Thursday, 28 April 2016

28 Apr: Thursday ride to Lode and Kentford

Edward writes: Apparently this ride would create history in that our two leaders today were both women, with Averil leading the group from the city and Sharon leading from Hauxton. This ride would also be a longer summer ride taking in Anglesey Abbey in Lode and the Animal Health Trust in Kentford. This morning we welcomed John who was riding with us for the first time. In the last week or so we seemed to have had more frosty mornings than all of the so-called winter months put together. However, after another overnight frost the skies were clear and bright but the biggest bonus was that the wind had finally shifted away from the North and was now much more westerly.

Young member at Hauxton

Sharon led the ride out of Hauxton which was a group of fifteen (eight at Brookside), into Little Shelford, Great Shelford, over the railway at the station and up Hinton Way to the Gog Magog golf course.

Little Shelford

With the wind now changed climbing the Gog hills was much less arduous than usual and we soon arrived in Fulbourn. Both the Wilbrahams came and went and we arrived in Bottisham for the final run in to Anglesey Abbey in Lode at exactly the same time as Avril’s group who had left Cambridge along side the river. As they were a bit early they did a loop round Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck.

About to cross over the A14 at Bottisham


As usual we were joined by many others, among them Vic who it is always a pleasure to see, which meant there were at least thirty club members at the cafe. After the usual exchange of personnel, and as we were going over the Lodes Way, we left Lode in rather a long convoy. Obviously, once on the Lodes Way and away from the traffic this was no problem.

On the Lodes Way

At the turning for Burwell we split into two groups; Avril took a small group of seven towards Burwell along Little Fen Drove whilst Sharon led a much larger group up to Wicken and subsequently to Fordham and Chippenham.

Those Red Sox again

Meanwhile Avril took us into the North end of Burwell, which was little error, but soon corrected, allowing us to take the long route via Heath Road past the solar farm to Exning. Another mile or so brought us to Newmarket and now the most attractive part of the route began as we left the town beside the gallops to join the pleasantly rural and mostly quiet ride to Moulton.

Newmarket Gallops


This gave us a chance to see that the daffodils are finally fading away but are now replaced by the bluebells. When we reached Moulton we used the B1085 to run down to Kentford, a left turn along the B1056 and we arrived at the Animal Health Trust shortly after 1 pm and 34 miles after leaving Hauxton, and finding Sharon’s group already there.

Lunch at Kentford

With so many of us sitting in the courtyard we caused a minor panic amongst the staff, but they soon overcame their shock and it didn’t take long to get everyone served, especially as the group wasn’t quite as large as it first appeared as many had brought sandwiches. During lunch the skies clouded over and one or two threatening clouds loomed into view and the temperature dropped. This probably encouraged quite a few to leave early and make their own way home. About ten minutes later a final group of eleven set off for home. We went back into Moulton and now as we faced south west we would ride into the wind. Between Moulton and Cheveley there is a stiff climb which gives way to a great descent into Cheveley.

The hill between Moulton and Cheveley

We turned right in Cheveley and followed the signs for Stetchworth but never actually going there as we now branched off to Dullingham. When we reached Dullingham the group split again with about half going back to Cambridge via Swaffham Bulbeck and Sharon’s group headed off towards West Wratting.


We finished the ride via Balsham and Hildersham and the ride between these two villages was in sharp contrast to two weeks ago. Then it was thunder, lightening and torrential rain, but this time two Hercules aircraft appeared from behind the hill to our right and for a few moments it seemed they were only just above ground level - quite a sight. After Great Abington, Sawston and Great Shelford and back to Hauxton we finished the ride at 4.15 pm and 62 enjoyable miles. Warm thanks to Sharon for devising the route and to Averil for willingly leading the City start group. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track from Hauxton(GPX).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

27 Apr: Evening ride to Hemingford Abbots

Nigel writes: The weather forecast for tonight's ride along the busway to St Ives and the Hemingfords was distinctly poor, with rain predicted to last all evening. However we have hardly ever have had to cancel an evening ride due to bad weather and so it was more out of habit than anything else that I got myself ready and set off to Brookside in good time for a 6.30pm start. It was drizzling steadily as I rode across town, and really rather cold, and I quickly decided that a ride this evening wouldn't be much fun and that I would simply turn up at the start and cancel it.

This idea evaporated the moment I arrived at Brookside. There I found John R and Dr John, who had already ridden over ten miles into Cambridge to take part in tonight's ride and would be riding back along the busway whether I came with them or not, so I decided I might as well.

We set off through the City Centre, up Castle Hill and along Huntingdon Road to Girton. Along the way in Bridge Street we were joined by Tom, bringing our number up to four. When we reached Girton we rode through the village and turned onto the busway, which we followed all the way to St Ives. From there a loop along the Thicket Path to Houghton followed by a rode across the Ouse Meadows would bring us to Hemingford Abbots for our pub stop.

On the busway

As we made our way along the busway it continued to drizzle steadily, but the main cause of our discomfort was the cold, with a temperature of 3C at the start falling steadily to about 2C by the time we reached Hemingford Abbots. You wouldn't have known that May 1st was only four days away.

St Ives

We stopped for drinks and bowls of chips at The Axe and Compass in Hemingford Abbots, where we were joined by Mike CC who had made his own way there.

Afterwards we set off back home. Fortunately the rain had stopped, though the temperature had continued to fall. As we rode back through Hemingford Grey, St Ives and then back along the busway the others peeled off in turn as they neared their houses, leaving just me to return all the way back to Cambridge. I arrived home at 9.50pm having cycled 36 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Rides in May and June

We're now approaching the longest days of summer (though during the unseasonably cold weather this April it probably doesn't feel like it), and our May and June rides lists are now available.

The main changes take place on Sundays, where we're offering a mix of rides which we hope will offer something for everyone. Our morning departures (from Brookside at 9am) will roughly alternate between what we're calling light day rides, which stop for morning coffee and lunch before returning back to Cambridge around 4pm, and full day rides which stop for tea as well, aiming to return before 6pm. In addition our afternoon rides depart from Brookside at either 1.30pm or 2pm with a stop for tea.

All our other rides continue as normal. Our hugely-popular rides every Thursday continue with parallel village and city centre starts points but the same coffee and lunch stops. 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.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

24 Apr: Sunday afternoon ride to Ashdon

This is our 1001st ride report!

John F writes: Eight cyclists met at Brookside at 1pm, including a guest CTC member from the Cotswolds, Bob M. The weather was perfect with a slight southerly breeze. The early start time allowed us a longish ride to tea and we set off eastwards through Fen Ditton, Quy to Dullingham. There we turned south until the crossroads from there we went through West Wickham, Horseheath. Cardinal’s Green, Shudy Camps to Ashdon.

From Bottisham the route was along delightfully traffic-free lanes. Arriving at the museum at 3.40pm we met Mike S, Simon (back on his bike after a lay-off with knee problems) and Steve. A scrumptious tea was, as usual , enjoyed al fresco. Stan's GPS had recorded a distance of 25 miles.

The return route via Red Oaks Hill and the quiet lane to Seward's End into Saffron Walden, past Audley End House. over Coploe HiIl and on via Hinxton brought us into Cambridge at 6.15pm. Stan and his GPS were not with us on the return route but my guess for the total distance is 47 miles. John Ferguson