Wednesday, 22 July 2015

22 Jul: Evening ride to Newton

Nigel writes: This evening's ride took us south of Cambridge and into the chalk hills that lie along the border with Essex. The weather was certainly warm (after all, it is mid-July), but at 6:30pm as we assembled at Brookside it seemed a little cooler than it had been on recent evening rides, perhaps caused by the presence of brooding clouds which offered a slight threat of rain.

My companions this evening were Gareth, Chris, Neil, John and Luc. Our route this evening took us south out of Cambridge, along the busway and DNA path to Great Shelford and then along the pancake-flat Cam valley through Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton. Gareth was soon disappearing off into the distance but for the rest of us the speed this week was moderate, with no repeat of last week's frenzied chainganging.

For a brief moment we had a bit of drizzle which caused me to put on my rain jacket, but it stopped after a couple of minutes, the sun came out, the temperature rose, and I took my jacket off again.

At Ickleton John separated from the group to take a shorter route. This left four of us to continue south for a loop over the low chalk hills that lie along the border with Essex. First of all we climbed Coploe Hill before dropping down briefly before the second climb up to Catmere End.

Rain clouds over Coploe Hill (Photo: Gareth Rees)

From Catmere End we descended down the other side of the ridge, passing through Littlebury Green on our way down to the B1039. We followed this road west along the valley for half a mile before turning back north and climbing back up the ridge to Elmdon.

As we approached the top of the climb Luc asked me what had happened to Gareth. I said that he had probably taken a longer route but would probably overtake us any time now, which, by coincidence, he did about five seconds later.

Luc, Chris and Neil on Coploe Hill

From Elmdon we continued west along the ridge to Hertford Lane End near Chrishall before turning north and descending to Chrishall Grange and the final few miles through the Cambridgeshire flatlands to Newton.

We stopped for drinks at The Queen's Head, where John had arrived a few moments before. Afterwards we returned to Cambridge via Harston, the cycle path across Trumpington Meadows, and the busway once more. I arrived home at 9.35pm, having cycled 33 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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