Sunday, 5 April 2009

5th April: Afternoon ride to Balsham

Today was another warm and sunny spring afternoon, and so we had a good turnout for the start at Brookside: Simon, Mike Sl, Mike K, Alison, Gareth, Jacob and me.

I led the group across Parker's Piece, onto Midsummer Common (where we were joined by David S) and east out of Cambridge along the river to Fen Ditton and Quy. Just beyond Quy (below) we made a right turn onto the long straight road that leads to Little Wilbraham and Six Mile Bottom.

At Six Mile Bottom we turned left onto the main road for half a mile before tuning right once more onto an unsurfaced byway that leads to a manually-operated level crossing, with red and green lights telling road users when it is safe to cross.

At the crossing we stopped and waited for Jacob and Mike Sl , who had separated from the main group at Little Wilbraham to take an alternative off-road route, to rejoin us. Whilst we were waiting, Mike C from Burwell came past on his mountain bike.

After Jacob and Mike arrived we carried on. Beyond the railway crossing the track becomes a road again; a lovely, quiet road (below) which we followed all the way up to Westley Waterless.

At Westley Waterless we turned right to Brinkley through which we passed on the way to Carlton and Carlton Green. Somewhere along the way we met the a large group from what I think was the Veteran's Cycling Club. Amongst the passing riders we spotted Ian W.

At Carlton Green we were only a few miles from the tea stop, but with over an hour left we decided to take a big loop to the east. This took us along to Little Thurlow along another of the nicest narrow lanes in the area. Then we followed the main road for a short distance to Great Thurlow where we turned back to Withersfield and West Wickham.

From West Wickham (above) it was only a short descent followed by a final short climb to Balsham, where we stopped for tea at the Bell PH.

Waiting outside the pub we found George who had come on his own. After a few minutes we were joined by Bob, Adrian, Mick and Joseph from the day ride as well as Steve who had also ridden out separately.

After tea we had a short, fast and mostly downhill ride back to Cambridge.
Total distance: 40 miles.

View Larger Map

1 comment:

  1. After tea me Jacob and mike sl decided to go back on the old Roman rd. I was a bit apprehensive as I did not have my mountain bike but thought sod it at the last minute and went for it. Anyway my apprehension soon dissipated as we cycled miles upon miles of smooth track, I was using 28mm Schwalbe TT but even 20mm racing tyres would of been adequate. This is a very pleasant track, a complete contrast to the noisy fast and busy Balsham rd. I got home well before dark and it seemed a lot quicker than the usual noisy smelly Balsham rd.