Crossing the bypass to the north of Cambridge, I took the Newmarket road, which is lightly-trafficked and has some lovely, swinging bends to blast the bike around. At the end, I just felt like doing it again, so turned illegally right, which took me onto the bypass, drove back to the previous exit, and rode that delicious, curvy section of road again!
I knew there was a roundabout somewhere towards Newmarket where it would be sensible to turn right and head south back towards home, but instead I just went straight on, heading into the unknown. I followed my nose for a bit, riding through Stetchworth and Ditton Green, turning right in Saxon Street down to Kirtling, Kirtling Green and then Cowlinge.
Eventually the tiny roads spat me out onto the A143 down to Haverhill, from where I took the Steeple Bumpstead road, which gradually turned south-west and took me through Hempstead. (Don't you just love all these village names?) In Hempstead I followed a sign for Saffron Waldon, soon ending up on familiar territory.
The seat on the BMW is not the most comfortable, or maybe I'm just losing my natural padding as I get older, but anyhow, by now my bum was pretty sore, and I still hadn't had any lunch. I'd originally planned to go down to Stansted, then across to the A10, or to just follow my nose along roughly that route, but the hunger and pain were enough to make me point the bike homewards.
Of course, my hidden agenda for this ride was also to face up to the demons that have grown in my head ever since my crash in May. I was quite traumatised by the crash, and have not ridden much since, so taking the opportunity to get some saddle miles was a good thing to do and by the time I was on the twisty bit between Saffron Waldon and Barley, I really was enjoying myself, pressing on much more confidently than when I set out this morning, laying into the bends where I was confident I could see the line and really exploring some of the extremes of accelleration the bike is capable of. By 'eck, it don't 'alf go!
It's about 15 miles from home to Cambridge, but by the time I parked the bike back in the garage, a couple of hours after getting it out, I'd done 82 miles, which is not bad for a shopping trip.
Will it still be sunny on Friday?