Sunday, 8 October 2017

5 Oct: Thursday ride to Wicken and Isleham

Edward writes: After high winds overnight and the forecast predicting a stiff wind for most of the day it was something of a surprise to find twelve riders at the Hauxton start for the ride into the fens calling at Wicken and Isleham. The wind was northwesterly, but for the most part the day remained sunny. Back in the city with Peter W leading there were seven riders which en-route became about ten. We had scheduled a 9.15am start but poor Sharon was stuck in the usual morning Cambridge traffic chaos and we delayed our start so she could join us.

Our route from Hauxton was pretty straightforward through the Shelfords, the ever-changing Addenbrooke's scene, and up over the Gogs to Fulbourn. As we were kind of crossing the wind and with walls and hedgerows protecting us we had no difficulties and we made good progress into Bottisham and the Swaffhams. After Reach and Burwell we entered the fen droves and encountered our first serious ride into the wind which lasted for about a mile but soon after we reached our coffee stop at the wicken Methodist Church. As expected the city group were already there and nearly ready to set off for Isleham. Sara, Ida, Julie & Susan at the church laid on a wonderful choice of cakes and looked after us extremely well.

(Photo: Adrian Lee)

We left Wicken and took a relatively short ride to Isleham along the A1123 to Soham. Peter and the city group had taken the slightly longer route via Barway. As we left Soham to ride across the flat fen roads to Isleham the wind was behind us so it was easy going so much so that it was only 12.40 when we arrived in Isleham, not long after Peter’s group. Once again the hospitality at the Griffin was very good and they, too, looked after us very well.

Waiting for Rupert outside Freckenham

By 1.45pm we were on the road again with Peter taking his group home via the Swaffhams and our group taking a slightly longer route north of Newmarket This took us to Freckenham and still with a favourable wind; Rupert, however, incurred his second (slow) puncture of the day, possible trying to outdo Averil. When we reached Chippenham Rupert, in the manner of Captain Oates, nobly decided not to delay us and diverted to go home on a shorter route. We pressed on to Kentford, Moulton, Cheveley, Saxon Street, Stetchworth and Dullingham. It was only after we turned towards Six Mile Bottom that the wind was really a struggle as it was head on, but it was soon over and we came home through Fulbourn and once more over the Gogs. We finished the ride after 64 miles at 4.30 pm.and a much better day than expected. Edward Elmer



Download this route (GPX).

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