Sunday, 24 July 2011

24 Jul: Afternoon ride to Cherry Hinton

Tina writes: There were nine riders (including a record five women!) at Brookside on the first promisingly sunny afternoon we have had for several weeks. Mike K, our leader today, took us south down Trumpington Road, cutting through Barrow Road to Long Road. We rode past Addenbrooke’s and picked up the DNA path to Shelford and then following the road south, we cycled on through Whittlesford and crossed the busy A505 to Duxford. Here we encountered several groups of riders on the homeward stretch of the London to Cambridge ride, many wearing their distinctive pink t-shirts (and even one on our return journey sporting a pink tutu!).

From Duxford we headed past the turning to Ickleton and onwards and upwards to Coploe Hill, where we paused to re-group, admire the view and enjoy a refreshing drink after the climb. The road undulated gently, past golden fields of ripening wheat climbing finally up to Strethall and Catmere End. The weather was perfect for cycling, sunshine and blue skies dotted with clouds ensuring it was never too hot.

Descending the hill past Strethall, Sarah came off her bike after bouncing out of a pothole and sustained some nasty cuts to her knee, elbow and hand. A kind lady from a nearby cottage came out with a supply of plasters and once mopped and patched, Sarah valiantly carried on. (Paul had earlier slid sideways off his bike as we slowed for traffic lights, having forgotten he was clipped into pedals and grazed his elbow and leg.)

We joined the B1039 and cycled along as far as the Elmdon turn, riding up the hill to the village and then swooping down and back through Duxford, Whittlesford and the Shelfords, retracing our outward route up the DNA path to Cambridge. We then crossed Hills Road into Nightingale Avenue and here Cheryl and I lost the main group and rode on down Queen Edith’s Way into Cherry Hinton High St and left into Mill End Road, arriving just before the others at Conrad’s house.

Su-lyn had done us proud with a tempting array of cakes and savouries and although the afternoon riders were rather late arriving, there was still plenty of food left. The day riders were just leaving, conveniently vacating their chairs in the garden and we admired Conrad’s luxuriant vegetables and two friendly cats, while we tucked into a welcome tea. George and Steve stayed to chat and we all left around 6.15pm - George hoping to catch the highlights of the closing stage of ‘Le Tour’. Thanks to Conrad and Su-lyn for a fantastic tea and relaxing interlude in their garden. Thanks to Mike for a great ride, along quiet roads through some beautiful countryside and lovely views. Total distance: 37 miles. Tina Filby

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