Wednesday, 22 April 2015

22 Apr: Evening ride to Great Wilbraham

Nigel writes: Although the current spell of fine, dry weather is due to break by the weekend, it's holding for the moment and today a dull, cloudy day was followed by a glorious clear and sunny evening. It was still quite cold, mind you, and there was quite a chilly breeze, but coping with that was simply a case of wearing the right clothes.

My companions for this evening's ride were Alasdair, Ian W, Neil S and Chris, with me as the leader. We set off from Brookside, crossed Parker's Piece and were soon down by the river heading east out of the city.

Stourbridge Common, Cambridge

We crossed Stourbridge Common, continued to Ditton Meadows and turned onto the Wadloes Path to Fen Ditton. Here we rejoined the road and carried on to Quy. Bottisham soon followed, then Swaffham Bulbeck where we turned south-east onto the road to Dullingham. Unlike last week, everyone seemed happy to ride at a similar pace and I didn't find it necessary to keep imploring the faster riders to stop and wait for the others.

Ditton Meadows, Cambridge

At Dullingham we turned south-east onto Balsham Lane and the scenic core of the route, climbing slightly past the Woodland Cemetery (where the road becomes Grange Road) and continuing on to its junction with Six Mile Bottom End. Here Ian decided to turn right and take a slight short-cut to Six Mile Bottom and Great Wilbraham, whilst Chris, Alasdair, Neil and I turned left in the direction of Weston Colville and then along the B1052 to West Wratting.

At 106m elevation, West Wratting was the highest point of the ride. I stopped to turn on my lights and we began the fast and enjoyable descent to Six Mile Bottom. As we sped down the hill the sun began to set on our left behind the wind turbines.

Just past Six Mile Bottom I spotted Ian in the distance. I put on a spurt of speed to catch up but Ian did too, and I wasn't able to catch up with him until we reached Great Wilbraham, where we stopped for drinks at The Carpenters Arms.

Afterwards we all returned back home, in my case via Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton to Cambridge. It was by now dark and really rather cold, but I didn't have far to go and I arrived home just after 9.30pm, having cycled 34 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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