Thursday, 28 April 2016

28 Apr: Thursday ride to Lode and Kentford

Edward writes: Apparently this ride would create history in that our two leaders today were both women, with Averil leading the group from the city and Sharon leading from Hauxton. This ride would also be a longer summer ride taking in Anglesey Abbey in Lode and the Animal Health Trust in Kentford. This morning we welcomed John who was riding with us for the first time. In the last week or so we seemed to have had more frosty mornings than all of the so-called winter months put together. However, after another overnight frost the skies were clear and bright but the biggest bonus was that the wind had finally shifted away from the North and was now much more westerly.

Young member at Hauxton

Sharon led the ride out of Hauxton which was a group of fifteen (eight at Brookside), into Little Shelford, Great Shelford, over the railway at the station and up Hinton Way to the Gog Magog golf course.

Little Shelford

With the wind now changed climbing the Gog hills was much less arduous than usual and we soon arrived in Fulbourn. Both the Wilbrahams came and went and we arrived in Bottisham for the final run in to Anglesey Abbey in Lode at exactly the same time as Avril’s group who had left Cambridge along side the river. As they were a bit early they did a loop round Bottisham and Swaffham Bulbeck.

About to cross over the A14 at Bottisham


As usual we were joined by many others, among them Vic who it is always a pleasure to see, which meant there were at least thirty club members at the cafe. After the usual exchange of personnel, and as we were going over the Lodes Way, we left Lode in rather a long convoy. Obviously, once on the Lodes Way and away from the traffic this was no problem.

On the Lodes Way

At the turning for Burwell we split into two groups; Avril took a small group of seven towards Burwell along Little Fen Drove whilst Sharon led a much larger group up to Wicken and subsequently to Fordham and Chippenham.

Those Red Sox again

Meanwhile Avril took us into the North end of Burwell, which was little error, but soon corrected, allowing us to take the long route via Heath Road past the solar farm to Exning. Another mile or so brought us to Newmarket and now the most attractive part of the route began as we left the town beside the gallops to join the pleasantly rural and mostly quiet ride to Moulton.

Newmarket Gallops


This gave us a chance to see that the daffodils are finally fading away but are now replaced by the bluebells. When we reached Moulton we used the B1085 to run down to Kentford, a left turn along the B1056 and we arrived at the Animal Health Trust shortly after 1 pm and 34 miles after leaving Hauxton, and finding Sharon’s group already there.

Lunch at Kentford

With so many of us sitting in the courtyard we caused a minor panic amongst the staff, but they soon overcame their shock and it didn’t take long to get everyone served, especially as the group wasn’t quite as large as it first appeared as many had brought sandwiches. During lunch the skies clouded over and one or two threatening clouds loomed into view and the temperature dropped. This probably encouraged quite a few to leave early and make their own way home. About ten minutes later a final group of eleven set off for home. We went back into Moulton and now as we faced south west we would ride into the wind. Between Moulton and Cheveley there is a stiff climb which gives way to a great descent into Cheveley.

The hill between Moulton and Cheveley

We turned right in Cheveley and followed the signs for Stetchworth but never actually going there as we now branched off to Dullingham. When we reached Dullingham the group split again with about half going back to Cambridge via Swaffham Bulbeck and Sharon’s group headed off towards West Wratting.


We finished the ride via Balsham and Hildersham and the ride between these two villages was in sharp contrast to two weeks ago. Then it was thunder, lightening and torrential rain, but this time two Hercules aircraft appeared from behind the hill to our right and for a few moments it seemed they were only just above ground level - quite a sight. After Great Abington, Sawston and Great Shelford and back to Hauxton we finished the ride at 4.15 pm and 62 enjoyable miles. Warm thanks to Sharon for devising the route and to Averil for willingly leading the City start group. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track from Hauxton(GPX).

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