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So what happened to all that heat of a couple of weeks ago ?  I went on the Team MK Saturday ride this morning and it was freezing.  As the ride destination was to Castle Ashby I cycled over to Stony Stratford for the start of the ride so that I could drop off the group when it passed through Olney on the way back.

Castle Ashby House

Castle Ashby

I took my lightweight rain jacket with me and decided to wear it on the way over to the ride start as it was pretty early still and cold and I was going to take an easy ride.  Once we were assembled and ready to go I took off my jacket and stowed it away in my back pocket anticipating getting warm on the ride.  However it was quite sedate pace on the way out and so I never really got warm.  We also had a couple of pauses to wait for people to catch up again, surprising really considering the pace of the ride.  Another hold up was when someone punctured and I was getting quite cold as it seemed to take forever for them to get going.   We had waited out of sight of the puncturee ( did I just invent a word there?) as by the time word had got to the front about the puncture we had moved on a few hundred yards. Pretty much as soon as we got going again someone else punctured but they said to carry on and they would find their way to the cafe.  A couple of the guys waited with him.  The ride had seen fluctuating weather conditions all the way round one minute cloudy, then threatening rain and then sunshine again.

The pace seemed to rise a bit after that stop as we were running behind schedule for the cafe and also for eventually getting back to Stony Stratford.  When we made it to the cafe, which was in a converted stable yard of the Castle we had to sit outside as there was not enough room inside.  It was pretty cool out in the courtyard so out came my jacket again. Much tea and coffee and was drunk and also chunks of home made carrot cake and banana cake consumed before we set off again.

Carrot cake

Carrot Cake

Home made cakes such as the fare on offer here seems to be part of the staple diet of cyclists out on club rides.  All manner of freshly baked cakes.  The word gets around among cyclists were these cafes are and they get well used and proprietors are more than happy to cater for our tastes as it brings plenty of business their way.

There was already a club in ‘residence’ when we arrived.  They were from the ‘A5 Rangers’ a club based in Towcester a few miles up the old A5 Watling Street from Stony Stratford.  Originally this was Roman Road and runs from Marble Arch in London all the way through to Holyhead, on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.  Now more famous for the being the residence of Prince William and his wife Catherine, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Also many years ago the A5 was the route of a one day cycle race, The London to Holyhead.  It ran the entire 267 mile length of the road.

But I diversify, back to the ride.  Once we set off again I kept my jacket on for the last leg into Olney.  We had come the long way round to Castle Ashby so it was only five or six miles back to Olney, barely time to get warmed up.  I had done the part of the ride the rest of the group were going to do on my way over in the morning.