Thursday, 10 November 2016

10 Nov: Thursday ride to Lode and Newmarket

Edward writes: When we all gathered for our ride today it followed a cold night and the weather didn't look very promising. In fact as we left home it was to short showers of rain. This probably influenced the numbers who arrived for the ride. At Brookside, where the city slickers met, we had eight riders, and out at Hauxton the village people had a mere five. I was the leader from Brookside and Mike C had the honour from Hauxton for today's ride to Newmarket via Anglesey Abbey.

So we set off in unpromising weather from Brookside along Trumpington Road to Brooklands Avenue where Rupert (behaving well this week) introduced me to a much better route to reach the busway, through the new developments. For Brookside regulars this may well be a familiar route, but even so it avoided the busy station area itself and was much safer.

We went into the hospital complex which at this time of the morning was very busy, along Dame Mary Archer Way and at last breaking clear of the busy roads, onto Worts Causeway. With much less traffic we climbed past the Beechwoods to the top of the Gogs and down into Fulbourn. After Fulbourn it was all straightforward via the Wilbrahams, Bottisham and we arrived in Lode and Anglesey Abbey at about 10.50am and surprisingly at least ten minutes before the village people arrived who had followed the same route over the Gogs. Already there we found Clive, Sean, Susan and Peter Woodward and later we were joined by Cheryl who was making a rare but welcome ride with us.

After coffee some of course left us to head for home and others would leave us before Newmarket and as such we continued the ride as one group. Mike and I agreed the route and we left the Abbey to join the Lodes Way through to Reach and then Burwell.

White Fen Drive, Lode

Lodes Way near Reach


After Burwell we took the long trek via Heath Road to Exning. At some point this runs very close to the A14 and it's often confusing as the noise from there quite often appears to be coming from behind us on our road requiring a quick check over our shoulders.

At the war memorial in Exning we took the road up to the A142 which put Landwade on our left. After the A142 we crossed into Snailwell which is a nice, if brief ride into the village; a shame there is so much litter in the grass verge.

Snailwell to Newmarket

Our route into Newmarket brought us back to the A142, but luckily there is a cycleway which took us up to the Clock Tower roundabout.

We arrived at our lunch stop, the Palace House, which is part of the new site of the horse racing museum, which only last week was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen. The usual format occurred for lunch but those with packed lunches, following the new guidelines, went elsewhere before returning for tea or coffee. The Tack Room, where lunches are served, appeared at first glance to be very busy but towards the back there were some tables available and three took advantage of this. It was nice to see a familiar face from the previous cafe and she ensured we were served quickly. It's certainly more expensive than before but the food on offer all looked very good.

Lunch in Newmarket

H.M. The Queen

Our ride home took us along the B1061 to Dullingham where we said goodbye to Rupert, Russel and Simon as they headed back to Cambridge. This left the remainder to make for West Wratting, where Peter left us, and then Balsham. The weather at times appeared threatening but our luck held and we seemed to dodge the showers which must have been falling somewhere around us. From Balsham it was pretty standard stuff to Hildersham, Abington and over the farm bridge into Babraham.

Two Mikes at Dullingham

Mike CC after Dullingham

After Sawston and Stapleford we finished the ride in Great Shelford at 3.45pm, just as the rain started. Anyone completing the full circuit back to Brookside would have completed 54 miles. Edward Elmer

Anvil Cloud?

Download GPS track (GPX).

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