Sunday, 23 January 2011

23 Jan: Afternoon ride to Royston

Nigel writes: Today was dull, damp and dreary, but it wasn't cold, and it didn't rain, and we had the prospect of a "home tea" at Tina's to look forward to. It was therefore no surprise to find that nine riders turned out for this afternoon's ride. I was the leader today. We started out ride by heading south out of Cambridge, past Addenbrooke's and along the Genome Path to Great Shelford.

From there we continued south to Whittlesford and Duxford.

In Duxford we turned onto Grange Road, which took us west past the eponymous Grange to Chrishall Grange where we turned south towards Heydon and Great Chishill.

At the cross-roads in Great Chishill we turned right and dropped down past the windmill to Barley. Here we stopped for a few moments whilst I warned the group that I had a section of potentially muddy farm road planned. Alison and Conrad weren't in the mood for mud and so took the direct route to Royston via the B1039, whilst the remaining seven of us continued west to the edge of the village before turning right onto a byway that took us to Newsells Farm Stud. We followed this for about a mile. This was my first time exploring this route, and although it was certainly cycleable it was potholed, wet and muddy and cycling along it required a bit more concentration than I would have liked. But the countryside was pleasant and it would probably be lovely on a hot summer's day.

After a while we met a minor road which brought us back onto the B1039 about a mile from Royston. Just after entering the town we turned right onto a footpath which took us north to Newmarket Road, thereby allowing us to avoid the A10 one-way system.

After a few more minutes we arrived at Tina's house, where a splendid tea of sandwiches and cakes was waiting for us. Just behind us were Alison and Conrad and a short while later we were joined by Adrian, Tom and Doug from the all-day rider. Together with Mike S that made a total of thirteen at tea.

After a pleasant and convivial half an hour or so we returned back to Cambridge. Our route took us north along the A1198 to Kneeswirth and then east via Meldreth and Shepreth to Barrington. By now it was quite dark, and as we cycled along the green I spotted a cyclist changing a wheel by the light of a lamppost. It was Steve G, who called out to ask for a pump. I was happy to oblige and after a few minutes we were soon on our way: Steve was heasing south, so I climbed Chapel Hill on my own, dropped down to Haslingfield, rode on through Barton and was home in Cambridge just after 6pm. Total distance: 41 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

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