Wednesday, 3 August 2016

3 Aug: Evening ride to Barton

Nigel writes: Tonight was a lovely warm, sunny evening. However there was also quite a strong westerly breeze which I noticed as soon as I left the house on my way to Brookside. Fortunately our pub stop this evening was in Barton, west of Cambridge: that would mean riding into a headwind for the early part of the ride, but we would have the reward of a tailwind later on. A few minutes later I arrived at Brookside where I was was joined by five other members: Camille, Neil, Beverly, Paul and Mike K.

We would be stopping at the White Horse in Barton. From experience I know we need to get there on time or run the risk of missing out on hot food, so I decided that we should take the shorter of the two routes we usually take to get there. We set off south, following our familiar route along the busway and DNA path to Great Shelford. When we reached Granham's Lane the level crossing was closed, but that didn't matter today as for the first part of today's ride we would be staying east of the railway as we continued south to Stapleford and Sawston.

Approaching Whittlesford on the cycleway from Sawston

When we reached Sawston we turned west, crossing the A1303 by-pass and, after the inevitable wait to cross the railway, turning onto the cycleway to Whittlesford. This is always a pleasant section of any ride but this evening was made particularly pleasant by the low sun which made the fields glow.

Approaching Whittlesford on the cycleway from Sawston

When we reached Whittlesford we left the cycleway behind and turned north-west towards Newton. When we got there we rode past the Queen's Head where, just like last week when we visited it, a food truck was in attendance and the roads were lined with people sitting on the grass and relaxing with food and drinks. For a brief moment I was tempted to stop and visit, but it was still only about 7.30pm so we pressed on into the wind to Harston and Haslingfield.

Haslingfield (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Cycling into the wind was quite hard work, and several of us started to flag. When we reached Harlton, Paul decided to take a short-cut to the pub leaving the rest of us to continue on through the Eversdens to Kingston. Despite the wind this was a beautiful summer evening, though the lengthening shadows reminded me that we were now past the height of summer and in a few weeks the air would be full of the sound - and dust - of combine harvesters.

Fields near Kingston (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Approaching Kingston (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Fields near Kingston (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

Approaching Kingston (Photo: Camille Stavrakas)

We reached Kingston, the most westerly point on the ride, at about 8.05pm. Here we turned east onto the B1046. With the wind behind us at last our pace quickened noticeably and we sped along through Toft and Comberton to Barton, arriving at the White Horse at 8.25pm in good time to order some hot food.

Beer and chips at The White Horse, Barton

Paul was already sitting outside so we joined him: although it was a little windy to sit outside, he had found a sheltered corner close to the building and we spent a very pleasant half hour there before setting off for the short journey back along the Barton Road cycleway to Cambridge. I arrived home at 9.30pm, having cycled 46km (29 miles) Nigel Deakin



Download GPS track (GPX).

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