Sunday, 26 July 2015

26 Jul: Sunday morning ride to Newmarket

Nigel writes: With an area of low pressure sitting right on top of the British Isles, the summary from the weather forecast was that there would be "no sign of summer" until it went away. In our part of the country that meant a cool and dull day, with heavy rain arriving from about 11am. So when I cycled across to Brookside I didn't expect to see anyone other than John our leader and so was pleased to find both Mike CC and Li there as well.

John led us south-east out of Cambridge along Hills Road to Addenbrooke's, where we turned left onto Wort's Causeway for the gentle climb over the Gogs to Fulbourn. From there we continued through Great Wilbraham to Little Wilbraham. Along the way we were overtaken by a pair of faster riders and I decided to tag along at the back. They towed me along the long drag to Six Mile Bottom and half-way up the hill towards Brinkley as far as the Woddland Cemetery. There I turned left for Dullingham and the final few miles down into Newmarket, arriving at Coffee and Co at about 10.30am.

A large contingent from the West Suffolk Wheelers were sitting outside, so I went inside where I found Adrian. After a short while we were joined by Eva, Jim and Joseph and a few minutes after that Mike CC, Li and John arrived.

Coffee and Co is a pleasant cafe though getting the coffee and cake you ordered a few minutes earlier is always a hit-and-miss affair, with staff wandering around the place calling out things like "large latte and carrot cake" and expecting to be flagged down by the appropriate customer. When I asked why they didn't simply ask people their names when taking orders the staff member seem surprised by my question, and replied "we don't". Inevitably the usual confusion occurred again today, with Adrian being presented with the same incorrect coffee twice, me receiving two plates of the same cake, and similar incompetent bumbling.

As we sat inside the cafe it started to drizzle and we all agreed to ride back to Cambridge. We followed NCN 51 north to Exning and then west through Burwell and Upware to join the Lodes Way. As we rode along the rain got steadily heavier and I was glad that we weren't cycling along busy roads being splashed by overtaking cars.

Heading home from Exning towards Burwell

We followed the Lodes Way west to Lode where the group split, with Jim and John joining the B1102 to Quy and Eva and me taking the longer but much quieter route via Bottisham. The rain continued to get heaver and heavier and I was beginning to feel cold, so I was glad I didn't have far to go. At Fen Ditton I waved goodbye to Eva and caught up with Adrian who had left us at Burwell. After following the river back into Cambridge I arrived home at 12.50pm, having cycled 42 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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