Wednesday, 8 June 2016

8 Jun: Evening ride to Barrington

Nigel writes: Last week's cold spell is now behind us and it's now early summer again in Cambridge. We're not just a fair-weather club (last week's evening ride, despite miserable damp weather, had six riders), but there's no question that good weather brings out more people to cycle, and today's warm, sunny weather increased our numbers to ten. My companions for this evening were Tom, Sven, Camille, Chris, Neil, John E, Tim (returning for his second ride with us) and newcomers Jose and Geoff.

Brookside (just before two more riders turned up)

With our pub stop at Barrington, today was an opportunity to ride our classic evening loop to the south, though John decided go his own way and meet us at the pub. The remaining eight of us set off south out of Cambridge and rode along the busway and DNA path to Great Shelford. I was riding my Airnimal this evening for the first time in several weeks (as was Chris), and it was nice to be reunited with an old friend though it felt rather small and twitchy in comparison with my new full-sized Trek.

From Great Shelford we continued through Little Shelford and Whittlesford to Ickleton, from where we began the relatively-easy ascent of Coploe Hill. The pace this evening was slightly faster than usual, with several riders straining at the leash to speed ahead whilst I attempted to set a slower pace to keep the group together. Differences in speed can sometimes fragment the group, but I think tonight things worked quite well, with the faster riders having fun at the front and then pausing at junctions to wait for me and the rest of the group.

Coploe Summit

We reached the top of Coploe Hill at about 7.30pm. I had originally planned to turn back north towards Barrington via Royston Lane, but we were making good time - and it was a lovely, sunny, evening - allowing us to ride the longer loop via Catmere End, Littlebury Green and Elmdon before returning north via Chrishall Grange (where preparations for next week's huge "Cereals" event were well advanced), Fowlmere and Shepreth.

We arrived at Barrington at 8.30pm exactly. On previous visits this pub has always been full with diners, but tonight it was very quiet and since it wasn't quite warm enough to comfortably sit outside we sat inside to enjoy half an hour of drinks and bowls of hand-cut chips.

Chips and beer in Barrington

Afterwards we set off back to Cambridge. As we approached Chapel Hill a breakaway group emerged, with Sven leading Camille and Jose up the hill at speed (and saying goodbye to us as he did), leaving the rest of us to ascend at a more comfortable pace and return to Cambridge via Haslingfield and Barton. I arrived home at 10.05pm, having cycled 57km (35 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

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