The 3rd Biochemistry Bike Ride took place on Friday 16th August, a day when the rain cleared later and less completely than promised. The assembled party, fewer than on the 2nd ride, but more visible, left at 4.10 pm for the Tour de Newmarket. A brisk pace was set through Fulbourn as far as Balsham, where a minor lapse of map-reading led the main Road-and-Classic group to make the first of several adaptations of the planned route, leaving the MTB-and-Hybrid subunit to complete a shorter clockwise circuit successfully. Unexpectedly visiting West Wratting, therefore, the anti-clockwise R&C group regained their bearings, but headed south-east (?) under lowering cloud.
Drenched briefly but thoroughly, the party sheltered under a chestnut tree at Carlton, observing a fine Maran hen unmoved by the rain in the garden of a nearby stables conversion. Such was the environs. Pressing on, and recovering the route only as far as Dullingham, the peloton was split by a puncture that delayed our guide and led to an element of indecision and fragmentation, 5:3:1. Now correctly re-routed, the Futile Five rode through rolling stud land south of Newmarket and waited for the Roderick Three at Cheveley, maintaining contact through their race radios. Getting cold, the Five set off again, pretending they were only half a mile ahead. Further food-driven fragmentation and re-assembly led to 4:4:1 split, the whereabouts of the Punctured 1 remaining unknown. Mirabile dictu, the cloud rolled back, glorious evening sunshine, and the Five, now supplemented by Puncture who had taken a shorter route through Newmarket, pressed on as far as Chippenham before dissociating yet further with the departure of Two for Isleham and beyond. The Mott Three then rode in against a head wind, admirably led, as far as Burwell, where a favourable gradient began to assist,
and cruised home at 22mph and more (but sometimes less), too late for the planned refuelling. The MTB&H subunit, their relative map-reading skill allowing more than expected refuelling time, waited loyally at the Plough, but in vain, for their anti-clockwise, directionally-challenged, R&C colleagues. Futile noted, of Newmarket Road, that there are many traffic lights; and their timing caters for motorists, not cyclists. 54 miles, under 4 hours. Chapeaux!