Sunday, 19 June 2011

19 Jun: Afternoon ride to Wicken

Nigel writes: Today was a mostly dull day, warm but with a cool breeze, and a threat of rain that never materialised. Despite all this, twelve riders turned out for today's ride into the fens. Eva was our leader today, and as we assembled at Brookside she announced that since many members find the fens a bit flat and boring, we would start the ride with a few hills.

Eva led us south-east our of Cambridge along Hills Road, over the railway and onto Cherry Hinton Road.

Cherry Hinton Road became Fulbourn Road and we were soon out in the countryside, passing through Fulbourn itself and on to Great Wilbraham.

We continued through Great Wilbraham and Little Wilbraham where we turned right onto the road to Six Mile Bottom. From here we started to climb up the gentle but long hill to Brinkley.

At Brinkley we paused briefly opposite the Red Lion, waiting for the stragglers to arrive, before turning left onto the B1061.

We continued north for two miles until we reached Dullingham. Here we said goodbye to the rolling countryside near Newmarket and turned west, through the village, across the level crossing, and dropped down to Swaffham Bulbeck on the edge of the fen country.

From Swaffham Bulbeck we took the "old" NCR 11 route to Wicken, through Swaffham Prior to Reach and Burwell before entering the fens "proper".

Just before we reached Wicken Fen, Eva stopped for a puncture. It was now just after 4.30pm so she told us not to wait and so we pressed on through Wicken Fen to Wicken village. Tea this afternoon was at Wicken Methodist Church, where a splendid array of sandwiches and cakes was on sale.

After a delightful and friendly tea stop we returned back to Cambridge. This time we followed the "new" NCR 11, which offers a mostly completely traffic-free route as far as Lode. We started off going back the way we had come, alongside the edge of Wicken Fen.

When we reached Priory Farm instead of turning south to Burwell we continued west - but first we had to carry our bikes across the footbridge over Burwell Lode. This bridge is due to be replaced with a proper cycle bridge in a few years.

From here to Lode a series of purpose-built cycleways and empty fen roads took us to Lode.

Along the way the sun came out at last, and I stopped to take a photo of the group to prove it.

At Lode we crossed the B1102 and continued to Bottisham, where we picked up the cycleway to Quy, under the A14 (see photo) and into Cambridge along the river.

I was back home by 7.10pm, after having cycled 47 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Excellent route, excellent t stop and i was back home in time for the cricket highlights. Marvellous :-)