Nene Park - Ferry Meadows
Our base for this year's spring weeked was the Caravan Site and Premier Inn adjacent to Nene Park, Ferry Meadows, on the outskirts of Peterborough.
With riders arriving at different times, we had no ride scheduled for Friday, but a few of us still managed a short circuit of the park, and out into the surrounding countryside.
Rutland Water - Saturday
Setting out from the Hotel at 9:30am, we collected the caravanners and then made our way west out of the park on the cycle track parallel to the railway. There were nine riders out today, keeping together for our first full day in the area.
After leaving the track, we headed out on smooth roads through Ailsworth, Ufford and Stamford before dropping down to the north shore of Rutland Water, one of the largest mam made lakes in Europe.
We had lunch at The Harbour Cafe, overlooking the lake, before following the shoreline over the dam to the visitor centre on the south shore at Normanton Church, one of Rutland's most famous landmarks, saved from flooding when the area was flooded in the 1970's to make the reservoir.
We then returned via Collyweston, Yarwell and Elton.
Stanwick Lakes - Sunday - Medium Ride
Five riders set out on Sunday morning for a medium length ride to Stanwick Lakes, a countryside park on the outskirts of Stanwick. Opened in 2006, it comprises 750 acres of former grvel pits and is part of the larger River Nene Regional Park.
Heading out of Peterborough alongside the main road, we soon turned south onto smoth quiet lanes, through the villages of Great Gidding and Titchmarsh.
We had lunch in the Cafe at Stanwick Lakes, followed by a circuit of one of the lakes, where we saw nesting Swans and their Cygnets.
There was ample provision for cyclists in the park, and we passed many families riding ournd the small area we covered. It would have been easy to spend several hours there, but we still had to cycle back to Peterborough.
Turning north through the centre of the park, we made our way back via Woodford, stopping at Wadenhoe for afternoon tea.
Wadenhoe - Sunday - Short Ride
Three riders opted for a shorter ride on Sunday, setting off with the medium group and riding together for the first hour, then turning off towards Luddington in the Brook.
Lunch was at The Old Barn at Wadenhow before returning via Fotheringhay.
Part way round the group met a member of Peterborough CTC, which was nice, as it was Peterborough CTC that had provided move ot the routes we were using for the weekend.
The Fens - Monday
With our regular weekly rides normally covering the hilly Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, we couldn't come all this way and not spend a day cycling around The Fens. 15,500 sq miles of reclaimed marshland (we didn't cover all of it!).
Setting off as a group, we took the cycle path following the Nene straight though the centre of Peterborough, and then headed north to Crowland for lunch by the Trinity Bridge.
Trinity Bridge is a unique three-way stone bridge that at one time spanned the confluence of the River Welland and one of it's tributaries.
The river has long since been re-routed, and it now spans nothing, just standing rather uniquely by the roadside in the town centre.
After lunch the group split in two, three riders returning via Whittlesey, whilst the others header further out into the Fens to Throckenholt and then south to March.
The roads in the Fens being very flat, very straight, and very long.
Peterborough - Tuesday
Today we were going home. But we just had time for a quick ride back into Peterborough, and a look round the Cathedral. Founded in Anglo Saxon times but largley rebuilt in the 13th century..
It was a great weekend, one which we were lucky to have fantastic weather. Knowing the best places to go, and planning routes in a new area is never easy, so we'd like to thank Chris Cooper from Peterborough CTC for his time, suggested lunch stops, and access to their collection of excellent routes, from which we only had time to sample a few.