Nigel writes: Despite the darker evenings that we're experiencing now, it's still only early September, and when I cycled across Cambridge to the start of this evening's ride the temperature was around 23C and the atmosphere rather muggy. At Brookside I was joined by regulars John and Jim and newcomer Ian, who was here on his first ride with us. We waited a few more minutes to confirm that no-one else was going to join us and then set off.
This evening's ride was an anti-clockwise loop, departing Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway before turning south to Haslingfield. We climbed Chapel Hill and descended the other side down to Barrington. From there we continued through Shepreth and across the A10 to Fowlmere.
We continued south and crossed the A505 to Chrishall Grange before turning onto Royston Lane. As we cycled along this very nice (if very potholed) lane, it gradually became darker and at about 7.45pm the sun eventually set. The road was quiet except for the sound of combine harvesters on the fields and as we rode along we encountered no fewer than three separate tractors towing trailers stacked high with bales.
When we reached the Ickleton-Catmere End road we turned left, which took us north, over Coploe Hill, to Ickleton. We continued to Hinxton where we joined the cycle track along the A1301 to Sawston. It was now about 8.15pm so I suggested we continue directly to Stapleford along the A1301 Sawston By-pass.
We arrived at The Rose and Crown in Stapleford just after 8.30pm. This isn't the most characterful of pubs, but it's in a handy location and both the beer and food selection is good. We ordered drinks and bowls of chips and after a pleasant half hour or so we set off back to Cambridge along the DNA path and busway. I was home by 9.30pm, having cycled 31 miles.
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