Thursday, 10 August 2017

10 Aug: Thursday ride to Swavesey and Ely

Edward writes: Yesterday was dreadful, with heavy rain most of the day, but by this morning the rain had cleared and although the skies were overcast the forecast was good. This encouraged eleven riders out to Hauxton with John S leading and a further six at Brookside with Dr J as their leader.

We left Hauxton by going out to the A10 enabling us to join the cycle path across Trumpington Meadows which brought us down to the entrance to Byron's Pool and on to Grantchester.

Trumpington Meadows

Trumpington Meadows

Trumpington Meadows

Just past the mill pond there is always water over the road, rain or no rain, and there was plenty of it today. We reached the roundabout on Barton Road and went on to Coton, over the busy A428 into Madingley. There was only a gentle breeze coming from the north and although our ride to Ely would be mainly in a northerly direction it was so slight as not to be a feature throughout the day.


From Madingley we went to Dry Drayton, over the A14 down to Oakington, where we took the old airfield road to Longstanton through to Swavesey for our coffee stop at the Baptist Chapel, arriving at 11.10am.


Not unexpectedly we found the city riders already comfortably installed along with the 'independents' who must have numbered about a dozen. Among them were Jacob, Howard, Cheryl, Eva and Belinda who seems to be making good progress. Luckily the city slickers hadn't eaten all the cakes and the Women's Institute whose turn it was to provide the cakes had made a good supply, and how nice they were, too.

Dr. John ventured out first with his group and with one or two transfers John S started out at about 11.40am. With Ely being our destination we did quite a dog leg to reach Cottenham, going via Over, Willingham and Rampton before joining the Twentypence Road in Cottenham. This is a lengthy five miles across a flat fen road with plenty of fast traffic making it an uncomfortable to ride to Wilburton.

From Wilburton we went across Grunty Fen all the way to Witchford and here we joined the cycle path alongside the A142, and what a relief to have a cycle path as there was an awful lot of traffic which got worse as we came to the traffic islands on the approach to Ely.

We finally made it and, as is the custom here, people found their own lunch venues or ate sandwiches by the river. This is an interesting spot as there is both a lot of river traffic and a great deal of rail movements including many freight trains all within the hour we were there.


After tea/coffee in the nearby cafe we all assembled for the ride home, starting out at 2.20pm.

The ride started out by going alongside the river on Ouse Valley Way to Padney and Barway. When we arrived at the A1123 we turned west for the short ride to the Upware turning. Now on the Lodes Way were able to appreciate what a hard time the farmers were having in trying to get the harvest in; there was certainly no activity today. In fact the wheat seems to have turned a darker shade, having lost the golden colour of a week or two back.


Lodes Way

En route we said goodbye to Peter W who headed for Swaffham Prior. We reached Lode where Adrian left us so he could inspect progress on the Quy to Lode cycle path whilst the rest went into Bottisham, over the A1303 and up to the Wilbrahams, followed by Fulbourn.

We finished the ride over the Gogs (we had to get a hill in somewhere) into Great Shelford where most would have cycled 65 miles. Thanks to Dr J and to John S who led our group in exemplary fashion being very attentive to see that everyone was still with us!Edward Elmer

Download GPS track (GPX).

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