Thursday, 27 October 2016

27 Oct: Thursday ride to Cottenham and Ely

Edward writes: Today's ride would take us out into the fens for a trip to Cottenham and Ely, not always a popular ride but nevertheless it attracted thirteen riders to Haslingfield, including Jim and Jill making one of their rare but welcome visits from Stevenage, and seven more starting at Brookside.


Mike C led from Haslingfield and John Seton looked after the city starters. This Thursday was another milestone in our cycling year, being the last ride before we move to shorter winter rides with the clocks changing this weekend. The weather, though, was quite good, cool with little wind which by now was in its more usual position from the south west, and no rain was forecast.

Sidgwick Avenue

Pembroke Street

We left Haslingfield and headed into town via Barton and then Barton Road where we turned into Grange Road. We now began a trip across town which included Sidgwick Avenue, Silver Street, Pembroke Street and Downing Street which at this hour were busy times with students rushing between lectures plus any number of sundry delivery vehicles.

Clarendon Street

It was a little quieter alongside Parkers Piece and on Clarendon Street but busy again over Midsummer Common and Riverside. We wended our way through the streets of Chesterton before reaching the busway on Milton Road, and were finally able to relax a little after being at action stations riding through the city.

Midsummer Common


We went down the busway as far as the Cottenham turn and arrived at the Community Centre in Cottenham at a well-judged 11am. There we found the city riders already settling down with their refreshments. There were probably about twenty-five members there including Vic and Richard M, both of whom came on with us to Ely.

On the busway

Cottenham Community Centre was very busy with mothers and young children, and it's also half-term, but the staff coped very methodically with the large queue of cyclists.


After coffee about twenty riders set off for the next session and we left the village along Twentypence Road for the five miles across the fens to Wilburton followed by more fen roads to Wentworth. In these flat lands we were able to see once again the changing farming scene as two months ago it was harvest and now the fields are developing a green sheen as next year's crop breaks the surface.

At Wentworth we crossed the A141 and took the road to Coveney which sits on a rare hill in the fens but offers a splendid view to Ely Cathedral.


This left us with four miles for the run into Ely and with a following wind we arrived for lunch soon after 1pm. We don't have a set lunch venue in Ely so it's a case of finding a cafe or bringing sandwiches. Those with sandwiches sat by the river before repairing to the nearby cafe for a drink.

Ely Cathedral

After lunch nineteen began the return journey which started on the Ouse Valley Way and a ride beside the river. We went past the hostelry for the farm workers at Barway and then to Wicken.

Soon after Wicken we turned off through Adventurers Fen into Burwell and then on to Reach, followed by both Swaffhams and then Bottisham before riding beside the A1303 up to the airport turning. Some of the group had already left by turning to head towards Fen Ditton and Stourbridge Common, with others going south of Cambridge via Cherry Hinton.

The ride finished at 5pm and almost everyone would have completed over 60 enjoyable miles. As ever our, thanks to Mike and John for being today's leaders. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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