I was the leader tonight, but I wasn't sure which route was best so offered three alternative routes: one slightly longer than usual and two slightly shorter than usual. I was pleased to discover a clear preference for the longer route, so as soon as the clock reached 6.30pm, off we went.
Approaching the DNA path near Addenbrooke's (Photo: Gareth Rees)
We set off south along Trumpington Road, joined the busway to Addenbrooke's and then turned onto the DNA path to Great Shelford. Everyone was riding briskly this evening, but as usual Gareth's pace was brisker still, and before long was soon disappearing off into the distance, chased by Chris and Alex. I thought we might not see Gareth again, but he was simply getting into position to take photos from the Addenbrooke's Road bridge as we passed beneath, and before long rejoined the others.
Setting off from the top of Coploe Hill
We continued south through the Shelfords, Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton. As usual there were plenty of other cyclists about: commuters heading home to Cambridge, and club riders out (like us) for a mid-week spin.
We climbed Coploe Hill and paused briefly for breath before continuing south to Catmere End. From here we followed our normal loop through Littlebury Green, along the B1039 and then back up to Elmdon. The hill south of Littlebury Green was still closed to cars, and we passed a cycling club conducting a timed hill climb on the empty road.
Hertford Lane End near Chrishall, before the descent to Chrishall Grange
In Elmdon we turned left towards Chrishall. After another brief pause at the end of Hertford Lane we enjoyed a fast descent to Chrishall Grange before continuing on the flat through Fowlmere and Foxton to Barrington.
Waiting for chips at The Royal Oak, Barrington
We arrived at The Royal Oak in Barrington just after 8.30pm and stopped for drinks and bowls of chips. This is a classy place offering three types of chips: hand-cut, "bootlace" and sweet potato, and between us we tried all three.
Climbing Chapel Hill at sunset on the ride home (Photo: Gareth Rees)
After a pleasant half-hour sitting outside in the fading sunshine we set off back home to Cambridge. It was now getting quite cold, so we put on extra layers for the climb over Chapel Hill to Haslingfield. As we reached the top the sun eventually set, but it was still quite light so when Alex suggested a route home via Harston and Trumpington Meadows we were all happy to follow. I arrived home at 10pm exactly, having cycled 38 miles.
Download GPS track (GPX).