My friend Tommo is king of the good idea. Last year we had some fun riding around up north, as part of Tommo’s larger cross-country adventures. Recently he wanted to go to Cambridge to watch Barnet FC play Cambridge United and asked if anyone fancied riding there with him.
Sure, why not?
Better equipped than my no-map-no-gps ride to Cambridge last year, but still lacking some vital bits of bike maintenance, we set out on a pleasantly warm morning. The first bit through Epping is always a bit of a drag, but made more fun by spotting a friend. After that the route is all on small lanes and Tommo and I could ride alongside each other, chatting.
We stopped next to a field of lambs for a cup of coffee, as Tommo had been thoughtful enough to bring a thermos with him. I’m not a big coffee drinker, and never put sugar in my hot drinks, but somehow it was perfect for leaning against a gate and telling each other funny stories.
The day continued to warm up, but with quite a brisk wind, which we suddenly noticed when we weren’t riding directly into it. Despite this, it’s such a nice route – endless fields, a ford (sadly it was dry this time), big open skies and relatively good road surfaces, other than a sketchy bit of torn up road in the shade, requiring maximum concentration as my eyes weren’t used to the lack of light.
The only slight downer on the day was that I was really hungry – I commented to Tommo that we should stop at the next shop and then didn’t see any until just outside Cambridge. This must be the longest stretch in the world without a Tesco Metro.
When we arrived in Cambridge I dropped Tommo off at the football ground and headed back to the station, where I discovered that the reason I’d been finding it hard to unclip was because one of my cleats was perilously close to coming off. Back in London, I tried to buy replacement screws but had such poor service from Cycle Surgery that I took my bike on the train across town in a fit of pique. That’ll learn ’em.