Sunday, 13 May 2012

13 May: Afternoon ride to Newmarket

Nigel writes: Today offered us clear skies, bright sunshine and warm temperatures. Although it was quite windy, the weather was a welcome respite from all the rain we have been having recently. So when I rode over to Brookside for my first Sunday afternoon ride for over a month (hooray!) I was not surprised to find a dozen others preparing for this afternoon's ride to Newmarket.

Julia was our leader this afternoon, and led us south down Trumpington Road and east along Long Road to Addenbrooke's.

We rode around the perimeter of the hospital and then crossed over Hills Road to join Wort's Causeway. This long but gentle hill, with fine views from the top and a lovely fast descent down into Fulbourn on the other side, is perhaps my favourite way to start a ride.

When we reached Fulbourn we took the road to Great and Little Wilbraham. The wind was blowing from the west so the resulting tailwind made this an easy and relaxing journey.

At Little Wilbraham we turned east onto the long road to Six Mile Bottom.

At Six Mile Bottom we joined the A1304 for a short distance before turning right into the track that leads to the level crossing at Westley Bottom and the short climb up to the cross-roads where we turned left for Dullingham.

From Dullingham it was only about four miles to Newmarket. There we stopped for refreshments at Coffee & Co, a very pleasant cafe just south of the main street. On Sundays this normally closes after serving lunch, but today the owners had kindly agreed to to stay open specially for us. We arrived to find a large group of all-day riders finishing their coffee and getting ready to leave. After they left we took their places and sat outside in the sunshine.

Afterwards we returned back to Cambridge. Julia led us north to Exning where we turned west and followed NCR 51 to Burwell and Reach. We were now riding into the wind, which had picked up and was becoming a more and more significant factor in our progress.

At Reach our group divided. Julia led the main group back via Swaffham Prior and Swaffham Bulback to Bottisham, Quy and Cambridge, whilst I rode with a smaller group north into the fens for a slightly longer route via the Lodes Way and the bridge across Swaffham Bulbeck Lode.

This was a very pleasant and quiet route but the headwind had become rather strong and the final miles back to Cambridge were a bit of a slog. Fortunately I didn't have far to go, and arrived home just after 6.30pm, with the sun still shining in a clear blue sky, having cycled 44 miles.

More photos below, by Julia Hochbach:

View this GPS track on a larger map

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