Wednesday, 13 April 2016

13 Apr: Evening ride to Thriplow

Nigel writes: I'd been watching the weather forecast nervously all day, hoping that as the day progressed the prediction of light rain showers would be replaced by a promise of dry weather. I'm not sure whether the forecast was eventually changed, but in the event this evening's weather turned out to be perfect for a leisurely ride in the countryside south of Cambridge: warm, dry and sunny, and with very little wind.

My companions for tonight's ride were Tom, Neil, Gareth and David, with Chris joining us along the way.

The start at Brookside

Our pub stop was to be in Thriplow. This is one of my favourite pub stops for two distinct reasons: the pub itself, and its location which is perfect for a two-hour spin through the gentle hills of the Cambridgeshire-Essex border.

We set off from Brookside and followed our usual flat route south through the Shelfords, Whittlesford and Duxford to Ickleton, where the climbing began. We made very good progress, reaching the top of Coploe Hill (and the border with Essex) at 7.25pm. Two weeks ago we had paused here and watched the sun set, whereas today the sun still had twenty-five minutes left before turning in the for the night.

Coploe Summit

From Coploe Hill we continued south to the second summit of Catmere End and then descended down the other side, dropping down first to Littlebury Green and then down to the B1039 near Wenden Lofts.

We climbed back up to Elmdon, continued on to the northern end of Chrishall and then enjoyed a long, fast, descent down to Chrishall Grange. By now the sun had set but it was still sufficiently light when we arrived in Thriplow to admire the hundreds (if not thousands) of daffodils planted along the verges in anticipation of the annual daffodil festival being this coming weekend. Many looked slightly wilted and past their best, but they'll still provide an attractive spread of yellow.

Pub stop at The Green Man, Thriplow

We stopped at The Green Man for drinks and bowls of chips. As on previous visits this pub was buzzing with people. However we were able to find a free table, and our food orders were delivered quickly and efficiently.

After a pleasant half hour or so we returned back to Cambridge via Newton, the Shelfords and the DNA path. I arrived home at 9.50pm, having cycled 33 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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