Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Rides in July and August

Our July and August rides lists are now available with details of our programme of rides over the hottest months of the summer, with many of our rides extended slightly to take advantage of the good weather.

On Sundays our all-day rides will alternate between a longer Sunday full day ride (with an afternoon tea stop) and a shorter Sunday light day ride (which heads home after lunch), with separate Sunday afternoon rides every week. Our Sunday riders have three "home teas" at members' houses to look forward to this summer: these will be in Over, Clavering and West Wratting, and will be visited by both our rides that day.

Our Thursday rides will continue to operate with separate city and village start points to help us manage the numbers better. The two groups always meet up at coffee before dividing back into two for the ride to lunch.

Our evening rides continue every Wednesday. Our senior cyclists' group continues to meet for lunch every Tuesday, and our leisurely Saturday short social rides take place twice a month.

29 Jun: Evening ride to Quy

Nigel writes: There were just three of us out tonight: Andrew, Kenny and me, but we enjoyed a leisurely lap around one of my favourite local loops followed by a pleasant half-hour of beer and chips. No doubt many of the regulars had been put off by the unpromising weather: it was dull, damp and dreary, though we didn't actually encounter any rain until we we were almost home at the end (and that was little more than light drizzle).

Our route was an "anticlockwise Dullingham loop". This involved leaving Cambridge along Hills Road before turning onto Wort's Causeway for our first short climb over the Gogs to Fulbourn. We then continued on the flat through the Wilbrahams to Six Mile Bottom, arriving there at about 7.25pm. Although we probably had time for an extended loop via Wadlows Farm I felt in a leisurely mood and so we took the more direct route directly up the hill to Cemetery Crossroads before turning north to Dullingham. The weather stayed dull and overcast throughout, with quite a strong southerly wind, but there was no rain and once we had warmed up it wasn't cold.

Kenny and Andrew pass the Polo Club at Dullingham

Dullingham marked the most distant point on the ride. From there we turned west towards Swaffham Bulback, Bottisham and Quy. The rides list had originally proposed visiting The Plough in Fen Ditton so that we could sit out by the river in the warm evening sunshine, but tonight wasn't really the weather for sitting outside so at about 8.20pm we called in at The White Swan in Quy instead, where our bowls of chips were served almost immediately.

Afterwards we continued home to Cambridge via Fen Ditton and Ditton Meadows. Along the way it began to rain, but it didn't amount to much and I didn't bother to put on my waterproofs. I arrived home a few minutes later at 9.30pm, having cycled 48km (30 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

Sunday, 26 June 2016

26 Jun: Sunday afternoon ride to West Wratting

Peter writes: Hoping for a more pleasant afternoon than the previous day (hail in Cambridge!), six of us left Brookside: John F, Matt, Mike K, Stan, Simon and myself.

We headed straight down Hills Road, using the finished part of the cycleway, on to Worts Causeway and over the hill into Fulbourn, aiming to get out of town as quickly as possible. We then continued through the Wilbrahams and on to Brinkley. Here is John with a great view behind him on the climb up from Six Mile Bottom:

John climbing from Six Mile Bottom

At Carlton Green we decided we had time for a longer loop via Temple End Road and The Thurlows. Here we are with the sun out:

The ride at Carlton Green (John is behind the camera)

The roads around the loop had been hit pretty badly by the previous days’ weather: there was an informal ford at one point and countless places with gravel and earth scattered right across the road so care was needed. At Withersfield the ride got separated as some of us didn’t hear me call to turn right towards West Wratting. After a token attempt to chase them I gave up and led the rest to the tea stop. The others turned up about ten minutes later, having taken a longer loop (I was not too worried as they all know the area.)

Tea at The Chestnut Tree, West Wratting

There were eighteen of us at tea in total. Afterwards most of the ride returned straight back via Balsham to Cambridge, but a small group came with me via Dullingham and Swaffham Bulbeck for a bit more riding. Along the way I had a good chat with Lesley about her electric bike conversion; her bike is a similar vintage to mine and she has added a new front wheel, battery pack and sensor, and the result seemed to be working very well. I arrived home at 7pm after riding around 47 miles. This was good timing as heavy rain started about half an hour later. Peter Hutchison

Thursday, 23 June 2016

23 Jun: Thursday ride to Hare Street and Standon

Edward writes: During last night there was very heavy rainfall, but by the time we all left home to head to Brookside and Haslingfield we only had overcast skies. In fact the outlook didn't look promising and thunderstorms were predicted for later in the day. This was also one of those oppressive days when the air seems to hang heavy making simple tasks (cycling included) more of an effort.

This week's ride was a joint Averil - Mike C production, with Averil leading from Brookside (6 riders), and Mike from Haslingfield (8 riders). Low numbers, but perhaps the weather outlook may have deterred some.

From Haslingfield we went through to Harston and over the hill into Newton. One big plus for us was the absence of any wind which always makes it easier, so we were able to make good progress through Thriplow and Fowlmere.


On the ride up to the A505 at Flint Cross there is a field given over to wild flowers, mainly poppies, and it turned a quite ordinary road into something very attractive.

Between Fowlmere and Flint Cross

After we crossed the A505 we had our first encounter with the hills in this Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire border area.

After Flint Cross

However, we all successfully arrived in Barley, including Mike CC, and now began the rolling roads through Shaftenhoe End to Nuthampstead and Anstey, all very delightful.



In Anstey we headed towards the B1368 but turned to our left and used the quiet road which runs parallel to it and brought us out in Great Hormead. This left us with a mile or so to Hare Street and our coffee break at the March Hare Coffee Shop. Averil’s group arrived a little later having spent time trying to repair Rupert’s patches (sorry, it should be tube). There was a suggestion that we should have a whip round to buy Rupert a new tube, but sadly there were no takers. It was as well that we came to the cafe as, apart from one local, we were the only customers, but we were well looked after and had an enjoyable break.

Hare Street

After coffee quite a few went home, but with the addition of Peter W we still had a dozen going on to Standon for our next break. This started with a short ride to Buntingford and Aspenden.

Hare Street to Buntingford

We now headed southward taking in Westmill and Nasty before turning off in Great Munden. Adrian, meanwhile turned off in Nasty to take in a loop round Cherry Green. After Great Munden we quickly came to the A10 which gave us a trip round Puckeridge and back to the A10 again for the crossing into Standon. Unusually, everyone had brought sandwiches or chose to buy a roll in Day’s meaning nobody went into the pub for lunch, so we all sat outside on benches in the village street.

Between Aspenden and Great Munden

Between Aspenden and Great Munden

At 2 pm we started the afternoon session by going back to Puckeridge and briefly joined the B1368 up to Braughing where we were able to turn off and join quiet country lanes again. This enabled us to complete a hat trick of Pelhams passing through Furneux, Stocking and finally Brent Pelham. Not only did we do the hat trick we were also passing through wonderful countryside and despite there being no sun it’s noticeable that the fields of barley are beginning to take on a golden glow which is a sobering thought as next month it will be being harvested.

Brent Pelham

All this brought us to Langley Lower Green, Upper Green and Duddenhoe End where the descent from the hills begins. We came home through Chrishall, Chrishall Grange, Fowlmere and Thriplow arriving in Shelford just after 4.0 pm having covered 56 miles. We missed all the rain and we had a really good day out which means a big thank you to Averil and Mike for successfully navigating us round all the little lanes. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).