Nigel writes: Today was dull and overcast, and although it never rained the air was damp and misty. However this unpromising weather didn't put off eight riders from turning up at Brookside for today's afternoon ride. Apart from me, the other riders were Jeremy, John, Jacob, Wendy and newcomers Jonathan, Terry and Paul. No-one had volunteered in advance to lead the ride, so I quickly planned a route before leaving home and when I arrived at Brookside my offer to lead was quickly accepted.
After a couple of minutes getting the newcomers to sign the necessarty paperwork we all set off, south along Trumpington Road and then along the busway to Addenbrooke's.
We continued south along the DNA path to Great SHelford from where we turned onto the road that lead to Little Shelford and Whittlesford. Just south of Whittlesford we crossed the A505 to Duxford and continued via Hinxton to Ickleton. Continuing south of Ickleton gave us our first hill of the afternoon - Coploe Hill, a club and personal favourite which allowed us to climb to an elevation of 87m and the border with Essex.
A short descent and another short climb took us to Catmere End, from where it was downhill all the way along Chestnut Avenue to the main B1363, which we followed for a couple of hundred hards before turning off again towards Audley End house.
A further short climb took us into Saffron Walden, but we weren't in the town for long, pausing only long enough for the traffic lights to turn to green to allow us to turn onto the road to Ashdon.
We arrived at Ashdon slightly late at about 3.40pm. The cafe was full of locals but I was pleased to see Keith, Adrian and John T there as well. We joined them and spent a pleasant half hour drinking tea and enjoying their excellent cakes.
Afterwards we set off back to Cambridge. I suggested a route via Bartlow, West Wratting and Six Mile Bottom, and everyone seemed happy to join me. The sun had set a few minutes earlier and the light was fading rapidly and we were soon cycling along in the darkness.
When we reached Little Wilbraham we took the turn for Great Wilbraham and the final few miles through Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton and then along Mill Road back to the City Centre. The Christmas Lights here were due to be turned on this evening, and Mill Rad was thronged with people. I arrived home at about 6pm, having cycled 45 miles.
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