Perhaps this was the one of the reasons why tonight's warm, sunny weather brought out a good turnout, with John, Tom, Brian, Neil, Ian and newcomer Bruce joining me on this evening's ride.
Our pub stop was in Thriplow, which allowed us to ride one of my favourite short loops from Cambridge before stopping at one of my favourite village pubs.
We set off south from Brookside and followed the busway to Addenbrooke's and the DNA path to Great Shelford.
On the DNA path
After a short pause at the level crossing we continued to Little Shelford and from there to Whittlesford, Duxford and Ickleton.
Waiting for the level crossing at Great Shelford
The pace this evening was moderate, with everyone riding at much the same speed. Unlike on some evening rides, where a breakaway group of faster riders quickly disappears into the distance, or slower riders are left behind to take a shorter route, on this occasion the whole group stayed together for the whole way, making this a particularly relaxed and sociable ride.
We climbed Coploe Hill and, after the traditional pause at the top, continued south to Catmere End. We rode on to Littlebury Green and then descended the hill on the far side, noting along the way that the bridge reconstruction that has kept this road closed for several months is nearly complete.
After following the B1039 for about half a mile we turned north for the climb up to Elmdon, followed by the descent to Chrishall Grange and the final few miles on the flat to Fowlmere and Thriplow.
We stopped at The Green Man to find it buzzing with activity: this community-owned pub is clearly thriving. We ordered drinks and bowls of chips and sat outside to enjoy the final minutes of twilight.
After half an hour it had turned quite dark and we turned on our lights for the 45-minute ride home to Cambridge. Our route took us to Newton, along the B1368 to Harston and then across Trumpington Meadows to Trumpington and the busway once more. I arrived home at 9.55pm having cycled 33 miles.
Download GPS track (GPX).