Sunday, 8 March 2015

8 Mar: Sunday ride to Newmarket

Nigel writes: Today promised a dull, dry morning followed by a rainy afternoon, so I was pleasantly surprised to find bright sunshine as I cycled out to the start of today's ride.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised: our leader today was Eva, whose rides have a happy association with good weather. They are also famed for their large turnouts, and although the numbers today weren't perhaps as large as her previous ride in January, they were very good nontheless, with thirteen riders at Brookside: Rupert, Mike CC, Neil T, Neil S, John E, Alex, Jim, Steve, Chris, Gareth, Carol, Eva and me.

Brookside, Cambridge

Our direction today was east, but with the Cambridge Half Marathon causing our normal route along the river to be closed we set off south-east along Hills Road instead.

Hills Road, Cambridge

Gareth was clearly in the mood for a fast ride today and he was soon speeding off into the distance, never to be seen again. The rest of us followed at a more leisurely pace, turning left at Addenbrooke's onto Wort's Causeway for the long but gentle climb over the Gogs.

Climbing the Gogs

We dropped down the other side to Fulbourn and then continued through Great Wilbraham to Little Wilbraham.

Regrouping in Fulbourn

When we reached Little Wilbraham I was expecting Eva to take us east to Six Mile Bottom. Howeveer that would have been too predictable and instead we turned north-east for Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck.

Swaffham Prior

We continued to Swaffham Prior where we turned left for a loop around Swaffhan Prior Fen before turning back towards Reach and Burwell.

Swaffhan Prior Fen

From Burwell we rode to Exning and then on into Newmarket (with Nigel leading Alex and Chris along the complicated and bumpy NCN 51 route into the town). There we stopped for coffee at Coffee and Co.

Several members were already at the cafe, including Adrian, Keith and Geoff. Two other groups of cyclists had arrived just before we did so we had quite a wait for our coffee and cakes but it was very pleasant to sit outside enjoying the unexpected spring sunshine.

Coffee in Newmarket

With rain forecast to arrive at 2pm we all decided to return back to Cambridge. I rode back in a group led by Rupert, taking a route via Dullingham and Westley Bottom to Six Mile Bottom. This took us into quite a strong headwind, but we didn't have far to go and it was still bright and sunny,.

Eagle Lane, Dullingham

When we reached Little Wilbraham I turned off with Alex towards Great Wilbraham and returned to Cambridge via Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton. I arrived home at 1.45pm, having successfully beaten the rain and having cycled 47 miles. The rain (which was just a bit of brief drizzle) arrived about half an hour later.

Download GPS track (GPX).


  1. I followed Eva’s route as far as Bottisham, where I turned off to Dullingham, Woodditton and Saxon Street, getting to Newmarket at about 10:35. Keith and Geoff were already there, and Mike and Ed arrived shortly afterwards. I didn’t want to waste the glorious sunshine, so I set off again at 11:00 (hoping to see you all at La Hogue). I took the hilly route east to Moulton, Gazeley, Barrow, Little Saxham and Risby. This was all tailwind-assisted, but then I turned into the wind and ground slowly west through Cavenham, Tuddenham and Kennett, getting to La Hogue at about 12:45. Keith arrived a little later to tell me that you’d all given up and gone home after coffee! You missed some beautiful cycling. There was a lot of headwind, and a little rain, but not enough to be unpleasant, and I was home at 15:30 having cycled 77 miles.

  2. I see from the GPS track that you cycled from Burwell to Exning, in which case you'll have seen the new solar farm.

  3. Yes, the rain turned out to be nothing, and I envy your impressive mileage. On the other hand, we did enjoy the sunshine on the way home (see the photo of Eagle Lane). We did indeed see the solar farm between Burwell and Exning.