Monday, 28 November 2011

27 Nov: Afternoon ride to Fordham

John writes: Five riders departed from Brookside at 1:30 p.m. It was a perfect winter’s cycling day with sun, scattered cloud and the strong westerly having moderated to a force 3 or 4. We slowly winkled through crowds of pedestrians, dogs etc. over Parker’s Piece and Midsummer Common to the Cam. Thence via Stourbridge Common to Fen Ditton, past the Ancient Shepherds pub (where the ride leader (RL) first learned he was to be a grandfather) to Quy. We made rapid progress past the quirky and expensive Missing Sock through Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck. The B1102 was as trafficky as usual – shame about shops opening on Sundays - but we were able to use the pavement/cycle track and go through Swaffham Prior village.

A short break where we crossed the Devil’s Ditch afforded a magnificent view across the fens to Ely cathedral shimmering on the horizon, whilst Jacob mended a puncture caused by a flint.

After passing through Burwell we continued onto Heath Road before turning, at Jacob's suggestion, onto a quiet concrete track which took us past Gravel Pit Farm towards Exning. Jacob had an onboard video camera with him and took this short video:

This diversion confused RL’s GPS but we soon found the rural road through Snailwell to Chippenham. This fine road through horseracing country was well-wooded and quiet.

Adrian, escaping from the all-day riders, met us here. The huge privately owned Chippenham Park grounds are well worth visiting: it is open 3 or 4 days a year under the National Gardens Scheme: the ugly house is not open to the public.

At Chippenham village, our farthest Easterly point we turned into the wind, which had moderated further, towards a magnificent setting sun to arrive at Simpson’s at 3:45 p.m. just as the all-day cyclists were leaving.

After generous portions of cake, huge sausage rolls and tea we set off homewards. It was now dark so lights were required and the temperature was falling rapidly. A day-old finger nail moon had risen over Cambridge. Steve and Seb, fortified by the sausage rolls, sped ahead on their drop-handlebar machines whilst the three J’s including another John pursued them on their straight-barred mounts. But a few regrouping pauses kept us all in touch until the A14 tunnel where the group fragmented to their various homes. RL retraced the route through Fen Ditton and across Stourbridge Common: Ursa Major and Cassiopeia were clearly visible despite the ambient light from the city.

This was a brisk ride of about 38 miles. John Ferguson.

1 comment:

  1. Video on our blog! 21st century, indeed... :)