Sunday, 13 September 2009

13 Sept: Afternoon ride to Ashdon

There was a very autumnal feel to the weather today, with overcast skies and a cool breeze. Although no rain was forecast, I could feel a few raindrops in the wind as I rode to the start. So I was pleased to see a total of eight riders at Brookside for today's ride to Ashdon, including two new riders who had not been out with us before.

Gareth led us south out of Cambridge by the same route as we had taken last week, through Trumpington and the Shelfords to Whittlesford and Duxford. A brisk northerly breeze pushed us along from behind, helping us to make rapid progress. At Duxford we we turned right onto Grange Road (below), the long straight road that runs south of Duxford Airfield. Last week this road had been busy with planespotters enjoying the air show. Today was much quieter, with just a single biplane buzzing about overhead.

From Chrishall Grange we took an indirect route (below) to Elmdon via Lodge Farm. After passing through Elmdon we dropped down to the B1039 which we followed to Wendens Ambo. From there a short climb took us into Saffron Walden.

From Saffron Walden a long but gentle climb took us to Ashdon which we reached at about 4.20pm. Here we stopped for tea at the Village Museum, where we were served tea and cakes by the friendly volunteers there. Unusually, nobody else from the club turned up at tea so there was just the eight of us there, enjoying not just free refills of tea but free second helpings of cake too.

After tea, with the time still only five o'clock, there was desire amongst some riders for a longer ride back, so we returned to Cambridge in two separate groups.

One group, led by Jacob, went back by the direct route via Linton, Abington, Babraham and Sawston.

I rode back with the other group, which took a longer route via West Wratting, Six Mile Bottom and Quy. Despite this taking us directly into the headwind we kept up quite a strong pace, partly due to the lead taken by newcomer Simon and partly due to the power of Ashdon Museum chocolate cake. As a result we were back home sooner than I expected, arriving back in Cambridge before 6.30pm, after having cycled a very respectable 48 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map


  1. Arrived at Brookside at 08.45am was some what mystified at around 09.15 to an abundance of nobody, however I had an early start and was determined to make the most of it, so I headed out on route of last weeks ride which I enjoyed. Arrived at Royston and carried on with a much unplanned tour of various places such as, Ashwell, Potton Sandy Gamlingay Longstowe and eventually after 75 miles Cambridge, How does one know if anybody is going to turn up or was this just a bit of beginners luck?
    See you all soon

  2. I'm sorry to hear that no-one turned up for today's all-day ride (that explains why we didn't see anyone from the day ride at tea).

    I believe the leader had to drop out, though normally another leader emerges from those who turn up.

    This is a rare occurence and I hope it doesn't put you off trying to come again on one of our rides. If you'd like to double-check before coming on a future ride, please feel free to contact us by email or phone: contact details are posted on