Wednesday, 5 July 2017

5 Jul: Evening ride to Balsham

Nigel writes: This was perhaps our hottest evening ride so far this summer, with a temperature of 24C at the start and very little wind. As I would have expected this brought out a good turnout of riders: Alex (B), Ray, Neil, John E, Andrew S, Nick M and a second Alex (R). Our pub stop tonight was The Black Bull in Balsham, which we were visiting for only the second time on an evening ride.

Balsham is perfectly placed for an evening ride as it allows us to take an excellent route of just the right distance to get there, including two of our best local hills. After taking a rather roundabout route to avoid roadworks on Hills Road we climbed the Gogs before dropping back down to Fulbourn. This is a relatively easy climb, rising to a modest 68m over about 1km, but which provides an excellent payoff in the form of almost 3km of almost continuous descent back down to Fulbourn.

After a flat run through the Wilbrahams to Six Mile Bottom we reached out second climb of the evening. This was the ascent to Brinkley. This climbs rather higher, to about 110m, but over a long 5km or so. In this case the payoff is not an immediate descent, but instead the pleasant flatter landscape that lies beyond.


Wratting Common

Our route from Brinkley took us to Carlton and then across the plateau-like Wratting Common to West Wickham. Here we dropped off the plateau with a short descent followed by a short ascent back up to Balsham.

After drinks, chips and burgers at The Black Bull we all returned back to Cambridge. Balsham is perfectly placed for a post-pub return, with a fast descent down to Charterhouse Bridge and an easy flat run from there to Fulbourn, Cherry Hinton and the City Centre. I arrived back home at 10pm, having cycled 57km (35 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

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