Thursday, 9 February 2017

9 Feb: Thursday ride to Cottenham and Brampton

Edward writes: Although it was very cold in Haslingfield, it was a cold with a really raw feeling about it, but there hadn’t been an overnight frost which relieved us of the concern of icy roads. There was only a trace of wind but it was from a very cold north east which meant it would be facing us for most of the trip to Cottenham. Today's ride would take in Cottenham for coffee and then on to Brampton for lunch with John R doing the honours from Brookside where six riders met and out in Haslingfield nine riders gathered.


After the formalities were completed we started our journey from Haslingfield to Barton and then along Barton Road into Cambridge as far as Grange Road where Averil joined us. We now took a route through Cambridge passing down Sidgewick Avenue, Silver Street, Pembroke Street, Downing Street, Parkside, Clarendon Street and Fair Street which brought us to Midsummer Common. Going through the city makes a change from our usual rural routes, but does require an extra level of vigilance.

Water Street, Chesterton

Water Street, Chesterton

Midsummer Common has had its shared cycle and footpaths widened and this is a big improvement, so congratulations to those responsible. This took us to the river which we cycled beside as far as the Green Dragon Bridge and over to the west side of the river for the four miles of riverbank riding to Waterbeach.

Slap Up junction, Waterbeach

Somewhere in the Waterbeach area we were joined by Peter W. We crossed the A10 taking us to Landbeach and soon after we arrived at the Community Centre Cafe in Cottenham shortly after 11 am. The City group were already well established and also there we found the indestructible Vic plus one or two others who had made their own way there.

By about 11.30am John led his group off but their country cousins spent a further twenty minutes in the cafe and left at 11.50 am. We were a group of eight with Simon joining us having noticed us earlier as we cycled past his residence on the river. We went from Cottenham through Rampton, Willingham and Over and down to Swavesey where we joined the busway. Yasmin left us at Swavesey while we set forth to St Ives. Yesterday it was reported that there were waxwings feeding off the berries on the busway but apparently this was further back nearer to Cambridge so we were not lucky enough to see any. When we reached St Ives we went straight through the town and joined the Thicket Path to Houghton Mill.

Ouse Meadows

We crossed over the meadows into millionaires' row in Hemingford Abbots to go down to the common and shortly after into Godmanchester. We successfully navigated our way through to Huntingdon and onto the road out to Brampton where we came to Frosts Garden Centre for lunch and once again we found those city slickers having nearly finished their meal and ready for their homeward journey. We found this a good lunch stop with a nice variety of food and their hot soup of the day was much in demand on such a cold day.

With the time at 2.20pm, and Susan and Avril still talking, we needed to get out into the cold and start our return journey which would be over twenty-five miles. We left the Garden centre on the B1514 up as far as the A1 where we were able to turn into Buckden. (Sharon and Belinda where were you?). We had to wait for three trains at Offord Cluny letting us get cold again before setting off through Offord Darcy. We made the climb up to Graveley and the temperature was still only two degrees and when the wind was in our faces it was decidedly chilly. We know two riders cycling in somewhat different weather in a country some miles east of here who may be having a laugh at our expense.

Croxton and Great Gransden came next and then Caxton and Bourn. At the Kingston turning we spilt into two groups with some heading for Cambridge and I went with Susan back to Haslingfield where the ride ended at 4.20pm and sixty miles under our belts. This was long for a winter ride but, with light available until 5pm, perfectly doable. Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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