Kimbolton and neighbours, Cambridgeshire

Posted by davidearl on 11 October 2009 in English (English)

In Cambridgeshire terms, a bit like an uncharted backwater in the western spiral arm of the galaxy. Neverthless a little corner of the county bordering on Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire that was missing from the map.

It didn't used to be like that. Kimbolton used to be on the main A45 road from Ipswich to Birmingham via Cambridge and Northampton. The A14, a motorway in all but name a few miles to the north took all the heavy traffic away a few years ago, though the now B road along the Kym valley is still surprisingly busy. But the many-times-repaired wall on the extremely sharp and narrow corner of London Road shows the scars of quite how much of a bottle neck this must have been.

Kimbolton is pretty village, having more the feel of a small town really though the population can't be more than 2,000, dominated by Kimbolton School, an independent school based around a grand stately home with parts designed by Robert Adam. The High Street is especially grand, about 25m wide and almost a town square - leading up to the gates of the school - a bit like Marlborough in Wiltshire or Appleby in Cumberland. No less than two tea shops, excellent news for a thirsty mapper on a warm day, and a couple of up-market delicatessens, an old fashioned independent electricals store and an even older gents outfitters - it's a wonder they survive, though rich parents and students at the School no doubt bring a lot of money into the village.

On the way out from the bus at St Neots, paused to map Great Staughton, a dull little village. Kimbolton, being smaller than expected, left time also to map the next small village west, Tilbrook, and Kimbolton's immediate neighbour, Stonely. I also climbed a long hill out of the valley following Industrial Estate signs, only to find when I got home that someone had already mapped it, oops. Conversely I see I should have taken a small detour via a hamlet called Dillington on the way back for completeness.

Every time I go mapping west of the A1 I seem to get a puncture. This time was no exception. So a long day, and useful, but a lower mapping to wasted time ratio than I'd hoped: even having finished and had endless cups of tea, it was still one and a half hours to wait for the bus to St Neots, so biked it instead, only to have to wait an hour for the X5 to Cambridge which is supposed to be every half hour.

Location: Kimbolton CP (Hunts), Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, East of England, England, United Kingdom

Comment from drlizau on 11 October 2009 at 19:58

Because Tribulus terrestris is a very common problem here, known as catheads (but called puncture vine in California), I always use tyre sealant. Others use Kevlar tyre liners and now I have one bike with tyres which are "puncture-proof" as sold.
Of course the simple act of carrying a spare tyre and tyre levers is cheaper than even a bus fare.

Comment from davidearl on 12 October 2009 at 08:54

Don't worry, I did have everything I needed to mend it, it's just the frustration of delay getting one, again, in the first place. I've never had much success with tyre sealant. I was on the bus part way anyway (it's a folding bike) because it was too far to cycle to the start point and then spend a day cycling round every street and then back again (it was over 60km just doing what I did, and adding 80km to and from St Neots would have been beyond me, and taken most of the day travelling).

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