Nigel writes: Four riders turned out for this evening's ride: Gareth, Jim, James and me. And as befitted our first evening ride after the visit of the Tour de France to Cambridge, tonight's ride was one of the fastest we had had for some time, allowing us an extra loop along the way whilst still arriving at the pub early.
We set off south from Brookside, following the busway to Addenbrooke's and then the DNA path to Great Shelford. It was quite windy, but with the wind coming mostly from the north-east it propelled us south at high speed through Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton.
We then began our first climb of the ride, Coploe Hill, which I should perhaps describe in true TdF fashop as Côte de Coploe. We continued to Catmere End which we reached at the unusually early time of 7.20pm, which allowed us an extra loop over the "hill past the transmitter" to the B1039 at Clanver End.
This was the point where we turned back north, and into the wind. We followed the B1049 for a mile or two before turning towards Elmdon and up our second significant climb of the evening, the "Côte de Elmdon".
From Elmdon we continued along Hertford Lane and then back downhill to Chrishall Grange before crossing the A505 for the final few miles through Fowlmere to Thriplow, where we stopped for drinks and bowls of chips at The Green Man. It was 8.20pm and despite the extra loop we were ten minutes early.
It was about 9.10pm when we left the pub for the seven mile ride home. Gareth sped off into the distance and with a strong headwind I didn't attempt to catch him up. I rode home with Jim, leaving James behind carrying (in more ways than one) the lanterne rouge. As we rode north through Newton and over Harston Hill towards the turn for Little Shelford the sun shone brightly on the western horizon, casting a gorgeous warm colour across the landscape, until it set at 9.19pm. I arrived home twenty minutes later at 9.40pm, having cycled 58km (36 miles).
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