Thursday, 12 February 2015

12 Feb:Thursday ride to Lode and Newmarket

Edward writes: To say the least this morning was bleak and cheerless but nonetheless fifteen riders assembled at Hauxton Green for today's ride out to Anglesey Abbey and then on to Newmarket for lunch. Nine-thirty came but we had no leader and so we waited until finally Jim rolled up having been delayed at the railway crossing in Great Shelford - at least that was his story. Actually at this time of the morning there are many long waits for passing trains at this level crossing so we can probably excuse him on this occasion.

Gog Magog Hill

Thus sixteen riders left Hauxton under leaden skies with the temperature hovering around 2 degrees centigrade, but at least there was no wind. We set off into Little Shelford and Great Shelford and to our surprise we all got over the station crossing (Craig joined us here) with no delays and then we headed up to Shelford Bottom, past the golf course for the turning which climbs over the Gog Magog hills followed by the descent into Fulbourn.

Bottisham

We went out to Great Wilbraham, briefly onto the A1303 before turning into Bottisham and then down to Lode and Anglesey Abbey for our coffee stop.

Anglesey Abbey

At the Abbey we were joined by so many people that one count made it twenty seven which is quite phenomenal bearing in mind the weather which was hardly inviting for a day's riding.

Anglesey Abbey

As usual after coffee there were a few departures but still a large number, riding in two groups, made its way along to Swaffham Bulbeck and took the road round the back of the village to emerge again for the ride into Swaffham Prior with its two parish churches. Although this was such a cold day we were occasionally cheered by the sight of daffodils starting to appear, aconites and snowdrops which shows there is always something nice and cheery to see. Next up was the ancient village of Reach and then into Burwell which prefaced the long ride up Heath Road, riding close to the busy and noisy A14 and into Exning where we all paused to take some instructions from Jim.

Exning

Exning

Exning church showed it was still not 12 o'clock so Jim decided on a detour up to Snailwell which took us through Exning and up to the A142 Newmarket to Ely road.

We crossed over the A142 and wended our way into Snailwell only to be presented with the distressing sight of so much litter occupying the hedgerows on the edge of the village. So dispiriting to see this and apparently nobody taking responsibility for its removal; unfortunately we see a lot of this sort of thing. So we passed through Snailwell and headed back down into Newmarket and arrived at the Horse Racing Museum shortly before 1 pm for the luncheon interval.

As usual at this venue the staff very kindly allowed us to take our bikes through to the inner courtyard and despite our large numbers they were able to cope very easily with our lunch orders. In view of the cold many, of course, decided to eat a hot meal.

At 1.45 pm Jim issued the instruction that it was time to move on and a number of riders left us here to head back towards Ely and St.Ives, but this still left so many that it was sensible to split into two groups as we headed out of Newmarket towards the south. This took us to the turning for Dullingham which is quite an undulating road but still very pleasant.

Newmarket

Newmarket

Newmarket

After we reached Dullingham the second group hadn't seen that the lead group had taken the Balsham road and eventually the Brinkley road before coming to Six Mile Bottom. The second group mistakenly went by Dullingham station, over the A1304 and A1303 into Swaffham Bulbeck where we turned for Bottisham to join the cycle way up to Stow-cum-Quy and here we were reunited with Jim and his lead group. This left us with the ride up to the Fen Ditton turning which the city dwellers took to ride into Fen Ditton, over Stourbridge Common and the very pleasant ride along the river into Cambridge. The smaller group, of those living south of the city, went along Airport Way into Cherry Hinton, the hospital and the DNA path into Great Shelford.

East of Dullingham

Our thanks to Jim for leading such a successful ride which turned a thoroughly miserable day weather-wise into a very pleasant day out. Each rider who started out from Hauxton would have cycled at least 50 miles. Edward Elmer



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