The original plan for the past weekend was put down due to an apparently exaggerated weather forecast by the BBC. The thunderstorms predicted for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning around Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire made me postpone the weekend long adventure I was hoping to do.
Nevertheless, Saturday evening the forecast predicted a reasonable window of good weather for Sunday and so I joined Megan and Danny, whom I was supposed to meet when coming from the original plan, for a ride to Sandy and back. I know Megan from the Karate club when we were both members of the squad that beat Oxford in the 2013 Varsity match. However, what brought us together this time was their expedition: Megan and Danny also got their expedition approved by the Cambridge Expeditions Committee and they will be cycling from Mexico to Ushuaia, Argentina, starting on the 18th of July. You can follow their adventure here.
Our goal was The Lodge RSPB nature reserve near Sandy where we stopped for a short walk. As it started to rain we decided to cut our visit short and return to Cambridge. Along the way we saw the unexpectedly placed Wysing Arts Centre and the huge antennas of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Cycling-wise it was a good challenge as riding a single-speed bike makes things quite interesting as soon as you leave the flat plains of Cambridgeshire; especially when the rest of the party actually has a choice of gears. They were kind enough to wait for me on some of the climbs on the way back as the route we chose had sections over 6% and I am still not that fit.
Note: a 6.6% max is given to me by google earth. I collected the gps points with strava and they give me those two climbs to be over 10% with a peak at 16.1% – I honestly don’t know which to trust but I know my legs hurt considerably on those.