Nigel writes: Today was a warm sunny day. There was quite a bit of cloud about but this didn't prevent the sun shining more or less constantly all day and allowing the temperature to rise to 17C. The warmth of the sun was, however, tempered by a persistent north-westerly breeze, which kept us cool when we rode along and which gave us a tiring headwind for most of the afternoon.
I was the last to arrive at Brookside; already waiting were Neil, John F, Peter H, Tom, Mike CC, Lynn and our leader Conrad. We would be riding south-east. This is possibly my favourite direction, and with Conrad in the lead I knew we were in for a good ride.
Conrad led us out of Cambridge along Hills Road: over the railway bridge and down to Addenbrooke's, where we turned left for the ride over the Gogs to Fulbourn.
At Fulbourn we took the road to Little Wilbraham, where we turned right for the long straight drag to Six Mile Bottom. This was followed by a further drag up the hill to Brinkley. Fortunately at this time of the day we were not tired and, with a little help from a tailwind, we made good progress.
After a brief pause at Brinkley we carried on through Carlton to Carlton Green where we turned onto the narrow lane that leads eventually to Little Thurlow.
At Little Thurlow we splashed through the ford, though it didn't have much water in it compared with earlier in the year.
We continued east along another narrow lane which continues for two or three miles before meeting the A143 just before Highpoint Prison.
We turned onto the A143 and rode along it for half a mile or so until we reached Tubby T's cafe where we stopped for coffee. Already at the cafe were Eva, Jim, Geoff and David W. The cafe was surprisingly quiet, allowing us to be served quickly and allowing us to sit outside in the sun watching the motorcyclists come and go.
After coffee, six of us carried on to Lunch in Sible Headingham. Conrad took us there on a very nice route via Denston, Stansfield, Poslingford, Clare, "all the Belchamps", Gestingthorpe and Castle Headingham, arriving at The Corner Cafe in Sible Headingham on time at 1.10pm.
After lunch we turned south-west, taking a lovely series of narrow lanes to Shalford and Great Barfield.
At Great Barfield we turned north-west towards our planned tea stop in Ashdon. This took us directly into the wind, and although it was quite gentle it was persistent, and for the remainder of the day provided us with a headwind that would be our constant and tiring companion.
More quiet lanes took us to Little Samford where we joined the B1063 to Great Samford and Radwinter. From there it was just a few more miles to Ashdon, which we reached at exactly 4pm.
Tea was at the Ashdon Village Museum, where we were sold pots of tea and home-made cakes by the friendly volunteers. After a short while Ian W arrived with the afternoon ride.
Afterwards we set off back to Cambridge. Ian took his ride north to West Wratting and Six Mile Bottom, whilst Conrad and I chose a more direct route via Balsham and Fulbourn. Conrad seemed to still have plenty of energy and, freed from the burdens of leadership, sped up the hill to Balsham and into the distance. I was rather more tired so plodded back on my own, arriving home at about 6.10pm. I had cycled a very enjoyable 84 miles.
View this GPS track on a larger map