Thursday, 4 July 2013

4 Jul: Thursday ride to Carlton and Risby

Edward writes: Now that we are into a period of settled weather today seemed an opportunity to make the most of our good fortune and go out for a longer than usual ride. Fourteen riders set off from Hauxton including Greta but she, in the company of Brian M and Adrian, preferred to go to Carlton via Fulbourn and Six Mile Bottom. This left the main group to go out to Whittlesford and then followed the cycle ways through Sawston and thence to Babraham. Here we rode the track, which of course was very dry, over the footbridge and into Great Abington.


Babraham to Abington

This took us to the A1307, which wasn’t too busy, and the climb from Hildersham up to Balsham. The day was now starting to get warmer, even though it wasn’t entirely clear blue skies, and most people were now riding in singlets with short sleeves.

Balsham

On leaving Balsham we took the undulating couple of miles into West Wratting, went up to the Common and turned left and very quickly were in Carlton and arrived at Malcolm and Gwen’s house for coffee. This was 11am and eighteen miles. Also there were Doug, Jacob, David Ma and Bill. Greta, Adrian and Brian soon followed.

Coffee at Carlton

Malcolm and Gwen had generously volunteered to do coffee for us (the original coffee stop was to be in Newmarket). This proved to be a very enjoyable 45 minutes and most were less than enthusiastic about moving on again: not without good reason as it was very pleasant enjoying the hospitality which Malcolm and Gwen laid on for us. So thanks to both of them for a very enjoyable coffee break.

We had to move on and from here into Newmarket was probably the least pleasant part of our trip as this is a fairly busy road with fast moving traffic. For us, at least, it was mainly downhill with a following breeze. We arrived in Newmarket to go along the high street to the Clock Tower and briefly on to the A142 before turning off to Snailwell and on to Chippenham where Rupert left us. We were now on relatively new roads for the Thursday group which gave us the opportunity to see new countryside in this Suffolk Cambridgeshire border area. Next followed Kennett and about a mile along side the A14 which we went under and onto a very pleasant rural ride up to Cavenham. On reaching the junction just before Cavenham we turned off for the final three miles into Risby and Lizzie's Cafe for lunch and 41 miles with the time at 1.15am. When we arrived Adrian was already drinking coffee and already had his lunch ordered. He, of course, had made his own way there with the prospect of some off-road work.

Departing from Risby

Departing from Risby

We sat outside and were served quickly and efficiently with the light lunches available in this cafe. At 2.15 we were on our way again for the 30 miles needed to get back to the Cambridge area. Thus we went back over the A14 and into Little Saxham and on to Hargrave. Although there wasn’t much wind it was against us but riding was never difficult. Unluckily Gerry became the unfortunate one to get a puncture just outside Hargrave.

Hargrave

Later on, near Wickhambrook ,Gerry needed another tube and he, Richard B and Adrian stayed behind to fix it and the remaining nine carried on through Cowlinge and then Great Bradley and back to Brinkley.

Hargrave to Wickhambrook

Finally our road home was the long downhill to Six Mile Bottom, Great Wilbraham and Fulbourn. By this point various people were turning off to head for home. The ride ended back in Hauxton with just Andy and Sarah completing the full course, and a longer than average, but very enjoyable, 77 miles in near perfect cycling conditions. Edward Elmer


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