Thursday, 23 July 2015

23 Jul: Thursday ride to Cottenham and Ely

Edward writes: This Thursday we took the rare step of venturing north of Cambridge by going into the Fens for our journey to Cottenham and Ely. The weather was in a gentle mood, i.e. light cloud cover, just a touch of wind and a moderate temperature.

For this ride we welcomed Margaret who has been on several Saturday introductory rides but this was to be her first time on an all-day ride.

With Rupert at the helm thirteen riders set off towards Barton and then into Cambridge for a trip over Lammas Land to the Mill, and then up Pembroke Street and Downing Street, Clarendon Street, Midsummer Common and down to the river.

By the Mill Pond, Cambridge

Pembroke Street, Cambridge

This was all very unusual for us but also very pleasurable, a city centre ride so different from our normal rides out into the country.

Riverside, Cambridge

This took us over the river to join the towpath up to Baits Bite Lock and it was very quiet and calm but no doubt when the Bumps resume later in the day it will became a lot more lively.

Near the old Pike and Eel

Towards Baits Bike Lock

We reached Waterbeach and then over the A10 into Landbeach where we made the turn for the run in to Cottenham and coffee at the Community Centre. Already there we found eight more members and also one or two others who arrived a little later, including Brian M who it was very good to see getting out and about again.


The Community Centre was very friendly and welcoming and we were able to enjoy a pleasant break before resuming our journey shortly before mid-day.

When we left Cottenham we had to go along the rather busy Twenty Pence road to reach Wilburton where we turned into Grunty Fen and along typical fen roads to Wentworth. We crossed the busy A142 and headed to Coveney and now we started to get views of Ely Cathedral in the distance; we paused for a while in Coveney which is a rare high spot in the fens.

Mike CC at Coveney with Ely Cathedral in background


On resumption we went through the tiny hamlet of Way Head and soon after poor Adrian was involved in a collision with a chicken which sadly passed away as a result of its injuries.

Way Head

Next came Little Downham and a few more miles took us into Ely where we made our way to Cheryl's house who, with Charles, had invited us to sit in their garden for our lunch break. They have a lovely walled garden and it was really nice to sit outside and enjoy it all with Cheryl supplying copious quantities of tea and flapjack. Out thanks to both Cheryl and Charles for their hospitality but at about 2.15pm it was time to get under way again.

Cheryl's Garden, Ely

Rupert led the way through the centre of Ely and out to join the NCN 11 cycle path (also part of the Fen Rivers Way) that runs south alongside the River Great Ouse towards Barway and the food processing factory there.

Heading south from Ely along NCN 11

We progressed along to Wicken where we branched off to go to Upware and then ride parallel to Reach Lode before stopping at the turning for Reach. At this point we still had seventeen riders and about four opted to head for Lode whilst the remainder headed to the ancient village of Reach.

Reach Turning on the Lodes Way

By now we were getting close to Cambridge as Swaffham Prior and Swaffham Bulbeck came next and then Bottisham and the cycleway alongside the A1303 to the Fen Ditton turning where the ride effectively ended with one group going into Cambridge and the other via Cherry Hinton and points south of the city.

We don't go north of the city very often but this was a very successful outing going into many villages not often visited by us and the flat fen scenery has a special fascination about it, the more so with the magnificent Cathedral in the background. Our thanks to Rupert for a splendid ride and for those who went back to Haslingfield would have completed 66 miles and for a ride led by the Runs Secretary it wouldn't do to have done any more! Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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