Thursday, 31 March 2016

30 Mar: Evening ride to Shepreth

Nigel writes: Now that we've put our clocks forward by an hour the evenings have suddenly got lighter and our Wednesday evening rides have changed from monthly to weekly. As if to celebrate the arrival of the new season (and perhaps as compensation for a dismal Easter), tonight's ride took place on a perfect spring evening: dry and sunny with the lightest of breezes. My companions for this evening's ride were Tom and Gareth who joined me at Brookside, Seb who joined us on Trumpington Road, and John S who was waiting for us in Great Shelford.

We set off south from Brookside, following Trumpington Road, Long Road, the busway and the DNA path to Great Shelford. As usual Gareth was riding ahead of the others, and when we became separated from him at the level crossing in Great Shelford he gave us a wave and set off on own.

The rest of us carried on south through Little Shelford to Whittlesford and Ickleton. Even without Gareth to push up the pace our speed this evening was quite brisk, and we arrived at the top of Coploe Hill in just under an hour, just in time to watch the sun set.

Coploe Summit at sunset

We descended from Coploe and took the right turn onto Royston Lane towards Chrishall Grange. This is quite a bit shorter than the longer loop we sometimes take via Catmere End and Littlebury Green, but the extra time came in handy when Tom incurred a puncture and we stopped whilst he replaced his tube.

Royston Lane

Now that the sun had set the temperature was dropping rapidly, reminding us that it is still March, and my fingers and toes began to feel the cold. Fortunately we didn't have far to go, and after crossing the A505 to Fowlmere and adding in a short loop via the RSPB to Shepreth, we reached The Plough in Shepreth at 8.30pm exactly. Gareth was already there, having ridden the longer loop via Catmere End, Littlebury Green and Elmdon.

We'd been impressed by this pub when we visited it for the first time last summer, and our visit this evening confirmed that good impression. It's a large, smart pub (which feels incongruous in such a small village), and our orders of chips were fulfilled quickly.

At The Plough, Shepreth

After a pleasant half hour in the pub we set off back to Cambridge via Barrington, Chapel Hill, Haslingfield and Barton. I arrived home at 10.05pm having cycled 33 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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