riders who want to move on to a slightly longer ride. John Seton

Download this route (GPX).

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