On the busway south of Long Road
Our leader today was Conrad, and we were joined for the first stage of today's ride by Rupert, Li, Lynn, Alex, Neil T, Ian W and Seb. We set off south and rode out of Cambridge along the busway and turned onto the spur to Addenbrooke's.
Climbing the railway bridge to Addenbrooke's
At Addenbrooke's we joined the DNA path which we followed to Great SHelford. After a short delay at the level crossing we continued to Little Shelford and on to the junction with the B1368.
We followed the B1368 - directly into the wind - to Newton and after a brief diversion through Thriplow rejoined it again at Fowlmere. We contented to Flint Cross, crossed the busy A505 and then turned off onto the long straight road which leads up to Great Chishill. We met about thirty riders from Bishops Stortford CC coming the other way, no doubt enjoying the assistance of a tailwind for this first part of their ride.
The long climb from Flint Cross to Great Chishill
At this time in the day it was still quite cool, and the cold wind in our faces meant that most riders were still wearing windproof jackets and winter longs.
After Great Chishill we dropped down to Shaftenhoe End and then turned onto the tiny lane that winds its way to Nuthampstead, where we stopped for coffee at The Woodman. About half a dozen members were already in the pub; at this time in the morning we were their only customers.
After coffee about half the combined group turned back for home leaving Conrad, David W, Alex, Sarah, Andy and me to continue on to lunch in Much Hadham. Despite the continuing wind the temperature was steadily rising and we all shed various layers of clothing, making today the first day of the year where I was riding in shorts.
Our route south took us through Anstey, Furneaux Pelham, Braughing and Puckeridge to Standon, where we crossed the very busy A120. This was a pleasant ride along very attractive lanes but the headwind was quite tiring and we were happy to take the shorter of Conrad's two proposed routes to our lunch stop in Much Hadham.
We ate at Hopley's Cafe, a very pleasant cafe attached to a plant nursery. By now it was really quite warm, and despite the breeze were happy to eat our lunch outside in the garden.
Lunch at Much Hadham
Setting off after lunch
Afterwards we set off back north towards our afternoon tea stop in Ickleton. In theory this have us a tailwind for much of the way, but the intensity of the wind (and perhaps the fact that it seemed to have moved round to the west) meant that we were still buffeted by strong gusts of wind and cycling was every bit as tiring as in the morning.
We arrived at Riverside Barns, Icketon at about 4.10pm. We were about half an hour late and the afternoon ride (led by Gareth) was just getting ready to set off.
After a pleasant stop for drinks and more cake we set off for the final short stage back to Cambridge.
I arrived home at 5.30pm, having cycled 70 miles. This was a rather shorter ride than last week (so no change to my Eddington Number this time) but the wind today had been quite wearing and I think we were all happy we hadn't had to ride much further.
Download GPS track (GPX).