Our first midweek evening ride of the year was held on a overcast but dry evening, and four riders were at Brookside for the start: Nigel, Tim, Ian W and Jacob. These rides don't have a formal leader so we agreed an approximate route at the start.
We headed south out of Cambridge to Trumpington and Great Shelford, where we took the turn to Little Shelford and the road towards Whittlesford. I had been planning to turn right just north of Whittlesford for Newton, but Jacob suggested an off-road alternative. This is a bridleway track that heads west from a point south of Little Shelford and leads over the motorway directly to Newton. It was surfaced all the way, but was rather bumpy with a loose gravel surface much of the way.
From Newton we continued west to Harston and the road to Haslingfield. As we left Haslingfield, Jacob suggested a second off-road diversion, down to a footbridge over the Cam and then into Haslingfield. This was an attractive route, rather shorter than the earlier section. It was rather smoother, too, except for a short section of loose gravel on the approach to Haslingfield.
From Haslingfield we continued west, to Harlton, the Eversdens and Kingston. There was no wind, the sky was brightening up, and Jacon was setting a strong pace. At Kingston Ian turned off north towards home, whilst Jacob, Tim and I turned east towards Toft, Comberton and Barton, where we stopped for a pint and a chat at The Hoops. Afterwards we returned to Cambridge. I was back at Brookside by 9.45pm, after cycling 22 miles.
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