Ride to World Famous Comfort Cafe

Overcast today but the last opportunity to ride for a couple of weeks, so 35 miles of nice-ish roads out through Fulbourn, Balsham and West Wratting, and back on the main road stopping at the biker’s favourite World Famous Comfort Cafe, with half a dozen bikes parked outside. Strangely the place is comforting in some inexplicable way – you can sit outside with a mug of tea and cherry cake for a total of £2.50, minding your own business.

Ride to Little Gidding

Wretched GPS never takes my routes seriously and has a strange love of the A14, so every ride seems to involve some miles on this nasty trunk road. Nevertheless, I had some nice riding to the church at Little Gidding, which inspired one of T S Eliot’s Four Quartets. The church itself was closed. Very low key down the end of a track.
I didn’t know that the Giddings are not that far away from Fotheringay, not just the name of a folk rock band but the place where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned and executed. Charles the first sought refuge at Little Gidding, so being a monarch was not easy in the 17th century.
On the way home I chose the A660 which is, I found out, a high accident rate road for motorcycles, with lots of warning signs and a police bike cop talking earnestly to two riders wearing one piece leathers. They all had their helmets off so it was obviously an in depth discussion.
I rode through Kimbolton, one of those old English market towns that clearly at one time had far more importance and wealth than they do now, though the Kimbolton School, housed in the impressive castle means that there is still some wealth there. St Neots, another of those pretty but strange towns near to nowhere (once an important staging place on the road north from London I imagine), was bustling, the warm weather obviously bringing people out, including the rider of the brand new water cooled BMW 1200gs just out.

This was the first weather this year suitable for enjoyable motorcycle riding.

New Book from Ted Simon

I’ve been reading Ted’s second (I think) book Riding Home (sometimes I think its called Riding High oddly). I see he’s got a new book coming out, Rolling Through the Iles, about a journey he’s taken in Britain, ‘back down the old routes that led to Jupiter’s Travels’ says the front cover. Hmm, nothing like milking that first book.

Gallows Hill to Home

This is such a good campsite. Its just a field with some basic facilities and it can only make a small amount of money for its owner but it does a good job. Its on a gentle slope and had a beautiful view over the valley. Chickens scratch around the site and in the next field are sheep and horses. On my two visits its not been crowded and reminds me of the Wee Campsite up in Scotland that was hopeless in terms of noise and disturbance as everyone was packed so close like terraced housing. Gallows Hill has so much space. Its also perfectly placed for a journey from the south up to Scotland.
Traveling back home was easy. With earplugs in I sat in the outside lane for much of the journey and thundered back home. Out of curiosity I left the A1 to see what Grantham had to offer, assuming it would be a pretty coaching town like Stamford. If it was I didn’t see it. Tired after just over two hours on the bike I tried to park in a car park there but it was built on such a slope that it was impossible to get off the bike so I headed off – without earplugs. Already I can’t believe how I rode without them. They make you go faster!
The trip was 1400 miles with 33 hours of riding.
So now I’m back home and thinking about the next trip. Lets chose somewhere a little more exotic and somewhere with better weather. Suggestions?