Ray writes: I stepped in at the last minute to lead today's ride to Hare Street. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm enough for shorts and short sleeves when I set off. I arrived at Brookside to find Simon and a new rider, Susan, waiting on the bench. A few minutes later John E turned up, then Gina, making us 5 - not a great turn-out on such a nice day, but perhaps not helped by the lack of an advertised leader.
We took the usual route down Trumpington Road and onto the busway to Addenbrookes, then the DNA path as far as the railway station in Great Shelford. Next came Little Shelford and Newton; we were making a bee-line for the A505 crossing at Flint Cross, but this didn't stop us from taking a detour through Thriplow.
Shortly after crossing the A505, we started the long climb to Great Chishill. Susan had been worried about keeping up with the group but she was right on my tail at the top of the hill, where we stopped to wait for the others. From Great Chishill, we enjoyed the gently rolling lanes through Shaftenhoe End, Nuthamstead, and Anstey, arriving at the tea stop in Hare Street almost dead on 4pm, where we shared a pot of tea and a delicious plate of small cakes.
I think this was the first time this year I've ridden this route, and it was nice to rediscover these undulating wooded lanes. They are especially pretty with the autumn sunshine filtering through the leaves.
To make the most of the nice weather, we took a slightly longer route back to Cambridge, heading east through Ferneux Pelham, Stocking
Pelham and Berden before turning north for Clavering and Arksden. The temperature was dropping now and I stopped to put on a long-sleeved top, then we continued on minor roads through Duddenhoe End for the climb up to Elmdon.
Our last climb of the day was on the road between Elmdon and Ickleton, but we were rewarded with a fast descent into Ickleton. When I'm leading, I always take the route through Hinxton to Duxford - it's a mile farther than the direct road, but a much more pleasant ride.
By now the sun was setting and we were riding with lights. Gina left us at Whittlesford for home in Sawston, and Susan dropped off in
Little Shelford. It was 7.30pm when I got home to Arbury, having covered 58 miles (the round trip from Brookside was 54 miles). Ray Miller
Download this route (GPX).