Wednesday, 11 May 2016

11 May: Evening ride to Barton

Nigel writes: The heatwave we enjoyed last weekend seems to have passed, but this evening was still quite warm, despite being dull and overcast. There had been rain earlier, leaving the roads wet and the air heavy and humid, but with no further rain forecast for the rest of the evening we had a relatively good turnout at Brookside for tonight's ride: Ray, Sven, John S, John E, newcomer Camille and me. I had also received a message from Conrad who would meet us along the way, making a total of seven.

Our destination tonight was Barton on the south-western outskirts of Cambridge. Last time we'd visited here we'd taken a long loop to the west via Great Gransden, so this time I suggested we head south instead. Everyone seemed happy with this, so we set off south from Brookside and followed our usual route south along the busway to Addenbrooke's and the DNA path to Great Shelford.

On the busway approaching Addenbrooke's

From Great Shelford we continued south to Sawston, following a sucession of rather poor shared-use cycleways to get there. Once we reached Sawston we turned west, crossing the A1301 (and the railway) to join the very pleasant cycleway that leads over a tributary of the River Cam towards Whittlesford.

At the railway crossing west of Sawston

Crossing the Cam or Granta approaching Whittlesford

When we reached Whittlesford at about 6.30pm it was something of a relief to be on normal roads at last. We were now heading towards Newton, and with the wind behind us our speed increased noticeably. We continued in the same direction to Harston, crossed the A10, and continued to Haslingfield. We were making good time so when we reached Haslingfield I asked whether anyone was interested in joining me for an optional, excusion to the top of Chapel Hill and back. Sven, Camille and Ray were game so we raced to the top, pausing just long enough to see a very hazy view of Cambridge before returning back down again and continuing with our journey.

On the open road near Newton

We continued through Harlton and the Eversdens and it was only when we were approaching Kingston that we eventually caught up with John E. Just beyond Kingston the sky cleared in the west just enough for us to admire the setting sun before we turned east along the B1046 to Toft, Comberton and Barton.

Sunset near Kingston

We reached The White Horse in Barton at 8.25pm and stopped for drinks and snacks. John S arrived at about the same time and ordered a steak, and a few minutes later we were joined by Conrad.

At The White Horse, Barton

After a very pleasant half hour or so sitting in their front garden we returned to Cambridge along the Barton Road cycleway. I arrived home at 9.45pm, having cycled 31 miles.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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