We decided to go on a lovely bike ride over the weekend, Saturday was bright and sunny so we ceased the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and see some of what Cambridgeshire has to offer.
Hubby told me about the cycle path along the new(ish) guided bus way that runs from St Ives to Cambridge, so we got all set up and drove to St Ives. It wasn’t until we arrived at St Ives that I realised the bike ride was 14 miles each way! That’s the longest bike ride I have ever been on in my life, but I felt up to the challenge and I missed my bike! So off we went with the kids in the bike buggy/trailer.
The bike ride towards Cambridge was lovely, the scenery looked beautiful under the afternoon sun and as the guided bus route is in the middle of open fields you could see on for miles. There were a few lakes in between St Ives and Swavesley that were glistening to our side view, I even spotted this heron doing a little sun dance:
The countryside was really quite breathtaking and I was saying to myself how lucky we were to be biking on such a lovely afternoon, little did I know that it was all going to change – and quickly!
We got to Histon and the sky was looking a little grey, so we decided to head back then, we had biked around 12 miles, so it was another 12 miles back and the kids would soon be wanting their dinner. Now next time I go on a bike ride with the family I will be doing a few things: checking the weather reports for the exact area and the entire day, checking the food supply and checking my attire is “logical” to the weather reports.
You might ask why I need to check those things and in deed why I didn’t check thoroughly before we went out, well I checked the weather and it said rain for 5/6pm and we were going out at lunchtime – I didn’t think it would rain any earlier! Silly me! We made it back to Longstanton which I believe is around 4 miles from Histon when the clouds went very dark and grey and the rain started spitting. Hubby laughing to my side saying how he was going to enjoy biking in the rain, I think even he ate his words 5 minutes later.
The distant from Longstanton to Swavesey can only be around 3 miles, but it was the longest 3 miles in the history of distance – 3 minutes after it started spitting with rain the storm whipped up behind us and before we knew it we were in the middle of a hail storm. In the open beautiful fields that once were it was dark, hailing, raining, gale force winds and to top it off thundering and lightening. I have never been so frightened in my life, not just because I am “chicken” but because the children were with us too and I was so worried about all of our safety. To give you an idea of the openness of the fields, this is a photo I took before the storm:
Me and Dean were soaking through, to put you in the picture as to how silly I am, I had plimsolls on and nothing waterproof whatsoever, I was soggy from head to toe and ridiculously cold. We were biking against the really strong winds and hail, at times it was physically impossible so we were walking with the bikes and to top it all off Isla was screaming her little lungs off and there was nothing I could do to help her. It was heart breaking!
We managed to get through 3 miles of storm to Swavesey where we realised the buses couldn’t help us because we were with our bikes and so our friends who live near by came to our aid with towels, food and a lift back to our car. Hubby and I couldn’t even bend our fingers at this point because we were so cold. To top it all off I had to drive home in my soaking wet, freezing cold clothes. But the nice hot bath and Chinese takeaway soon cheered me back up again!