Sunday, 28 March 2010

28 Mar: Afternoon ride to West Wratting

It was a cool afternoon with intermittent sun and patches of blue sky visible through the dark clouds, and seven riders had remembered to set their clocks forward in time for the afternoon ride.

Bob Billingham had fallen off his bike on Friday, but bravely turned out to lead the ride. He had suggested splitting the ride into slow and fast groups, but nobody was particularly keen on that idea, and we stuck together and followed his slow ride. I was nursing a sore achilles tendon from last Sunday’s ride, so I was glad to have a fairly gentle pace.

Bob led us down the DNA path to Great Shelford, across to Sawston and Babraham, and over the A11 by the footbridge.

We took the Hildersham road to Linton and then turned southeast to Bartlow and the Camps. I’m afraid I’m not all that familiar with these roads, and I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should, but I think we got as far as Castle Camps before turning north again. There was a strong westerly wind that slowed us down as we passed through West Wickham, but we got to West Wratting only a couple of minutes late.

Tea at the Chestnut Tree was excellent value for £3, with cheese and ham sandwiches, chocolate cake, and a delicious home-made rhubarb and ginger sponge cake. For the return journey, we split up, with Jacob leading an off-road party along the Roman Road from Balsham to the Gog Magog hills, and me leading the less intrepid cyclists down the road to Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton.

I always like it when the clocks go forward: no riding back in darkness, and no need for lights. The sun was still well above the horizon when we got back to town by about 18:00. Just 37 miles, but a very fine ride.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

21 Mar: "End of Hibernation" audax

Gareth writes: As I’m sure most of you know, Audax is a form of organized long-distance cycling in which riders aim to complete a route within a time limit, but do not (in theory) race against each other.

John Juckes of Cambridge Cycling Club put on a 200 km Audax ride on Sunday, the “End of Hibernation”, starting and finishing at Haslingfield Village Hall.

I had never previously done a 200 km Audax, but I did a 220 km ride last summer and so I thought I had a good chance of finishing in time, but since the last time I did a ride over 100 km was back in September I feared I might be lacking in fitness.

The morning brought the usual dilemma about what to wear. Shorts or longs? It was a cold day but with clear skies and sunshine, so I gambled on shorts.

There were about forty riders at the 08:00 start, and I was soon left well behind: I know better than to try to chase. The first section is a route that I've done many times before: over the Gog Magog hills to Fulbourn, then the Wilbrahams, Six Mile Bottom, Dullingham, Stetchworth, and across to the café at Stradishall. In Great Wilbraham at about 08:45 I passed Geoff setting out to lead the day ride.

The controls were a mixture of “information” controls (something to discover and record at a point on the ride, such as the wording on a sign) and “commercial” controls (rolls of stickers in the cafés). There were no manned controls other than the start and finish: these would have been rather tedious to operate, as the gap between the fastest and slowest riders grew to more than four hours.

From Stradishall the route continued east into Suffolk, passing Denston, the steep climb to Hartest, Felsham, and Rattlesden, to the Lakes Café at Onehouse near Stowmarket. On the road to Denston a large group of cyclists came the other way, shouting “you’re going the wrong way”. It was clear that they weren’t audaxers, so no damage was done, but it seemed rather mean-spirited to me.

There seemed to be a lot of dead chicks, or more properly embryos, on the road. I saw several carrion crows picking at them. I wonder why this is? Are they chicks that died in the egg and failed to hatch? Or are there scavengers that steal eggs and discard the embryos?

On the A134 near Cockfield I punctured, and discovered that my spare inner tube, never used, had two big holes in it. Luckily my second spare inner tube was good. I patched the first spare (just in case) and crossed my fingers that I wouldn't puncture again.

After Onehouse, the route turned southwest along the B1115 through Bildeston, Monks Eleigh, Sudbury, and then to the tea rooms at Finchingfield. This section was a bit of a low point for me: the B road was rather dull, and the headwind blowing across the Suffolk downs meant that I was often barely exceeding the 15 km/hour minimum speed. I got to Finchingfield (144 km) at 16:00 feeling quite wrecked. Some tea and cake and half an hour’s sit down improved matters, and once I got going again, the evening was cooling, and the wind dying down.

After tea, the route headed west through Thaxted, Brent Pelham, and Great Hormead to Hare Street. This was familiar territory from CTC day and afternoon rides. I see that I crossed Sunday’s day ride at Clavering, but of course they were long gone by then.

At Hare Street it was about 18:50 and getting dark. But I know the way home through Barkway, Barley, Newton and Fowlmere very well, and I was at the finish at 20:05, the second-to-last of all the finishers (there was one rider who abandoned due to mechanical and motivational problems). For comparison, the fastest finishers were in at 15:30!

Thanks to John Juckes for organizing the ride, and to Simon Proven, who assisted with the administration. Sorry, Simon, for shouting at you to dip your light, but it was very bright.

What with the ride being a bit over distance, and getting to the start, and getting home again, I had 244 km (151 miles) for the day.

View End of Hibernation 200 km Audax in a larger map

21 Mar: Day ride to Clavering and Puckeridge

Joseph Sugg writes: It had been bright and sunny since 5:30am so it was no real hardship to get out for the 9.30am start from Brookside this morning.

Geoff was our leader today. Also at the start were myself, Averil, Mick, Tom, Simon and Brian. We set off towards Shelford. In the Shelfords we saw Jim and Val, but they were put off by our pace and went their own way.

We carried on through Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton. At Ickleton we climbed the steep hill to Elmdon.

After a right and a left on the B1039 we climbed again to Duddenhoe End and then to Langley Upper Green where the road bisects the cricket field. Turning left here, we headed to Butts Green and Roast Green before turning left and left at the sign for Clavering Lakes.

At Clavering there is a cafe serving hot and cold food. It's reasonable although we had a little wait for our coffee. Here we met John and Greta and Vic who had made their own way. We also saw Jim and Val again, just as we were leaving.
Back on the road we headed into Clavering and onto the Bishops Stortford road. After a mile we turned right to Stocking Pelham and Furneux Pelham and then onto Braughing, before reaching our lunch stop at the Crown and Falcon in Puckeridge.

The Crown and Falcon is a normal small town pub with a few locals. It is very friendly with very reasonably priced food. The servings are good too. I had a sausage baguette which came with a large salad. Also there were Brian from Bedford, Bob and Myrtle, and Joan and David.

After a good length stop we turned south over the A120 through Standon and along a quiet road which brought us out in Little Hadham. Then back across the A120. We then turned right to a little village called Farnham and on to Manuden, just north of Bishops Stortford. We then climbed to Clavering before going to Langley Lower Green and taking the small hilly road to Barley. Here we joined the B1368. With the wind behind and most of it downhill we picked up pace down to Flint Cross where we crossed the A505. We carried on to Fowlmere getting there at 4:40pm, just 10 minutes late. Not too bad.

Tom and Geoff stayed for tea, whilst myself, Mick and Averil set sail for home. Mick set the pace again and I got home in just 30 minutes. For the second week running it was a fantastic day for cycling and I think we made the most of it, thanks to Geoff. Total mileage 70 miles. Joseph Sugg.

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21 Mar: Afternoon ride to Fowlmere

Today was bright and dry, with intermittent sunshine, and feeling distinctly warm. Spring is here at last!

Six riders turned up at Brookside for today's ride to Fowlmere, with several of us wearing shorts and risking exposed knees for the first time this year. I was the ride leader today. I chose a route to get us out of Cambridge as quickly as possible: south along Trumpington Road to Trumpington and then along Shelford Road to the Shelfords, from where we took the road to Whittlesford.

After passing throigh Whittlesford we crossed over the A505 and continued to Duxford. We continued via Hinxton to Ickleton where we started the climb of Coploe Hill up to Catmere End. As we rode along we passed quite a few club cyclists going the other way, probably on the 100K and 200K Audax events taking place today.

At the cross-roads just beyond Catmere End we turned right towards Littlebury Green (and ROYSTOИ).

After passing through Littlebury Green we dropped down to the B1039 and turned west. This is surely the quietest B-road in the area, and it was a delight to ride along. When we reached the turn to Chrishall we turned off again and rode through Chrishall, which is a very nice village served by quiet, narrow lanes and which we don't visit very often. Beyond Chrishall the road descends, and with the help of a tailwind several of us put on a burst of speed as we dropped down to Chrishall Grange. From here a left turn took us up the the A505 and, just beyond, Fowlmere.

At The Queen's Head we found George, David S and Steve, and after a while Tom and Geoff arrived from the day ride, making a total of eleven for tea.

After tea we returned to Cambridge. Although the temperature was falling slightly it was still quite light and several of us took a route back via Thriplow, where it the Daffodil festival had been taking place all weekend. By now everybody had gone or was packing up; there were plenty of daffodils along the verges but very few were in flower; they are sure to look lovely in another couple of weeks.

After leaving Thriplow we returned via Newton, the Shelfords and the DNA path to Addenbrooke's, reaching central Cambridge by about 6pm, after having covered about 35 miles.

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Saturday, 20 March 2010

20 Mar: Saturday introductory ride to Horningsea

Today's short introductory ride to Horningsea had been designated "George's Birthday Ride" in honour of our chairman's eightieth birthday the previous day. As a result, no fewer than seventeen riders turned out on a dull, drizzly morning, including George himself, at least one other octagenarian and three newcomers for whom this was their first club ride.

Ian led us into the city centre before taking us west along Garret Hostel Lane and Burrels Walk to West Cambridge. Our progress was slow and stateley, as befitted the occasion. We then turned north along Clerk Maxwell Road.

We crossed Madingley Road and cut through the Institute of Astronomy to Huntingdon Road, which we followed out of Cambridge to Girton. We then cut east through Histon and Milton before taking the cycle path along the A10 to Waterbeach from where it was a short ride to Peter's house in Horningsea, where Peter R and Janice were waiting.

Peter was waiting with tea, coffee, and warmed hot cross buns. I brought out the birthday cake I had been carrying with me, arranged the candles and lit them. We then sung "happy birthday to you" after which George blew out the candles. Janice led three cheers and George ceremonially cut the first slice of cake.

After a very pleasant refreshment stop we returned back to Cambridge. Several riders including George took the direct route home via Fen Ditton, whilst Ian led about eight riders north back to Clayhithe and then along the riverside path to Cambridge.

I was back home by 1.20pm after having cycled 20 miles.

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Sunday, 14 March 2010

14 Mar: Day ride to Waresley, Grafham and Caxton

Joseph Sugg writes: The forecast for today's ride was good, and so it proved. I got my bike out only to discover I had a puncture, and as I had left it to the last minute I didn't get going till 9:45am. Having missed the start at Brookside I took the most direct route to Waresley. I soon discovered a fierce headwind which was evident all day. Despite the wind it was warm, and I soon took the jacket and gloves off.

I went through Grantchester then onto the B1046 and onto Barton, Comberton, Toft and Bourn. At Bourn I turned off towards Caxton. From Caxton the much improved road surface helped a lot and I began to make some headway in the headwind. After the Gransdens I caught the rest of the group just as they were reaching Waresley at 11:15pm. Our Leader today was Mick Cousins and there were plenty out. Waresley is one of our favourite stops, and it was packed as usual, especially it being Mothering Sunday.

After coffee John and Greta went home whilst the rest carried on allbeit split up into faster and slower groups. The wind continued to be a pain, and we made slow progress. We left Waresley and took the small road out of Waresley and then up to Abbotsley. At Abbotsley we took a short cut up a muddy track and then turned briefly back onto the B1046 before turning off and up to Croxton. Then over the A428 up Gravely before turning towards the offords. Through the Offords and over the east coast main line and into Buckden. At Buckden you get across the A1 by using the subway (I wish there were more). This took us onto the B661. You are soon aware of the big wall of the reservoir on your right. This is Grafham Water. You stay on this road to Perry. At Perry there is a visitor centre which has a cafe serving hot lunches. Very friendly staff and reasonable prices.

We were all pretty shattered by the time we got to Grafham, so lunch was very welcome. We stayed a while and watched the boats on the lake, it was pretty rough today. There is a very good rough cycle track around Grafham which is well worth cycling if you have time. You can ride it with kids and even hire bikes. We didn't have time today as we didin't leave till after two. We turned right onto the B661 and continued till Dillington where we turned off for Staughton Highway. Here we did a left and right and started up the longish slog up to Staughton moor. The signpost at the top of the hill is aptly called Top Hill.

We turned left and left again at Bushmead. There is a Priory here, which I still haven't visited. We came into St Neots via Duloe, then down the hill and over the river and up to market square. Went though the back of the market to join the B1043 and through a housing estate to join the B1046, again! With the wind firmly in our favour we flew through Abbotsley and Great Gransden, before reaching the Cross Keys Caxton at 4:30pm on the dot. Well done Mick. By this time there was just myself, Geoff, and Tom left from the day ride, although we met up with Bob, Mike and Adrian again at the pub.

The Cross Keys is one of our longest running tea stops and the landlord always does a good spread. There were 9 of us to start with and we were a bit worried about the afternoon ride. They eventually turned up, rather late at 5:15pm. After a much needed cup of tea myself, Geoff and Tom set off for home. Despite the aching legs, we set a cracking pace thanks to the generous tailwind and took just 45 minutes to get home! We were treated to a wonderful sunset, and it was just dark by the time I got home. This was the longest ride of the year at 70 miles. It was also the best weather, more than 10 degrees warmer than last Sunday! Joseph Sugg.

14 Mar: Afternoon ride to Caxton

There was definitely a sense of approaching spring in the air today. It was bright with frequent sunny intervals, and very mild, if a little breezy. No fewer than ten riders were at Brookside for this afternoon's ride to Caxton.

Mike K, leading his second ride in two weeks, was clearly keen to give us an interesting route, which took us along three separate sections of off-road cycling.

We started off down Trumpington Road. After a few hundred yards we turned right onto the common and followed the path down to the river.

After crossing the Cam we joined Barton Road before turning left towards Granchester. From here we continued to Haslingfield. Instead of the better-known private road through Canteloupe Farm we followed a public footpath which took us towards a stepped bridge over the M11. The path was mostly across soft earth, which would have been very muddly a few weeks ago but today was relatively dry and straightforward, even for those of us on road bikes.

The bridge over the motorway had steps but they weren't steep (much less steep than the A11 bridge near Abington) and it was easy to carry our bikes up and down them.

Once across the M11 we were now on a bridleway, which took us down to the top of Canteloupe Road, the public road that leads into Haslingfield.

It was nice to be on tarmac once more, and we made quick progress over Chapel Hill to Barrington. There we turned right to Orwell.

Just beyond Orwell we reached the A603. Here Mike had a second section of off-road cycling planned for us. We crossed the A603 (right then left) and entered the Wimpole Estate, and followed a track through the woods which broughts us out opposite the main entrance to Wimpole Hall.

We rode through the grounds of Wimpole Hall. There were hundreds of cars parked here, their passengers no doubt more interested in seeing some newly-born lambs than visiting the historic house. At the far end of the estate we crossed the A1198 and into Arrington.

When we reached Croydon a mile further we turned right onto our final section of off-road cycling. By now it was about 3.40pm; with hindsight we should have stayed on the road. However we were tempted off-road one final time by the promise that there would be hard tarmac and no more mud - and that it would avoid Croydon Hill. So we made an excursion onto the surfaced byways north of Croydon. These are pleasant enough: essentially empty roads in a flat, open landscape.

Unfortunately these pleasant roads don't actually go anywhere useful and after about half an hour we rejoined the road at East Hatley, about a mile beyond where we had left it.

By now it was clear we would be late for tea, but we pressed on, some going more quickly than others. I rode with the rear group which arrived at The Cross Keys in Caxton at about 5.20pm, about 50 minutes late.

The Cross Keys is an old favourite of the club. The landlord there is welcoming (and tolerant) and always provides a good spread. So there was plenty of food left despite a large contingent of day-riders having been and gone earlier.

After tea we returned back to Cambridge via Bourn, Toft, Comberton and Barton. With a bit of a headwind we made quick progress. We stopped in Bourn to turn on our lights, and by Comberton it was dark and had started to rain gently. I was back at Brookside by 6.45pm after having ridden 38 miles.

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Thursday, 11 March 2010

CTC conversion to a charity: the debate continues

At the 2010 AGM of CTC (the national organisation) there will be a vote on CTC Council's proposal for CTC to become a charity. We continue to receive arguments for and against. Read the case in favour and the case against.

CTC conversion to a charity: the case in favour

At the 2010 AGM of CTC (the national organisation) there will be a vote on CTC Council's proposal for CTC to become a charity. The February/march issue of Cycle magazine featured arguments for and against.

CTC South-West London is leading the opposition to this change. In response to their resolution opposing the change, David Robinson, Chair of CTC Council, has written CTC Chair response to the CTC South-West London resolution which responds to their arguments and presents the case for adopting charitable status.

We've also received a message from Jim Brown, CTC National Councillor for the East of England (which includes Cambridge) arguing in favour of conversion.

Jim Brown writes:
I just wanted to write to my many friends in the member group sector and clarify my views on the Club/Charity issue. I have been on the national Council for 17 years working closely with member groups, but I am also one of the new breed – a trustee of CTC’s charity work through our Trust.

There are also other views on this question and we have carefully examined any potential drawbacks that have been drawn to our attention. While it is right that we have an open debate over such a key decision for the future of our Club and for the future development of cycling it is unfortunate that some who disagree with this key proposal to help make CTC fit for the future have plunged into such negativity and used unfounded allegations about often irrelevant matters to muddy the waters. Regrettably, allegations are being made about both the motivation and activities of our staff and the way in which the Club’s funds are being used. We wish to be quite clear that these assertions do not accord with the true position. The Club’s staff have vigorously pursued policies and business plans set by Council and delivered many success stories.

The truth is that the CTC has more members than at any time in its history, more than in the 1890s and more than in what some viewed as a golden period in the 1950s; it’s influence is increasing; thousands enjoy its activities every week and there are now cycle champions all around the Country not just at Guildford.

Changes in charity law since the separate Trust was established give us the opportunity to re-integrate CTC. Just about everything we do can be classified as charitable so we don't need the current hybrid structure and we can establish clearer accountability and democratic control of the 75% of resources/activities now run by the Trust. Remember the proposal is for the member run CTC to take back the Trust NOT vice versa, the first and most obvious misunderstanding of the “no” campaign.

There are some really significant reasons why CTC should become a full charity which have my total support.
  • Making CTC fit for the future and protect the independence of the CTC from the sort of takeover some other organisations have experienced.
  • Local groups being able to say they are part of a charity.
A knocking campaign is quite easy. You can get all sorts of people who would probably not be in favour of anything to vote against anything that smacks of change, especially if you start rubbishing obvious targets like national staff or the Council.

If the inaccurate and ill-informed gossip about money or membership was not enough what I find equally unacceptable as a local group activist is the suggestion that people like me on National Council have somehow lost our focus on local groups during this period. Not least was the extraordinary contribution by former Chair of CTC Council Jill Kieran who with our staff team took on a challenge every previous generation shied away from – the revision of our 30 year old DA handbook to try and make something fit for purpose.

It isn’t perfect, not least because we bent over backwards to accommodate every kind of hybrid member group structure that any of us could think of. But it is based on what you asked for, not what a handful of people have dreamed up on a forum.

Lets have the reality – more new CTC member groups have been formed in the last two years that at any point in our history. Now that is something very special, and well worth backing.

The cycling lobby is dreadfully fragmented. The last thing we need is more division. Let us take a positive step by unifying our own organisation so its increased strength can be used to support our traditional cycling activities, campaign for an improved environment for cyclists, and introduce many more people to the joys of cycling.

I hope you will take some time to consider what is being said about this issue and talk to myself and all the CTC Councillors about the issues raised. Satisfy yourselves, I am confident what you will see is entirely positive for CTC member groups.
Jim Brown, CTC National Councillor.

For the case against, see CTC conversion to a charity: more on the case against.

CTC conversion to a charity: more on the case against

At the 2010 AGM of CTC (the national organisation) there will be a vote on CTC Council's proposal for CTC to become a charity. The February/march issue of Cycle magazine featured arguments for and against.

CTC South-West London is leading the opposition to this change. Read their resolution opposing the change.

Last month we published an argument against conversion by former CTC National Councillor Mike Stapleton. You can read it here.

We've now received the following email from John Meudell, CTC National Councillor for the South East, also arguing against conversion.

John Meudell writes: I'm sending a copy of a brief document (CTC Charitable Status - The Case Against Unification - January 2010 (pdf)), prepared by myself and other anti-conversion councillors, giving not only a summary of the case against conversion, but also the advantages and benefits of the alternative, a tidied up version of the current linked company and charity.

A second document (CTC Charitable Status - The Case Against Unification - Impact on RtR - February 2010 (pdf)) provides a summary of specific points directly relating to Right to Ride, as there are few benefits (if any) in terms of CTC's campaigning activities and several potential disadvantages.

Finally, the Communications Plan (CTC Charity Coms Plan (pdf)), explains why most of you will only have seen pro-conversion documents.

This is an important decision, with ramifications for CTC members and volunteers as a whole, and not just RtR. And it also needs to be understood that, once a decision to convert is made, there is no possibility of restoring a non-charitable and independent CTC Club. For more detail on the case against conversion visit and make your vote count! John Meudell, CTC National Council

For the case in favour, see CTC conversion to a charity: the case in favour.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

7 Mar: Afternoon ride to Balsham

Peter Hutchison writes: It was a beautiful day today, with hardly a cloud in the sky, though very cold. So I was surprised that there were only six of us at Brookside this afternoon. Mike K led us up to Midsummer Common and out of town along the Jubilee cycleway, which was quite busy with walkers tempted out by the sun. After crossing under the A14 we turned off down to Six Mile Bottom (see photo below with Mike in the lead), and I finally started to warm up as we picked up some speed.

At Six Mile Bottom we turned left and then rode up the hill from Westley Bottom (see photo below with Mike and Jacob in the lead, followed by Bob), and then through the lanes past the Woodland Cemetery to Weston Colville. Mike decided we had time for an extra loop and led us through Weston Green and to the Bell at Balsham. We met up with a few more people there, making 10 for tea.

After tea we split up in to several parties. I joined a group heading straight back to Cambridge, which made good time with the wind behind us. We had the benefit of a dramatic sunset over the trees through Fen Ditton and Ditton Fields. I arrived back home at 6.20 having cycled 34 miles. Mike reports that he had a good ride back through Dullingham and the Bulbecks. Peter Hutchison.

7 Mar: Morning ride to Saffron Walden

Today, like yesterday, was cold, clear and sunny, probably the best weekend's weather so far this year. It was therefore disappointing to find only four riders at Brookside for today's day ride to Ickleton and Thaxted: Joseph, Simon, Steve and me. Perhaps the fine weather had tempted everyone else to do other things.

Joseph led us south down Trumpington Road to Trumpington where we turned left onto Great Shelford. There we turned right to Little Shelford and B1368 to Newton and Fowlmere. At Fowlmere we turned left towards the A505. As we passed Fowlmere Village Hall Simon had a puncture, and we stopped for a few minutes whilst he made the necessary repair.

After crossing the A505 we continued to Chrishall Grange where we turned left onto Grange Road to Ickleton.

At Ickleton we turned into Ickleton Barns, our planned coffee stop.

This was my first visit to Ickleton Barns. As we rode in I was impressed by its peaceful lakeside setting. Unfortunately the cafe was closed and we stood around for a few minutes discussing what to do next. Joseph and Simon were keen to return straight home, whilst Steve and I were keen to stay out for another hour or two enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather.

Steve and I continued on to Great Chesterford where we joined the B1383 which we followed as far as Littlebury. There we turned left onto the road that links it woth the B184 into Saffron Walden.

At Saffron Walden we stopped at Mocha Cafe, in the middle of the town. I ordered a mug of coffee and a toasted sandwich from a friendly assistant and sat down by the window to keep an eye on my bike. I was thinking what a nice cafe this was when I noticed a member of staff outside picking up my bike from by the window (not the one in the photo) where I had left it and moving it out of sight. So you lose my recommendation, Mocha Cafe, for your unhelpful attitude to visiting cyclists. There's no cycle parking anywhere nearby, so why don't you place a piece of timber along your window ledge so that cyclists can leave their bikes in sight without the risk of damaging your windows? Or isn't our custom welcome?

After coffee Steve and I returned back to Cambridge via Audley End house, Catmere End and a lovely descent of Coploe Hill back to Ickleton. Along the way we passed dozens of club cyclists riding in the opposite direction on some kind of cycling event. At the cross-roads just south of Catmere End I spotted a signpost to ROYSTOИ.

From Ickleton we took a short diversion via Hinxton before returnining to Cambridge via Whittlesford, the Shelfords and the DNA path. When I arrived back home I had 42 miles on the clock.

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Saturday, 6 March 2010

6 Mar: Introductory ride to Hardwick

Today was the first Saturday morning ride of the year. These are officially described as "short, introductory rides, particularly suitable for newcomers".

The weather was clear and sunny but quite cold so I was pleased to find that a total of seven riders had turned out at Brookside for the 10am start.

Julia led us west out of Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway to Barton, where we rejoined the road and continued to Haslingfield. This intended to be a gentle ride so Julia set a leisurely pace. As a result it was easy for me to sprint ahead to take photos.

At Haslingfield we turned right to Harlon, where we stopped to inspect the monument at the junction with Washpit Lane, by the duckpond.

From Harlton we turned north to Comberton and Toft before arriving at Frankie's Snack Bar in Hardwick at about 11.30am.

This was my first visit to Frankie's Snack Bar, which is located next to a pet shop on a little estate of shops on the edge of Hardwick. I enjoyed a mug of coffee and a cheese toastie followed by piece of cake.

After coffee we returned to Cambridge, following the cycle path along the A428 and then the Coton footpath.

I was back in Cambridge at about 12.45pm, having ridden 20 miles.

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Snowdrops through spokes. Photos 1,4,5,8 and 9 by Julia Hochbach.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Saturday morning introductory rides

Our twice-monthly Saturday morning introductory rides start on Saturday 6th March and continue until the winter. Meet at Brookside at 10am for a gentle two-hour ride to the west of Cambridge, with a refreshment stop in Hardwick. If you've never ridden with us before, this is a good way to start. All welcome!