Thursday, 21 February 2013

21 Feb: Thursday ride to Lode and Newmarket

Edward writes: This Thursday’s ride was another back to winter ride. After a fantastic sunlit day on Tuesday, Wednesday and today signalled a return to cold weather cycling. Surprisingly, nine riders left Hauxton and at coffee this number increased to nineteen, so despite the cold many people were obviously eager to get out on their machines.

Today we were led by Richard for our ride out to Newmarket by way of Anglesey Abbey. Soon after leaving Hauxton we were in Great Shelford where we found Rupert waiting for us, so nine became ten. Anglesey Abbey offers few choices of route, so from Great Shelford we went past the golf course and climbed over the Gog Magog hills which brought us down into Fulbourn. We passed through the village and headed out to the Wilbrahams and then over the A14 and into Bottisham. This left but a short journey into Lode and our coffee stop at the Abbey. The gardens were very busy, presumably attracted by the snowdrop winter walk, but the tea room was not overfull and we were soon sitting down enjoying a coffee and, critically, a warm-up. In all we counted nineteen members, although not all were out to join our ride, but it was good to see so many people out and not being willing to sit it out at home.

Anglesey Abbey

Anglesey Abbey

After coffee we went into Lode itself and out to the Lodes Way. Out in the fen is very exposed and the cold wind, which seemed to be running in direct from the Urals, made itself known to us. This sort of riding can be described as invigorating, but nonetheless we soon arrived in Reach, quickly followed by Burwell.

on the Lodes Way

on the Lodes Way

on the Lodes Way

We left Burwell on Heath Road which could do with some hedge replanting as it is another exposed fen road. We turned off this road and joined the farm roads which brought us into Exning. This just left a short bit of main road before turning off into the road which goes past the race course and eventually into Newmarket high street and the Horse Racing Museum for our lunch stop and another opportunity to feel warm again.


Newmarket

Lunch was an enjoyable time, it’s in the warm, but by about 1.20pm we were all set to leave. We climbed out of the high street and turned towards Dullingham. Now, the easterly wind was on our backs and conditions were easier for cycling, and we made quick progress into Dullingham. In Dullingham we turned towards Balsham and Linton and here we saw fields in different states of progress. Some had winter wheat already up, and other fields had the ubiquitous oil seed rape, and yet others were still being ploughed. Once we arrived at the road down to Six Mile Bottom it was decided to head for there rather than go on to Balsham. The long downhill stretches with a following wind must have been the attraction and we soon reached Six Mile Bottom.

near Six Mile Bottom

At Six Mile Bottom we crossed the A1304 and back once again to Great Wilbraham and then to Fulbourn. Again we climbed the Gog Magog hills, followed by Great and Little Shelford and finally Hauxton. For today’s ride we did 47 miles and we offer our thanks to Richard for another good ride and also to everyone who turned out on such an unpleasant day. Edward Elmer

Photos 4 and 5 by Rupert Goodings


View this route on a larger map

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