Sunday, 30 October 2016

30 Oct: Sunday ride to Newmarket and Chippenham

John R writes: It was nice to have an extra hour in bed but as I cycled down the Guided busway from Swavesey at 8.30am it was clear that autumn was now well in train with cool, damp, foggy conditions.

I arrived at Brookside to find a good turnout for this time of year – there were 11 of us in total including Rupert, Alex, Ray, David T, Sheila, Camille, Mike CC, Tom and Averil. We rarely see Averil on a Sunday but she is a regular on Thursdays. Rumour had it that she had put her clocks back three days rather than just the one hour.

The start at Brookside

Averil asks "Is today Thursday?"

We set off along Hills Road onto Wort's Causeway and then up the first climb of the day (Mike CC was to comment later about the number of hills which kept appearing in front of us!) to Fulbourn. We were now 12 with Seb C having joined us somewhere along Hills Road. With 20 miles to go to coffee at Newmarket we had to set a fairly brisk pace but everyone seemed happy. We took the usual route through Great Wilbraham and across to Six Mile Bottom. From here we rode along Balsham Lane and Eagle Lane to just north of the parklands of Stetchworth.

The fog was slowly lifting and exposing the fantastic autumnal colours of deep reds, oranges and yellows amongst the trees and hedgerows.

We arrived at Coffee and Co in Newmarket just after 11am and already there were Eva, Jim, Keith, Mike C and Eddie. To speed up the buying of drinks a few of us wandered a few yards up the road to the new Horseracing Museum café for coffees and pastries where we sat outside in glorious sunshine. John S and Edmund joined us here (Edmund having been delayed by a broken chain).

The usual lengthy process of gathering the various groups together took us till 11.45am when 11 of us set off for lunch at Chippenham plus John S and Edmund who planned to make their own way there.

Again we all set a fairly brisk pace as Rupert had pre-booked La Hogue for 1pm. The roads through Moulton, Gazeley and Higham were quiet. Then we crossed the A14 and hit a relatively busy road to Tuddenham which ran steadily downhill for three miles and allowed us to steam on at around 28kph.

In Tuddenham we turned off the main road and set off for the final section to lunch through Hemingswell, Kennett and finally Chippenham. We arrived at just after 1pm and the staff at La Hogue were expecting us and had set aside a table for ten. Here we met up with John S and Edmund who had also just arrived. Lunch at La Hogue is always a pleasure and service very quick.

Alex’s latest dietary delight

At 1.50pm we set off on the final leg of the ride back to Cambridge. This was taken at a more sedate pace through Exning, Reach, Swafham Bulbeck, Bottisham, Quy, Fen Ditton and over the meadows to Cambridge. The round trip had been a very pleasant 61 miles. John Ross

Download GPS track (GPX).

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