Thursday, 3 March 2016

3 Mar: Thursday ride to Lode and Newmarket

Once again today's ride had both a "village start" from Hauxton and a "city start" from Brookside in Cambridge.

Edward describes the start from Hauxton: After something of a wild night the morning settled down and fourteen riders met in Hauxton for this Thursday’s ride which was to take us to Anglesey Abbey and Newmarket.

The group from Hauxton was in the hands of Sarah and by the time we left the sun was shining brightly and it looked as if we could be in for a good day. We went to Hauxton and Little Shelford, where we noticed that the daffodils which first appeared before Christmas were still going strong, and on to Great Shelford.

On the DNA path from Great Shelford to Addenbrooke's

Once we had gone over the railway we went along the DNA path to the sound of skylarks (how nice is that), past Addenbrooke’s hospital where it is possible to see ten cranes involved in all the construction work.

Cranes at Addenbrooke's

There was very little wind today, and such as there was, helped us in the climb over the Gogs which took us down to Fulbourn followed by both Great and Little Wilbraham.

Worts Causeway

Climbing The Gogs

Soon we crossed over the A14 and went into Bottisham and much to our surprise David M appeared behind us, and that was indeed a pleasure to see him back in the saddle after a long lay-off.

Little Wilbraham

Little Wilbraham to Bottisham

Peter describes the start from Brookside: After wintry squalls during the previous day, riders on the City Start met under sparkling blue skies and sunshine. A record number of eleven riders for a Thursday "City start" gathered at Brookside including guest rider Russell who joined us for his first CTC ride.

Led by me (Peter), the group proceeded down Trumpington Street to Barrow Road and then into Long Road via the cycle path at the end of Porson Road and Rutherford Road. From Long Road we went down onto the Busway then across to Francis Crick Avenue which is alive with all sorts of construction vehicles making their way to the new Papworth Hospital building site.

Cranes (Photo: Alex Brown)

From here we continued on the cycle path which links DNA path to Addenbrookes and made our way onto Red Cross Lane but not before one of our party took a brief tumble trying to extract their feet from new 'clipless' pedals.

Skirting Addenbrooke's (Photo: Alex Brown)

We soon arrived onto Wort's Causeway and into the countryside . We climbed over the Goggs and onto Fulbourn and the Wilbrahams. It was a salutary thought that we had to cross the road leading to Six Mile Bottom where just the day before there had been two fatalities in a car accident.

Through the Wilbrahams (Photo: Alex Brown)

Crossing the A1303 carefully we soon arrived in Bottisham and from there it is a short hop to Anglesey Abbey where we arrived before the other group and settled down to coffee and cakes in the marquee which was serving as a temporary cafe. Peter Wilson

Edward continues: We arrived at Anglesey Abbey at 10.45am and today, owing to a refurbishment of their restaurant, coffee and a limited supply of cakes were supplied from a large marquee. Actually, because of the heating blowers, it was hot inside and as the sun was very bright and warm, many chose to sit outside. Not unexpectedly a fair number of members had made their own way to the Abbey, so probably well over thirty of us in total including Richard M and Vic S.

Coffee at Anglesey Abbey

At 11.20am it was time to go again with Peter leading a group of ten followed by Sarah with a slightly larger group. We went into Lode and out to the Lodes Way and this began a very pleasant six miles to Wicken. This was one of the days to really enjoy this route with its big open skies where it’s possible to see far into the distance and with so little wind cycling was very easy and not having to concern ourselves with traffic apart from the odd tractor.

On the Lodes Way

On the Lodes Way

Eventually we arrived in Wicken where we rejoined the roads and set off through more open countryside to Soham and Fordham. After Fordham we had to use the busy A142 for a short while to the Snailwell turning and to much relief on to quiet roads again. When we reached Snailwell we only had the mile or so downhill into Newmarket and the Horse Racing Museum for our lunch break.

Wicken

The Horse Racing Museum is rapidly climbing the charts as one of our favourite lunch establishments. The staff are always very friendly to us, being welcomed at the doorway and allowing us to take our bikes through the building to the courtyard, and to the staff taking our orders and bringing the food out to us. Not only that there is always a selection of good quality food and all at reasonable prices. By September they will have moved to Palace Road which is nearby, so let's hope this all goes well for them.

At 2pm sixteen set off for the afternoon session which involved a climb out of the town and onto the Woodditton road and a long climb up to the Stetchworth turning where we turned south westerly to Dullingham. In Dullingham Rupert lead a group of six back to Cambridge with Sarah leading the remaining ten back to Hauxton.

Snailwell

By now the best of the day appeared to be over with the sun disappearing behind clouds and the bad weather which had been forecast for later in the day appeared to be gathering on the horizon. Mike CC was convinced this meant snow was on its way and would we be home before it arrived, possibly feeling a little grumpy as he didn’t feature in any of the photographs. From Dullingham we travelled across country to West Wratting and Balsham where we made the turn to Hildersham and the final descent of the day to the flatter lands of south Cambridgeshire. We crossed over the A1307 to go by Great Abingdon and the cycleway alongside the A505 to Babraham, Sawston, Stapleford and Great Shelford.

The crossing at Westley Waterless

This was another fabulous day out, ably led by Sarah who was diligent in her concern for everyone and waiting from time to time to make sure that no one was being left behind. Thanks also are due to Peter for volunteering to lead the city ride. From Great Shelford Sarah led Susan, Sheila, Mia and Mike CC back to Hauxton where they would have completed 56 very satisfactory miles Edward Elmer



Download GPS track (GPX).

1 comment:

  1. Ed: I was right about the snow albeit it didn't extend so far south to Cambs; althogh we had to dodge the rain/sleet a few miles from home.

    An excellent report as usual of the rides from both you and Peter although yours, Ed, would have been enhanced with at least one shot of me in my happier moments.

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