Sunday, 2 August 2009

2 Aug: Afternoon ride to Stechworth

It was another warm Summer afternoon, and five riders turned out at Brookside for today's afternoon ride to Stechworth. Our planned ride leader was indisposed, so I led the ride to Addenbrooke's (where we had to take a diversion around the far side of the hospotal due to Robinson Way being closed) and along the DNA path to Great Shelford. From there we continued along NCR 11 to Stapleford and Sawston, where we took a left turn to Babraham. This route out of Cambridge is rather suburban, and only when we left Sawston behind did we feel that we had left Cambridge behind and were at last in the countryside.

On arrival in Babraham we took the farm road and track that leads to a footbridge over the A11. With its steep steps this isn't the easiest of bridges to heave our bikes over, but at least the presence of metal channels on the steps shows that the authorities recognise and welcome its use by cyclists.

Once over the bridge we rode round the edge of Abington and crossed the A1307 to Hildersham and up the hill to Balsham.

From Balsham we took the road to West Wickham, which as always involves a splendid fast descent followed by a swooping climb back up to West Wickham. Here we turned left and headed north to Carlton Green where we took the road to Little Thurlow. This is one of my favourite roads in the area: narrow, winding and very quiet. At Little Thurlow we checked the map and considered our route options. After briefly considering the possibility of taking an extra loop further east via Kirtling we decided to take the direct route, along the B1061 (below) through Great Bradley and Burrough Green to Dullingham. Despite this being a B road it was very quiet and pleasant.

On reaching Dullingham we turned right and after a further mile arrived at Stechworth for tea at the Marquis of Granby.

At tea we met a larger-then-usual contingent from the all-day ride and a few others who had ridden there directly, making thirteen in total. Although we have had tea here many times in the past this was our first visit since it changed hands recently, so I am pleased to report that after some initial confusion was sorted out, tea was entirely satisfactory, with an adequate number of sandwiches, plenty of tea to drink and more cake than we could eat.

After a noticeably relaxed and convivial tea we made our way back to Cambridge, and the relaxed mood continued on the ride back. I rode with the main group (above) via Dullingham and Six Mile Bottom to Little Wilbraham, where several riders split off to Fulbourn and south-west Cambridge. I continued with the remainder of the group to Quy and Fen Dutton and finally along the Jubilee Cycleway into Cambridge.

I arrived back home at about 7.10pm. Total mileage: 45 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

Photos 2 and 4 by Gareth Rees. Licence: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA v2.0

No comments:

Post a Comment