Thursday, 11 December 2014

11 Dec: Thursday ride to Lode and Newmarket

Edward Elmer writes: This morning we met in Hauxton where the temperature was about 5 Centigrade but, more importantly, there was a cold, stiff wind. However this didn't deter eleven members of the club from assembling there for our ride out to Anglesey Abbey and then on to Newmarket.

Today we were under the guidance of Sarah.


We set off by going to Great Shelford, where we joined the DNA path which took us via the hospital to Hills Road. Here we tackled the climb over the Gogs followed by the descent into Fulbourn. At this point the wind was behind us, thus mitigating the effects of its cold.

Over the Gogs

From Fulbourn we went through Great and Little Wilbraham and out to the old Newmarket road. This took is to Bottisham and the final mile into Lode for our coffee break at Anglesey Abbey.


At coffee we found five other members in addition to the three who had joined us en route. Nineteen was a good turnout for an unpleasant winter's morning.

Anglesey Abbey

After a short break Sarah led us out through Lode village allowing us to join the Lodes Way. Here we ran through a typical Fen landscape - flat and windswept but still having a certain appeal. We left the Lodes Way in Swaffham Prior and then headed into Reach and now with the wind directly behind us for the run up to Burwell.

Swaffham Prior

More Fen landscape followed as we went along Heath Road and we had to go past our usual short cut through the farm as access seems to have been blocked. This didn't really matter as we went the long way round close to the A14 and were able to witness the emergence of a large solar farm being constructed along this road. All this brought us to Exning and the final couple of miles into Newmarket and the Horse Racing museum for the luncheon interval.

The museum is always very accommodating for us and they allowed us to take our bikes through to the inner courtyard. Lunch was very pleasant with a good selection of hot food available at reasonable prices. Also important was the chance to get warm again.

Sarah, in true disciplinarian mode, insisted on a 1.30pm departure so that we could get back before dark. We left Newmarket through the back streets and climbed out of the town past the racecourse gallops on the Cheveley Road. This took us by several of the studs before reaching the turning for Dullingham and Stetchworth. Now for the first time we were directly into the wind , but this didn't seem too bad as the hedgerows offered plenty of protection. The road down to Dullingham is very undulating but pleasant nonetheless.

Approaching Dullingham

In Dullingham

In Dullingham, Rupert And Eva left us for a quicker return into Cambridge leaving the remaining eleven to head off on the switchback road to West Wratting and then Balsham. We said goodbye to Jacob and Mike CC as they returned to Cambridge via Fulbourn. We were now down to nine as we made the final descent of the day to Hildersham and over the ever busy A1307 to Great Abington. We joined the new cycle way on the A505 and another windswept journey from Babraham into Sawston. It was interesting to note that a hedge has been planted but not, sadly, beside the road but running into the fields.

At the level crossing between Sawston and Whittlesford

We finished the ride via the cycle way up to Whittlesford and finally Little Shelford. Those going back to Hauxton would have completed a regulation winter ride of 54 miles. Particular thanks are due to Sarah for a superb winter ride. One or two others tried to offer assistance but Sarah remained steadfast throughout. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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