Sunday, 28 May 2017

24 May: Evening ride to Hemingford Abbots

Nigel writes: Evening rides this spring have been rather poorly-attended in comparison with earlier years, but I think I now know what everyone had been waiting for: some nice weather. Tonight was effectively the first evening ride of the summer, with fine, sunny weather and very warm temperatures. As a result, this evening's ride had the largest turnout since last summer: at Brookside there were Alex, Dimitrios, John R, John E, Carina (here on her first ride with us), Neil and me, with Tom and Ray each joining us along the way and even more waiting for us at the pub.

Our destination this evening was Hemingford Abbots, which means we had the pleasure of a long run along the busway. To get to the busway I decided to skip our usual route through town and up Huntington Road to Girton in favour of a gentle ride along the river to Chesterton. We crossed the river at the Green Dragon bridge and then followed a new route - for the first time on any Cambridge CTC ride - along Fen Road and then down a minor residential street (Moss Bank) onto a new section of cycleway to the new Cambridge North Station.

Cambridge North Station

After pausing briefly to survey the unfamiliar scene, we carried on, with our cycle path continuing without interruption, wide and smooth, to form the path along the new busway extension. Once on the busway it was simply a case of relaxing and cruising all the way to St Ives.

Sometimes on evening rides the pace picks up a bit and the faster riders storm ahead, but on such a warm evening everyone seemed happy to roll along together .

On the busway

On the busway

At St Ives we rode through the town centre and onto the Thicket Path to Hemingford Abbots. After dismounting to walk past the mill we got back on our bikes and crossed the Ouse Meadows to Hemingford Abbots.

Ouse Meadows, Hemingford Abbots

We reached the Axe and Compasses at about 8.05pm, which was what I had predicted. We ordered drinks and food and sat outside to wait for our food to arrive. Already sitting outside we found John S and Paul who had made their own way there.

At the Axe and Compasses, Hemingford Abbots

Also there was Seb, who was on his way back to Cambridge on the return half of a solo 200km Audax: the Cambridge Pork Pie Perm

Seb, looking fresh after 170km

John had cycled there on his latest new machine: an Elephant Bike. This is a refurbished former postal bike, sold as part of a fund-raising scheme whereby the cost of the bike pays for a second such cycle to be sent to a charity in Malawi. It looked sturdy and reliable, with a large load-carrying area at the front.

John and his Elephant

This is one of our favourite pubs for an evening ride, but tonight the kitchen seemed a bit overwhelmed by our food orders, and we had to wait about half an hour before our burgers arrived. But on a warm, light, evening we weren't in any particular hurry, and when the food arrived it was entirely satisfactory.

We set off back to Cambridge at about 9pm. The sun was now settings and we turned on our lights for our return journey via Hemingford Grey, St Ives and the busway. It was still quite warm, and although I put on another layer I probably didn't need to. Although our pace quickened slightly on the way back it was after 10.30pm when we arrived back in Cambridge. I arrived home at about 10.40 - rather late for an evening ride - after having cycled 61km (37 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

No comments:

Post a Comment