Wednesday, 23 December 2015

23 Dec: Ad-hoc ride to Newport

Nigel writes: There's a bit of a void in the clubs's ride calendar at this time of year, with no official club rides until the new year. I suspect that's not because of a reluctance of members to go for a ride, but because our leaders prefer not to commit themselves at a busy time of year. I'd heard plenty of talk around the club of unoffical "ad-hoc" rides, so it came as no surprise that a superb weather forcast for 23rd December was followed by a suggestion from Alex (via the members' email list) for a short morning outing. With "storm Eva" due to arrive the following day, I decided to take advantage of a lovely winter's day and join him.

The rendezvous point was Cambridge Railway Station at 9.30am. Alex and I were joined by Edmund and Phil, making four in total. After waiting to make sure that no-one else was going to turn up, we set off south down the busway.

On the busway

Today really was the most super day: clear, sunny and very mild, with a light south-westerly headwind which made us work a bit on our journey south.

Heading for the DNA path

Alex's route took us south to Great Shelford, west to Little Shelford, and along the B1368 to Newton. After a loop via Thriplow we reached Fowlmere, crossed the A505 and continued to Chrishall Grange.

For most of this part of the ride we were riding directly into a low sun, which was not a problem for us but which made me rather wary of following motorists who, as countless prosecutions have demonstrated, are legally exempt from the requirement to drive carefully in such circumstances.

Approaching Chrishall Grange

From Chrishall Grange, and on very quiet roads, we took the long climb to Chrishall itself, and during a pause at the summit I explained to anyone who cared to listen that Chrishall Grange, Chrishall Grange and Great Chishill were three different places.

This very pleasant ride continued south through Duddenhoe End and Langely Upper Green to Hill Green near Clavering, where we joined the B1038 for the final few miles east (and so with the wind behind us at last) to Newport.

For working sage slave like me, one of the pleasures of a weekday ride is the opportunity to visit coffee stops that are closed on Sundays. And so today I was able to visit Dorrington's Bakery, a longstanding Thursday favourite but which I had never visted myself.

Dorrington's Bakery, Newport

Already at the coffee stop was Craig who had arranged to meet us there.


After a very pleasant half hour drinking coffee and consuming warm sausage rolls and cakes we said goodbye to Craig and returned back north to Cambridge. With a tailwind behind us we made rapid progress, and with the sun behind us, casting long shadows across the fields, this was a very pleasant ride back.

Wendens Ambo

Our route back took us via Wendens Ambo, Catmere End, Coploe Hill and Ickleton, and I arrived home at about 1.45pm, having cycled 45 miles. Thanks are due to Alex for leading the ride, for taking the initiative in organising it, and in inviting members via email rather than relying on word-of-mouth.



Download GPS track (GPX).


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