Today's ride leader was Adrian for our trip out to Newmarket for coffee and onto the La Hogue Farm Shop at Chippenham for lunch.
Swaffham Bulbeck to Dullingham
In the overcast and blustery conditions Adrian led us away from Stow-cum-Quy up to the cycleway alongside the old Newmarket Road until the turning into Bottisham and on to Swaffham Bulbeck. Here we turned back up to the Newmarket Road and shortly after we crossed over the A1304 to start the slight incline up to Dullingham. Today the wind was a prevailing south westerly and this would give us assistance for most of the morning session, and as we approached Dullingham a light drizzle developed but it didn't last too long.
Swaffham Bulbeck to Dullingham
When we reached the crossroads we set course for Stetchworth followed by Woodditton and as we looked around at the fields it's marvellous to see how quickly they have been transformed with winter wheat now well out of the ground and oil seed rape also well advanced.
When we had cleared Woodditton we just had the run into Newmarket where we passed the forlorn looking railway station, although still open, a long way from its pomp when it brought thousands of racing fans into the town.
A few minutes later we arrived at the Horse Racing Museum where we found Richard already enjoying his coffee. The staff at the museum are always very thoughtful and allow us to bring our bikes through into the courtyard. It was quiet in the cafe and we were able to enjoy a very pleasant break.
After coffee Richard left us leaving the original nine to head out of Newmarket with a climb along Duchess Drive for the turning to Cheveley where the trees looked splendid in their autumn colours.
We cycled through Ashley and Dalham where we encountered a particularly stiff climb through the woods before beginning the descent into Kentford.
Mike CC steaming into Kentford
Ready for Halloween in Kentford
We went over the B1506, the railway and the A14 and north to Red Lodge where we crossed the A11 and turned west towards Freckenham. This became the first taste of riding into the wind but soon we turned away from Freckenham and took a delightfully quiet road into Chippenham, arriving at the La Hogue at 1. pm and 34 miles from Stow-cum-Quy.
It was all very pleasant at lunch, where we found John S, with the usual arrangement of some with sandwiches and some ordering a lunch inside, but all coming together for a tea or coffee after eating. Soon after 2 pm Adrian called his team to order and we set off to circumnavigate Chippenham Park where we joined the road into Snailwell, and even though we now faced the wind, in the event it wasn't too much trouble.
In fact the sun was becoming a bit more successful after one or two feeble efforts earlier on and at times we could actually feels its warmth. Snailwell was followed by Exning which was followed by Burwell. This could have been a quick way home, but bearing in mind this was the last Thursday ride before the clocks go back Adrian took us down to Reach which enabled us to join the Lodes Way to Lode.
We took the longer route round by going back to Bottisham and then the cycleway alongside the B1303 until the turning to Stow-cum-Quy which Sarah and Mike CC took to go back to the cars. This effectively ended the ride - it was now 4 pm and we had cycled a very pleasant 55 miles. Our thanks to Adrian for the ride and it was noticeable how much easier it had been to manage only nine riders as the same nine who set out in the morning finished the ride together in the afternoon. Edward Elmer
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