A fine Thursday morning saw nine Windmillers gathering at Brian’s house in Great Shelford where Pam laid on coffee and took our orders for a lunchtime booking at the Queen’s Head in Newton.
Setting off, Brian led the way along the cycle track to Trumpington, followed by Lawrence, John Tarrington, Tom, Sandra, Yorkshire Brian, Ken, Chris and Keith – who we noted was toting a bag of rhubarb and custard bonbons.
Reaching Grantchester, the cycle-way across the Meadow was notable for its splattering of fresh cow manure, which was somewhat challenging for those of us lacking mudguards. We carried on, keeping mouths and nostrils shut tight while sucking on rhubarb and custard bonbons.
Then it was on to Newnham, one of the prettiest parts of Cambridge, and along Grange Road and past the colleges to Adams Road, where we picked up the cycle path to Coton. Panting up the hill out of Madingley, we continued on to Comberton and Barton, where we pulled in to Burwash Manor for a welcome coffee break.
Refreshed and back in the saddle, we headed for Haslingfield, where Lawrence attacked Chapel Hill with gusto, easily beating the rest of us to the summit. Indeed, from here on it was John and Lawrence who set the pace, leaving the rest of us in their wake.
Heading on through Barrington, Orwell, Shepreth and Foxton, we arrived at last at the Queen’s Head in Newton. The sun was shining so we lunched outside which, given our besplattered state, was appreciated by the other diners. Beer and conversation flowed – everything from the sex life of bees (thanks, Ken) to the evacuation of Dunkirk – and the soup and sandwiches were excellent; simple fare done well.
We made short work of the final leg to Shelford. All in all, we clocked up 34 miles, John Tarrington winning the yellow jersey while Lawrence was crowned King of the Mountains (or rather, Chapel Hill). Both subsequently tested positive for IPA, though they swore it was medicinal. We gave them the benefit of the doubt.