Tina writes: I arrived at Brookside on the dot of 1.30pm and found a large group of 12 people all keen to make the most of the clear blue skies and afternoon sunshine. After the traditional photo, Gareth decided he wanted a longer ride over to Wendens Ambo, so shot off ahead, while the rest of the group rode down Trumpington Road, turning along Porson Road and onwards to the guided busway and DNA path. With relatively large numbers, Graham had kindly offered to be back marker, so I was confident that we wouldn’t lose anyone, but made a mental note to stop at regular intervals to allow everyone to catch up.
We continued through Shelford and then Whittlesford, enjoying clear views across the countryside. Wildflowers along the verges have finally admitted defeat, but hips and haws provided colourful splashes in the hedgerows and trees are now turning autumnal shades of gold, red and russet brown.
Beyond Whittlesford, we crossed the A505 to Duxford, turning towards Hinxton, where we waited at the crossing for a train to pass and then on through Ickleton. Here we could have taken the low level Grange Road but chose instead the more challenging route up Coploe Hill. We regrouped at the top for another team photo and then swooped away along the gently undulating road, turning right at the crossroads along Royston Lane. After another steep climb, we were rewarded by more spectacular views. Our extremely fit tandem riders, on their first outing with Cambridge CTC, were among the first to reach the top of all the hills and even chatted on their way up!
From Royston Lane we wound our way towards Chrishall Grange and then re-crossed the A505 to Fowlmere, where it was a straight road back to Shepreth for 3.50pm and the customary warm welcome at the Teacake. The day riders were already ensconced in the room upstairs, as we queued patiently to place our orders. (We didn’t see Gareth again so hope he had a good, puncture-free ride and made it safely back to Cambridge.) The remaining non-cyclists downstairs seemed to make a hasty exit, no doubt dazzled by the sea of hi-vis yellow, orange and pink jackets and we were able to spread out and enjoy a range of delicious cakes, teas and coffees.
I had a leisurely ride back to Royston, leaving the main group to make their way over Chapel Hill to Haslingfield, Barton and back into Cambridge. Total mileage (for complete ride): about 32 miles. Tina Filby
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