Sunday, 6 December 2015

6 Dec: Sunday ride to Wilburton and Ely

Alex writes: It has been rather blustery of late, and when I looked out of the window it was evident that we were still experiencing the outer bands of Storm Desmond, as the tree tops were still bending enough in the wind to make me think twice about taking the bike out.

Still, the forecast was for calmer weather later, so I rode to Brookside and found John S, Seb C and Keith (today's leader) prepared to face the elements.

We headed out of Cambridge using a lesser-used route (past Newnham College, then along Grange Road and Storey's Way) then passing through Girton. There we saw Nick W who was heading South with the sensible plan of enjoying a HOTH (headwind out, tailwind home) and in search of some hills. We were doing the opposite, with a tailwind out, and heading into the flatlands of the Fens.

Keith led us along the busway to Westwick, and then we turned north and rode to Cottenham at express speed with the brisk wind at our backs. At Cottenham we turned onto Long Drove which is 5km of very jolty concrete road, before re-joining the (smooth) B1049 and zipping up to Wilburton for coffee, arriving at 10:40.

It was just as well we arrived early, as there was no queue and the service at the Twenty Pence Garden Centre can be rather deliberate. There is however a very good range of savoury food and cakes on offer, of which we took full advantage. Soon we were joined by Adrian and (fleetingly) by Conrad, who had to head back to Cambridge after coffee.

In the Fen Country

So it was now five of us who set out northwards for a loop to take us to Ely. Before long we were in the Fenland proper enjoying the wind behind us on each zig, and suffering from it as a vicious crosswind on each zag.

We passed through Coveney and Little Downham and then swung south to head into Ely and lunch at the Cutter Inn.

At lunch

As we were arriving in Ely it was already evident the wind had dropped, and as we ate it dropped still further, so by the time we started home it was only a moderate headwind we had to battle against.

Keith led us along the path by the Great Ouse to Barway and there, instead of sticking to NCR 11 as usual, and mindful of the muddy conditions, we took the roads through Upware, the Swaffhams, Lode and Stow-cum-Quy to take us back into Cambridge.

When I arrived home I found I had cycled 85 km (53 miles). My (metric) Eddington number is 73.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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