Sunday, 11 September 2011

11 Sep: Afternoon ride to Horseheath

Nigel writes: Although the weather forecast was for a quiet afternoon with bright afternoon with scattered showers, only four riders turned up at Brookside for today's afternoon ride to Horseheath. Perhaps the warnings that Hurricane Katia was on its way and would hit northern Britain tomorrow had put people off. Anyway we were a small and select group: Eva, John, me and Neil our leader.

Neil led us across to the station where we joined the Busway Cycleway south towards Addenbrooke's.

When we reached "Addenbrooke's Junction" we turned left and followed the Addenbrooke's branch over the railway towards the Hospital campus.

There we picked up the DNA path which we followed south to Great Shelford. From there we followed NCR 11 to Sawston where we turned left towards Babraham. This gave us an opportunity to use the short but pleasant cycleway that runs alongside the road between these two villages. Unfortunately there was no sign of the poppies that lined this path when we used it earlier in the year.

At Babraham we turned onto the track that leads across fields to the footbridge over the A11.

We crossed the bridge to Abington and cycled round the eastern side of the village, to the junction with the A1307. We crossed over into Hildesham. As we approached the bridge in the middle of the village it started to rain, quite heavily, so we decided to stop and shelter under some trees.

It continued to rain for about ten minutes, but eventually stopped and we continued on our way. I was now a bit damp and a little bit cold so I sped ahead of the group to get warm. Fortunately the sky brightened up, the sun came out, and I was soon warm again.

When we reached Linton we crossed over the A1307 once more and continued south to Bartlow. Here we stopped and Neil consulted the map. We were running a little behind schedule so Neil decided to shorten the route slightly and we agreed on a loop south to Ashdon and then north via Castle Camps to Horseheath.

We arrived at the Old Red Lion in Horseheath at 4.45pm, slightly late but since we were such a small group we knew there would still be enough food left. Already in the pub were four riders from the all-day ride, making eight in all. The standard of food was high and the welcome from the landlord and staff was warm. This is a nice pub and I like coming here.

As we were sitting eating sandwiches and hot roast potatoes a heavy shower of rain started outside. However this passed over within about ten minutes and the sun came out. The landlord appeared with a spotless white cloth which he invited us to use to wipe the rain from our saddles - a very nice touch indeed.

After tea we set off back to Cambridge in bright sunshine.

We took the most direct route back: up to Balsham, down to Fulbourn and along the flat to Cherry Hinton and Cambridge. I always like to take the six miles from Balsham down to Fulbourn at speed, and this evening was no exception, with Steve G and Averil riding close just behind me. Although it clouded over and threatened to rain again it stayed dry and mild until I reached home just after 6.30pm, having cycled 39 miles.

View this GPS track on a larger map

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good ride! Was that Neil's first lead? If so, well done: no riders lost along the way + arrived at tea before all cake eaten = success!

    I would have been with you except that the weather forecast was pretty good so I thought I better seize the opportunity to ride my proposed 200 km audax route. So I rode out to Northamptonshire and back. I got a proper drenching near Newport Pagnell, but then the sun came out and I dried off again. The route is nice, but one of the lanes I wanted to use is "Private—No access" so I need to adjust the route a bit.

    Saw a red kite near Stoke Goldington.