Wednesday, 3 August 2011

3 Aug; Evening ride to Horningsea

Nigel writes: Today had been a hot and humid day, with temperatures approaching 30C, and it was still very warm when nine of us assembled at Brookside for this evening's ride: Mike K, Neil, Tony, Ian, John, Kenny, Kit, Katrina and me. As usual we had a brief discussion of routes at the start, and agreed that tonight we would go for a relaxing loop in the fens. We set off across Parker's Piece and Midsummer Common and down to the river at Riverside, which gave me my first opportunity to see the newly-completed streetscaping improvements along this road.

Katrina was on her first ride with us. She explained that that she was a visitor to Cambridge, working on the Cycling Cultures research project at the University of East London. As part of this research she is visiting four UK cities in which cycling rates are relatively high in order to find out why cycling thrives there. Inevitably, this research has brought her to Cambridge.

It was therefore a delight to be introduce Katrina to some of the wonderful aspects of Cambridge cycling culture, such as the cattle that graze on Stourbridge Common and occasionally block the cycle path...

We continued east out of Cambridge to Quy and along the well-established cycle route through Bottisham, the Swaffhams and Reach to Burwell. As we rode along it started to rain with a thunderstorm not far away. It was one of those "end of a hot day" thunderstorms and we pressed on hoping that it would not last for long. It was so warm that the rain evaporated almost the moment it reached the ground, and in any case after a short while the rain stopped completely.

At Burwell we turned north into the fens. When we reached Priory Farm, about two miles north of Burwell, we turned west towards Cambridge. We lifted our bikes over the footbridge across Reach Lode and then followed the Lodes Way back to Lode.

At Lode we joined the B1102 for a couple of miles back to Quy. It was now 8.30 and the sun was beginning to set.

Fortunately it wasn't very much further to the planned pub stop. We continued along High Ditch Road to Fen Ditton cross-roads. At this point several people said their goodbyes and headed directly back to Cambridge, leaving the rest of us to turn north onto the B1047 to Horningsea. Fortunately there is a relatively good cycle track along this road which ends just before the Plough and Fleece in Horningsea.

After several bowls of chips and a longer-than-usual chat in the pub we all retuened back to Cambridge. It was now dark, so the LED lights on the B1047 cycle track, and along the Wadloes path, were very welcome. After an enjoyable diversion along the river to show Katrina the way to her lodgings, I was back home by 10.15pm, rather later than usual, though in compensation I had ridden a longer-than-usual 36 miles.

Katrina has written a report on her blog here.

View this GPS track on a larger map

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