Sunday, 6 May 2012

6 May: Afternoon ride to West Wratting

Tina writes: After the last couple of weeks' rain, Sunday dawned bright, if not actually warm and sunny and 11 riders met at Brookside encouraged by the promise of a dry day. Jeremy was joining us for the first time having received his 'welcome to Cambridge CTC' email and impressed us all with his bike, kitted out for a forthcoming JOGLE ride with not only panniers, tent, bottle cages etc, but also solar panel for re-charging his GPS and phone!

Mike K led us across Parker's Piece, Midsummer Common and along Riverside where several 'eights' were lining up to race towards Stourbridge Common. Following NCN route 51, we rode up to Newmarket P&R and then alongside the A1303, turning right just before Bottisham down Little Wilbraham Road. At Six Mile Bottom, we turned left along the A1304, and then right along a track to cross the railway line and onward up and down a quiet track towards Westley Waterless, turning right at the crossroads to Brinkley.

By now the ominous spots had turned into more substantial rain and a couple of riders donned waterproofs. On the plus side the surrounding countryside looked particularly lush and we spotted a variety of wild flowers along the verges - cow parsley, wood spurge and an abundance of cowslips. May blossom was also beginning to flower in the hedgerows and surrounding fields were ablaze with rape seed.

From Brinkley, we turned back to Willingham Green, down to Weston Green and finally up to Wratting Common, where it was a short hop to the Chestnut Tree in West Wratting. The new landlords Peter and Rachel gave us a very warm welcome and had set out a delicious array of sandwiches, home made cakes and pots of tea in their separate dining area. Here we met lone day rider, Adrian and Mike S who had ridden direct and all enjoyed sitting in cosy surroundings chatting over tea.

Unfortunately it was raining more convincingly when we set off and Jacob, Steve and John opted for the Roman Road back to Cambridge, while Mike led remaining riders along quiet lanes via Dullingham, Swaffham Bulbeck, Bottisham and back along the Jubilee cycleway into Cambridge. Luckily it had stopped raining for the final few miles allowing us to dry out and all agreed it had been a great afternoon. Thanks to Mike for a well chosen scenic route through beautiful Suffolk countryside. Total distance: 42 miles. Tina Filby

Photos by Jacob Hassan

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  1. I was out all day on a 112 km Audax at Radwinter. It was a figure of 8 loop I actually passed by the Chestnut Tree on the way back to Radwinter. At that point I was shivering from the cold and the idea of abandoning the audax and joining the CTC tea was quite tempting. I soldiered on and passed a largish group of day riders heading the other way. I had assumed they were going to tea but I guess they didn't stop!


  2. During tea, we saw several cyclists flying past the window, but didn't realise it was an Audax. Had we spotted you, we could have rushed out with spare cake and hot tea ;-) Hope you finished in time. Tina

  3. I wasn't looking at the clock as I cycled past the Chestnut Tree but it was before 3 as I reached Radwinter at 3:30pm. I guessed correctly that the day riders would not stop for tea as I passed them just around 3 or 3:15pm, slightly north of the A1307.

    I had entertained the thought of back-tracking to West Wratting to catch you guys before you left, but the thought of retracing 10 miles in the rain wasn't very appealing so I took the easier option of cycling to Audley End to catch a (thankfully warm) train back to Cambridge. See you on the next ride.

  4. Looks like you had a good ride, despite the rain. Jeremy's bike is certainly very impressive! And nice to see that Peter W was out again.

    And well done Conrad for completing the Audax in less than ideal conditions!