Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26 Aug: Evening ride to Newton

Nigel writes: Despite summer approaching its end, with sunset becoming earlier and earlier at an alarming rate, our evening rides continue to be every bit as popular as they have been all year. Perhaps the realisation that the long summer evenings are almost over makes people want to enjoy them before they disappear. Whatever the reason, we had a good turnout for this evening's ride: Gareth, Tom, Paul, John, Neil, Ian and me.

We set off south from Brookside towards Long Road and joined the busway to Addenbrooke's. Today had been a day of heavy rain until mid-afternoon, after which conditions improved steadily, and by the time evening arrived the weather was bright and sunny. Perfectly nice conditions, though a steady south-westerly breeze meant that for the first half of our ride we were riding into a headwind.

We left the busway and followed the DNA path to Great Shelford, arriving there just in time to see the barriers close at the Granham's Road level crossing. Instead of waiting for them to re-open we followed the cycle route alongside the railway line to Station Road, only to see, yet again, the level crossing barriers by the station closing as we approached them. This time we had no choice to wait, but after a couple of minutes were on our way again to Little Shelford and then Whittlesford, Duxford and Ickleton.

By the time we reached Ickleton we had dropped John, though I wasn't worried since I knew would be happy taking his own route at his own pace. The remaining six carried on to the top of Coploe Hill. It was now 7.40pm and sunset was only twenty minutes away.

Coploe Hill just before sunset

After Coploe Hill the group divided once more, with Paul taking a shorter route to the pub via Royston Lane, and the remainder carrying to Catmere End and Littlebury Green.

From Littlebury Green we dropped down to the B1039. The roadworks here are now complete and the road is once again open to all traffic. We then followed the B1039 west for a mile or so before turning north, opting for the gentle climb to Chrishall rather than the slightly steeper climb to Elmdon. A long, fast descent took us down to Chrishall Grange and was followed by the final few miles on the flat to Fowlmere and along the B1368 to Newton. From Fowlmere  to Newton we had decent a tailwind, and I was able to blast along at well over 20mph. When we reaced Newton  we stopped for drinks at the Queen's Head where we found John and Paul waiting for us.

After a pleasant half hour in this simple but ever-popular pub we returned back to Cambridge. We continued along the B1039 to Harston and then turned onto the A10 towards Cambridge. We decided to skip the diversion through Trumpington Meadows and stay on the A10 cycle path all the way to Trumpington Park and Ride, where we joined the busway for the last two miles into Cambridge. I arrived home just after 9.30pm, having cycled 34 miles.



Download GPS track (GPX).

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