Nigel writes: Today was a perfect autumn day, with a clear sky and bright sunshine all day. Not surprisingly there was a good turnout for today's all-day ride, with a dozen riders at the start and more joining later on. Our leader today was Paul. Given the 9.30am start, and the need to be in Risby by lunchtime, he calculated that we needed to take a direct riute to Horseheath for an early coffee stop. So we set off east out of Cambridge along Cherry Hinton Road and Fulbourn Road to Fulbourn.
At Fulbourn we took the long road to Balsham. None of us particularly like this road, especially in this direction (uphill), but it served its purpose of getting us out into the countryside as quickly as possible.
From Balsham we were on quieter roads. We dropped down in the direction of West Wickham before turning right to take the very nice little lane past Streetly Hall to Streetly End. From here it was only a mile to Horseheath where we stopped for coffee and cake at The Old Red Lion Inn.
Half a dozen members were already there when we arrived. As always, the coffee (and tea) was plentiful, the cakes very nice and the overall cost extremely modest, making this one of our favourite coffee stops at the moment.
After coffee we carried on our way. A few people went back home and one or two decided to take a shorter route to a different lunch stop, leaving about seven of us to continue on towards lunch in Risby.
We retraced our steps to Streetly End and then set off north to West Wickham where we turned right onto the road past the former West Wickham airfield (where I think a remembrance service had been held a few minutes earlier) to Carlton Green. Here we turned right onto the narrow lane to Little Thurlow.
At Little Thurlow we splashed through the ford before continuing east along another narrow lane until we reached the A143 near Highpoint Prison.
We followed the main road for a mile past the prisons before turning left towards Wickhambrook. We continued through Chevington before turning left for a short and tranquil loop via Frizzlers Green and Great Saxham.
After a few more miles we crossed over the A14 and at last arrived in Risby, where we stopped for lunch at Lizzy's Coffee Shop. This is a pleasant cafe but they were very full and were slightly upset that we had turned up with more than the booked number. However in the end there was room for (almost) all of us, and we were able to enjoy the rather good food that they serve here.
After lunch we set off west back towards Cambridge. It was 2.15pm, and with tea in Horningsea at 4pm we knew were were going to have to ride more or less directly there. Nevertheless the ride back was delightful: still bright and sunny, but with the sun beginning to lie low in the sky, casting long shadows over the road.
After quite a long ride via Barrow, Dalham, Cheveley, Dullingham and Swaffham Bulbeck we arrived at Peter and Sabina's house in Horningsea at about 4.45pm. The afternoon ride were just getting ready to set off home, and since there were quite a lot of them it was probably just as well that we hadn't all arrived at once.
Tea of course was excellent, despite the afternoon ride having eaten most of it. I particularly enjoyed the ham and cheese sandwiches, made from excellent cheese and ham and (especially) excellent bread. The club is grateful to Peter and Sabina for their hospitality.
Afterwards we returned back to Cambridge via Fen Ditton and Ditton Meadows. It was now completely dark but we didn't have far to go, and I arrived back home a little before 6pm, having cycled 74 miles.
View this GPS track on a larger map