Sunday, 17 January 2016

17 Jan: Sunday ride to Newmarket and Chippenham

Nigel writes: After a very mild December, it was inevitable that the temperature would fall in January, and today's ride was my coldest yet this winter. The temperature at 9.30am was just above freezing, though the roads were dry and free from ice.

There were eleven of us at Brookside, though we picked up two more on the way out of Cambridge making a total of thirteen.

The start at Brookside

Our leader today was Alex, and his choice of route took us south-east out of Cambridge along Hills Road. The length of Hills Road between the railway bridge and Long Road is currently half-way through a major project to construct cycle tracks along each side. The city-bound side is now complete, and the road is currently free of roadworks until work on the outbound side starts soon.

Hills Road bridge, Cambridge

When we reached Addenbrooke's we turned left onto Wort's Causeway and climbed over the Gog Magog hills to Fulbourn. This is my favourite climb close to Cambridge, and today the exertions of the climb provided a welcome opportunity to warm up on a cold morning.

Climbing The Gogs

When we reached Fulbourn we continued through the Wilbrahams and onto the long road to Six Mile Bottom. As we rode along we waited for the clouds to break and the promised sunshine to appear. We saw clear skies in the distance but the skies above us remained stubbonly cloudy and, to our disappointment, remained cloudy for the whole day.

From Six Mile Bottom another climb took us up to the cross-roads where we turned left to Dullingham. We continued towards Stechworth for a couple of miles before turning left and dropped down into Newmarket, arriving at Coffee & Co at 11.20am.

There were several members of the club already in the cafe together with a group of cyclists from another club, but they left just after we arrived and there was room for all of us to sit inside. This is a nice cafe and the cakes are rather good, but the service is quite slow and it was nearly 12 noon before we were able to set off again.


Alex led us on a fairly direct route to lunch, commencing with two short climbs. First we climbed out of Newmarket past The Gallops before dropping back down to Moulton. Then we climbed once again before dropping back down to Gazely. Here we turned north to Kentford, crossing the A14 and A11 before arriving at La Hogue Farm Shop and Cafe at 1.20pm.

As usual the staff at La Hogue were quick and efficient and our food arrived quickly, allowing us to get back on the road at about 2.15pm. With sunset only two hours away the temperature was already beginning to fall again and I was glad that we were heading back to Cambridge.

Heading home past Chippenham Park

Our route took us around Chippenham Park and then west via Snailwell to Exning. We then followed NCN 51 all the way back, via Burwell, Reach and The Lodes Way. I arrived home at 4.15pm, having cycled 55 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

1 comment:

  1. Lucky to be travelling east. What a difference a few miles makes. We had a dusting of snow over the roads and fields sunday morning in Clavering