Wednesday, 27 May 2015

27 May: Evening ride to Reach

Nigel writes: Tonight was a dull, cool evening, with rain forecast for later which never arrived. My companions for this evening's ride into the fens were regulars Alex and Neil and newcomers Sabine and David, making five in total.

Our pub stop this evening was The Dyke's End in Reach, our first new pub stop for some time, and chosen to allow us to enjoy a fenland loop via Upware and Wicken at a comfortable pace.

We set off east from Brookside, making our way down to the river before following it east along the commons to Ditton Meadows. There we turned away from the river and continued via Fen Ditton to Quy.

We had left Brookside slightly late so to save a mile or so we turned onto the B1102 and followed it to Lode, skipping the quieter but rather longer alternative of going via Bottisham. At Lode we turned north off the main road and rode through the village before turning then east onto White Fen Drove, the first part of the Lodes Way.

White Fen

After a while we left the Lodes Way and turned north for a loop through Reach and Wicken before returning back south via Wicken Fen and Burwell. On the outskirts of Burwell we caught up with John E, also heading to meet us in Reach.

Wicken Fen

We arrived in Reach at 8.30pm and stopped for a drink at The Dyke's End. Already in the pub was Paul, who had made his own way there from Oakington. He had been there a whole hour as a tailwind had blown him there faster than he had expected.

This was our first visit to The Dyke's End on an evening ride (and my first for several years) so we weren't sure what to expect. We discovered that it's quite a smart pub nowadays, and clearly quite food-oriented. Unfortunately the kitchen was too busy preparing meals for pre-booked diners so was unable to provide any food, but the selection of beers was rather good and we had a pleasant half hour relaxing and chatting before setting off back to Cambridge.

We took the most direct route back, via the Swaffhams, Bottisham and Quy. Neil, David and Alex peeled off along the way leaving John, Sabine and me to retrace our earlier route via Fen Ditton and along the river back into Cambridge. With sunset at 9.04pm this evening much of the ride back had been in twilight, but it was quite dark when I arrived home at 10.10pm, having cycled 35 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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