Wednesday, 10 August 2016

10 Aug: Evening ride to Quy

Nigel writes: Tonight's ride was held on a fairly cool and dull evening, though that's only in comparison to the gorgeous warm weather we've experienced in recent weeks: it's still mid-August and with almost no wind (and no sign of rain) it was still a very comfortable evening for a bike ride. I arrived at Brookside to find that my companions this evening were Gareth, Ray, Camille, Neil, Mike K, Dimitris, Tim and Alex.

This was Alex's first ride with us, so I explained what we would be doing and confirmed that he had brought lights for the last part of the ride. However that prompted me to realise that I had forgotten my own lights, so I quickly delegated leadership of the ride to Gareth and rushed back home to collect them.

That didn't take long, and I was able to meet up with the others in Hills Road and ride with them along the impressively-wide new cycleway.

Hills Road, Cambridge

This evening's ride was a "anticlockwise Dullingham". This is the name I give to one of my favourite short loops from Cambridge: along Hills Road to Addeenbrooke's, over the Gogs to Fulbourn, through the Wilbrahams to Six Mile Bottom, a short loop through the Brinkley Hills to Dullingham, returning via Swaffham Bulbeck to a pub stop in Quy.

Great Wilbraham (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Great Wilbraham (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Great Wilbraham (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

The pace this evening was enjoyably brisk but I was pleased that we managed to stay together, with the slower riders managing to keep up, and the faster riders at the front being happy to wait to regroup rather than splitting off into a separate group.

Pause at Cemetery Crossroads

We reached Dullingham at about 7.40pm, noticeably earlier than normal, so Gareth led us on a short loop around Dullingham before turning west towards Swaffham Bulbeck. This is where we met Keith, who was clearly recognisable from afar in his bright yellow top.

From Dullingham to Swaffham Bulbeck

The long road from Dullingham to Swaffham Bulbeck was particularly enjoyable this evening. A short climb past Dullingham station is followed by a very long descent down to Swaffham Bulbeck. This descent is very gentle - you might not even notice it - but it takes you down from 81m above Dullingham Station to 11m in Swaffham Bulbeck over a distance of 5km, and it allowed those of us who were in the mood for a bit of a sprint to put their bike through its paces without too much effort.

We regrouped in Swaffham Bulbeck and continued the short distance through Bottisham to Quy, where we stopped for drinks and food at The White Swan. Unfortunately the chef was off work this evening, so we could not order our traditional bowls of chips and had to make do with crisps instead, but I don't think it mattered much.

In The White Swan, Quy

Whilst we were in the pub the sun had set and when we emerged just after 9pm it was getting dark, so we turned on our lights before returning to Cambridge via Fen Ditton, Ditton meadows and the commons. I arrived home at 9.30pm, having cycled about 52km (32 miles).

It was nice to have Gareth taking the role of leader today, even on a familiar route such as this evening's. If any of our regulars would like to lead the ride one evening they'd be most welcome to.

Download GPS track (GPX).

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