Sunday, 9 November 2014

9 Nov: Sunday ride to Newmarket and Chippenham

Nigel writes: We're now well into autumn, and with the days rapidly getting shorter our rides on Sundays have now changed to their winter format, with our separate all-day and afternoon rides being merged into a single, shorter, ride. This starts at Brookside at 9.30am and stop for morning coffee and lunch before returning directly back to Cambridge. Today was the first combined ride of the winter season, and when I arrived at Brookside I found a crowd of about ten other members waiting to start.


Our leader today was Eva, repeating a ride she had led in the summer. We set off east from Brookside, crossing the city centre to Midsummer Common and then along the river to Stourbridge Common and Ditton Meadows.

Ditton Meadows, Cambridge

We continued along the Wadloes Path to Fen Ditton and then crossed the busy B1047 to High Ditch Road which we followed east to Quy.

High Ditch Road, Fen Ditton

The day had started dull and cloudy but the weather forecast had promised sunshine and after a while the clouds parted, the sun appeared, the temperature rose, and the day turned into a beautiful sunny autumn day. We rode on to Bottisham following the familar NCN51 route to Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior.

Swaffham Prior

As rode through Swaffham Prior we met a Scout parade heading the other way towards a Rememberance Day service. We continued north to Reach before returning back south to Burwell and Exning.

Heath Road, south of Burwell

AFter Exning we continued to Newmarket, arriving at Coffee and Co in the town centre at about 11.10am. After a pleasant half hour of coffee and cakes we picked up a few new members and set off again. Eva led us east along Moulton Road, a gentle climb thjat offers fine views back towards Newmarket.

Moulton Road, Newmarket

AFter our first climb of the day we dropped back down to Moulton and then climbed a second, slightly higher hill to reach Gazeley, where we paused to regroup.


We turned north to Kentford and then followed a series of very quiet, flat, roads to Herringwell, Tuddenham and Red Lodgewhere we stopped to cross the A11 at a very busy surface crossing.

Waiting to cross the A11 at Barton Mills

We didn't have to wait long and were soon back on our way. We continued through Freckenham and Chippenham before reaching La Hogue Farm Shop and Cafe where we stopped for lunch.

La Hogue Farm Shop Cafe

After lunch we set off back towards Cambridge in order to get home before sunset. The clouds had cleared once more, giving us a beautiful sunny afternoon for our return journey. After a brief discussion of possible routes Eva led us around the edge of Chippenham Park and then via Snailwell to Exning.

Chippenham Park

From Exning we retraced our morning route to Burwell and Reach before turning north into the fens for a diversion along the Lodes Way to Lode. We crossed the B1102 to Bottisham and again retraced our morning route to Quy, Fen Ditton and along the river back into Cambridge. I arrived home at about 4.10pm with the sun still shining as it prepared to set. Today had been a beautiful autumn day and I had cycled 66 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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