Wednesday, 16 December 2015

16 Dec: Evening ride to Thriplow

Nigel writes: Although our winter evening rides are normally held as close to the full moon as possible, tonight's ride was held a week early to avoid clashing with Christmas. On a dry, very cloudy and extremely mild evening I was joined by Paul, Seb and Heather for a leisurely loop south to what is now firmly my favourite pub for an evening ride.

Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge

We set off south from Brookside, following our usual route of busway, Francis Crick Avenue and DNA path to Great Shelford. Although there was a very slight headwind the temperature was astonishingly mild for December: at about 13C it was almost ten degrees warmer than our last evening ride on 25th November, and although on that occasion I was regretting not having brought warmer clothes, this time I was feeling rather too hot and had to stop to remove a layer of clothing.

From Great Shelford we took the road to Little Shelford and followed it south through Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton. With Christmas just over a week away we passed many houses decorated with Christmas lights, but in almost every case the result was restrained and tasteful. I was therefore relieved to spot a rather more traditionally excessive display in Ickleton.

House in Bird's Close, Ickleton (raising funds for Cancer Research)

We climbed Coploe Hill and paused for a breath (and, unusually, a few swigs of water) before continuing south. Instead of carrying on all the way to Catmere End we turned right to take a shortcut along Royston Lane. This took us to Chrishall Grange and a few more miles on the flat to Fowlmere. We reached Thriplow just before 8.30pm (vindicating our decision to take a shortcut) and stopped for drinks at The Green Man.

As expected, the pub was busy with festive diners but we managed to bag a table before waiting at the bar to order our drinks. We were initially warned that the kitchen might be too busy preparing Christmas meals to provide us with any food, but a few moments later were told that we had arrived at just the right time and the kitchen was able to accept our orders of bowls of chips as usual. As on previous visits we were made to feel very welcome and this pub remains a firm favourite.

Beer and chips at Thriplow

After a pleasant half hour or so in the pub we set off back to Cambridge via Newton, Harston, Trumpington meadows and the busway. I arrived home just after 10pm, having cycled 30 miles.



Download GPS track (GPX).

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