Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas lunch cancelled

Today's Christmas Lunch at Bourn Golf Club is cancelled because of the snow. Nigel

Thursday, 7 December 2017

7 Dec: Thursday ride to Potton and Sandy

Peter W writes: Prior to today's ride there had been some second thoughts about the lunch venue and whether this would entail an overlong return journey to Cambridge and Haslingfield. The upshot was an agreed shortening of the return ride by moving the lunch top to Gunn's Café in Sandy.

The weather forecast for this ride made for grim reading. In the morning there would be winds of 20+ mph and persistent heavy rain, followed after midday by plunging temperatures caused by the dispersal of the low cloud, but with the wind not letting up. This outlook gave rise to a flurry of emails and phone calls between concerned ride leaders and some committee members. Should the ride be cancelled? Should it be curtailed after the coffee stop? Should the city group and the village group amalgamate to make the numbers viable?

Both Sheila and I (ride leaders for the day) decided that we would go to our respective starts and play it by ear from there. It takes me so long to get togged up and the bike sorted that I had determined that, as long as I was not the only rider to make an appearance at the start, I would go as far as any of my co-riders wished along the planned route. Imagine how heartened I was to be greeted by seven other riders at the start, including Denis and new rider Geoff, both of whom seemed up for an adventure. So convinced was I that I would be the only person at the start, that I didn't even bring the registration form and hastily had to write everyone's name down on a scrap of paper.

We set off along the Barton Road and soon passed Comberton, Toft, Bourn and Longstowe. It was windy and there was some rain but it was fairly quickly agreed that if conditions didn't worsen the ride was viable. We were making pretty good time but as we passed Longstowe the rain became a bit heavier and conversation turned to how waterproof our kit was. John J recommended we all bought a particular brand of Norwegian cycling underwear "for comfort and efficiency", whatever that means.

The last leg to the coffee stop which involved skirting round Gamlingay and heading towards Potton was the most trying. The wind was gusting and rain quite heavy. The Boundary Café on the South side of Potton was a most welcome sight. Wet layers were draped over chairs and heaters. Glyn had the foresight to bring spare dry gloves and a clean, dry top; the mood overall became instantly more positive.

Boundary Cafe, Potton with sun shining outside.

John J and Richard catch up at the Boundary Cafe.

We laid into the cakes and hot drinks and gazed contentedly out of the pavilion windows across the playing fields. As we did so, three things occurred almost simultaneously: firstly the heavens opened and torrential rain, carried by the strongly gusting winds caused us to carefully reconsider our next move on this ride. The rain was so heavy we could no longer see to the far side of the cricket pitch. The second thing was the sudden entrance of four very bedraggled-looking cyclists from the village group. They say timing is everything and in this instance the village group had just failed to reach the safety of the coffee stop before this cruel 'Act of God'. Thirdly, as the rain subsided a little, in walks Adrian looking as fresh as a daisy with an expression which said 'what's all the fuss about?'

A lot of milling and discussion then ensued. To play for time and allow the weather front to pass over, many riders had second cups of coffee (and in some cases second cakes). In the event, all the city group, bar two, decided to carry on. The village group decided that even though the rain had subsided further, they'd had enough - and I don't blame them after such a severe pounding. Adrian's intentions were, however, clear: 'I go on'.

The next leg to lunch involved a loop to Everton and down Tempsford Hill to Blunham and onto Great Barford. We would then find the cycle track into Sandy. The weather was a little less ferocious. The wind was not quite as strong as it had been and the rain was lighter. The route was interesting and the sky to the west showed signs of brightness. As we hove into view of Sandy we caught the tiniest glimpse of blue sky. By the time we had settled down to lunch in Gunn's Café, the sun was out and shining brightly through the windows. How things change!

Gunn's Cafe, Sandy

Gunn's Cafe, Sandy

Some of our party tried out the Bedfordshire culinary masterpiece –the Clanger- a whole meal wrapped in pastry. Savoury filling one end, and sweet filling [marked by an ‘X'] the other end. Today it was gammon and apple.

Bedfordshire clanger at Gunn's Cafe, Sandy

With the wind behind us, the sky clearing and the sun out- the return journey ceased to present a threat to us. Before we left Adrian reappeared again, just to check everything was in order. Meanwhile Rupert could not resist phoning Sheila to suggest that she might very well have enjoyed a ride in such balmy conditions.

We set off back via Everton, Gamlingay, Waresley, Gransden and Caxton where we said farewell to Glyn. We were now five in the group. Simon left soon after and the remaining four, including Denis and Geoff, ploughed on down the old A428 to Hardwick and turned off to Coton, returning to Cambridge via the cycle path to Grange Road. We again made good time arriving in Cambridge at 3.15pm just as the temperature started to drop once more. Peter Wilson

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

6 Dec: Evening ride to Lode

Nigel writes: With heavy rain predicted for the following day, and snow and ice forecast for the weekend, it looked (and continues to look) as if tonight would be the last dry, mild evening of the year: cloudy and with a temperature of about 9C all evening. Despite that there were just two of us at Brookside for tonight's ride: Paul and me. I had initially planned to ride our usual loop via the Gogs, Six Mile Bottom and Dullingham, but as we made our way down Hills Road Paul suggested we went in a different direction, and so we did.

Paul on the Gogs

We did the climb over the Gogs as usual, and continued through Fulbourn and Great Wilbraham, but when we reached Little WIlbraham we eschewed the familar Six Mile Bottom road and carried on to Bottisham instead.

A brief sight of the "super moon" over Devil's Dyke near Reach

We then enjoyed a gentle trundle around the edge of the Fens, visiting the Swaffhams and Reach before turning back along the Lodes Way to Lode. At the pub there we were joined by Ian. He had texted me earlier with an update on the progress on the Lode-Quy cycleway, but I wasn't quite certain which Ian it was. Ian B? Ian D? No, it was actually Ian W, riding a rather nice small-wheeled Birdy.


After food and drink at The Shed we all returned back towards Quy, Fen Ditton and (in my case) Cambridge. The Lode-Quy cycleway looks very close to completion and we were able to ride along it most of the way, though it was blocked at one point by construction vehicles and we got slightly muddy wheeling our bikes round them. The path itself is commendably wide, and behind a thin hedge for much of the way, but is on one side of the road only and doesn't actually go all the way. The path isn't yet finished at the Quy end, and we had to lift our bikes across a muddy verge to get back onto the road. But this will be handy when it's finished, at least in the homward direction.

I arrived home at about 9.50pm, having cycled 47km (29 miles). Nigel Deakin

Download GPS track (GPX).

Saturday, 2 December 2017

3 Dec: Sunday ride to Newmarket and Chippenham

Ian B writes: Seven of us (Alan, Alex, John E, Geoff, Sheila, Simon and myself) met up at Brookside looking forward to a day's ride out to Newmarket and Chippenham and a rest from the rubbish weather which has blighted our recent rides.

As I’m still a little unsure of the best way to get out of the City, Alex threaded us through the back streets, over the Carter Cycle Bridge, along a short stretch of Mill Road and onto the Tins cycle path. Here we met Rupert and set off through Teversham Drift, Fulbourn, The Wilbrahams and Dullingham towards our coffee stop in Newmarket. Here we met Edmund and Keith who were joining us and said cheerio to Rupert, John and Geoff.


The ride to lunch was only 15 miles but it appeared a lot longer with the hills to Moulton and Gazeley making me regret the coffee cake I had thought was a good idea at the time. Also the milder, calmer, dryer forecast was a little out on all counts with the drizzle being fairly incessant. Still, it wasn’t penetrating rain but it did make the roads, and inevitably our bikes, very mucky. Keith’s white bike was definitely starting to look 2-tone by now. La Hogue were expecting us thanks to Rupert’s reservation and at our table we were joined by Cheryl who had riden over from Ely. I have lunched here four times now and have been impressed by their service and food on each occasion. As you can see from the photo, both Keith and Alex are ready for Christmas but the rest of us will be making a special effort to be in the right spirits for our Christmas Dinner at Bourn G C this Sunday.

Lunch at La Hogue, Chippenham

After lunch we needed our lights straightaway, as we set off on our route back through Snailwell, Landwade, Exning, Burwell, Reach and Lode. Lodes Way was particularly mucky but much more preferable than the busy B-road alternative. Edmund and Keith had made their own ways home, so in the end it was Alex, Alan, Simon, Sheila and myself who made the 59 mile round trip, getting back at 3.45pm just as it was beginning to get dark. Ian Bamborough

Download GPS track (GPX).

Friday, 1 December 2017

Some historic runs lists from 1957-1970

W3.CSS Lightbox

In this example we combine JavaScript from Slideshows and Modals to create a Lightbox (Modal Image Gallery):


Nature and sunrise
Trolltunga, Norway
Mountains and fjords

May 1957 (side 1)
May 1957 (side 2)
July 1958 (side 1)
July 1958 (side 2)
July/August 1963 (side 1)
July/August 1963 (side 2)
August/Sept 1963 (side 1)
August/Sept 1963 (side 2)
Sept/Oct 1963 (side 1)
Sept/Oct 1963 (side 2)
Dec/Jan/Feb 1963/4 (side 1)
Dec/Jan/Feb 1963/4 (side 2)
Apr/May/June 1963 (side 1)
Apr/May/June 1963 (side 2)
Aug/Sept/Oct 1964 (side 1)
Aug/Sept/Oct 1964 (side 2)
Oct/Nov/Dec 1964 (side 1)
Oct/Nov/Dec 1964 (side 2)
Feb/Mar/Apr 1965 (side 1)
Feb/Mar/Apr 1965 (side 2)
Oct/Nov/Dec 1965 (side 1)
Oct/Nov/Dec 1965 (side 2)
Feb/Mar/Apr 1966 (side 1)
Feb/Mar/Apr 1966 (side 2)
Oct/Nov/Dec 1969 (blank on reverse)
Aug/Sept/Oct 1970 (blank on reverse)
Original runs lists, originally from George Rich, kindly loaned for photography by Steve Gruszecki.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

26 Nov: Sunday afternoon ride to Wicken Fen

Greg writes: The day dawned cold and crisp – as I looked at the frost on the garden I pitied the all day riders braving the early morning – expecting that the weather would warm up significantly by lunch time. However when I arrived at Brookside to lead the afternoon ride my early hopes were only partially met. It was a bright, sunny day but the temperature had only managed a somewhat risible 6C by 1pm – and it would then get colder...

Ah well, there were bound to be some other fools who wanted to visit Wicked Fen with me! (A brief diversion: the "Wicked" term was an autocorrect fail when I said I'd take on leader duties to Ray. Somehow it seems appropriate and will henceforth be used (by me at least) to describe the destination for today).

Ready for the off!

Lo and behold we had six people at Brookside by 23 seconds after 1 o'clock – I know the exact time because Ray helpfully pointed out we were now late in starting. However, our tardy set-off at least meant that Paul arrived for the start, just. We few (Mike, Bev, David, Neil, Ray and me) left just as he arrived and so we all set off up the new cycle path on Trumpington Road and took the left turn into Barrow Road – where we could admire the gas lamps which burn all day and all night.

In Rutherford Road we collected a further two riders, Lalita and Mark, as prearranged. We were now quite a sizeable group as we headed onto the guided busway and through the Addenbrookes site.

We exited via Red Cross Lane and crossed the main road into Worts Causeway where we could now start to feel we had left Cambridge's traffic behind. A leg stretch up the Gogs warmed the group. We stopped at the top to regroup and offer some pithy words of advice to a cyclist who was doing a bit of fettling – whilst wearing an Oxford Uni sweatshirt! The honour of the open road ensured we offered help – but also some sartorial criticism! We left on good terms and enjoyed the run down to Fulbourn – the day's only hill now left behind us.

We proceeded on through Fulbourn and out through the Wilbrahams. Just before Bottisham we collected a further two riders – again by prearrangement. We had scheduled this collection for 2pm – our arrival at 2.01pm was therefore not bad timekeeping! Ian was coming along for the ride with his wife Julie – her first time out with CTC and we were delighted to have a newbie with us.

On through Swaffham Bulbeck where Paul wondered at our ETA at the tea stop. I said it was 3pm and he observed we'd have a job since it was already 3.14pm, until he divined that we were not running super late – he had not switched his ride computer over from BST! Therefore we were still on schedule...

We reached Reach in a slightly strung out fashion and slowed to regroup – we would arrive at the tea stop as one, I was determined about this point! Just before arriving in Burwell we took a sharp left down Newnham Drove – as shown on the Ride With GPS website as a cycle route and fen road. Well, dear reader – don't you believe it! This was a sensory assault – crevasses where the road was scarred its entire width, mud and deep puddles – and it shook our bones and bikes for over a mile. Next time I will take the next left – Little Fen Drove – since Newnham Drove not only shook us to bits it also shook Ray's mudguard to bits!

Eventually relief hove into view as we could see in the distance cars and people where the Drove joined the Lode's Way. Quite what so many people were doing in the literal middle of nowhere on a freezing cold day was not immediately apparent. All was revealed on our arrival – the assembled gaggle of blokes (yup, all blokes) were twitchers – wearing their best camouflaged kit they were looking for the short-eared owl that had apparently been spotted in the locale. A horde of luminous lycra-clad cyclists would surely scare away any shy wildlife but after a few pleasantries we all wished each other well – I think they hoped we might flush the elusive bird out!

Never has the Lode's Way appeared such a luxurious and smooth surface – we fare glided North now – passing a herd of bemused – though apparently warm – highland cattle who glared at our bright outfits as we rushed past. And we were now rushing – relatively – as it was only a mile or so to the warmth of the NT café – which we arrived at at 3.02pm. Ray suggested leadership marks be deducted for such poor timekeeping!

Tea at Wicked Fen!

At departure time (3.30pm prompt) Julie was left at the café having tried out the CTC experience – Ian had gone ahead to get their car. A little taster session which maintained her enthusiasm and we look forward to her joining us again in due course. However, though we lost two at the café we also picked one up for the return leg so we again had a sizeable group.

On time departure

Sunshine over the fens

This time we were headed back across Wicked Fen and down the Lode's Way – the direct route home – into a most glorious setting sun. We passed numerous people photographing the sky as the sun set – and also the twitchers again who were maintaining their fruitless vigil. We pressed on – I was keen to get back onto tarmac before we lost all the light completely – and this we achieved. With so many in the group and the collection of quite good lights between us (Ray won the competition for the brightest light) we made quite a sight.

At Anglesey Abbey we were able to use the cycle path that is currently being constructed in the field margin – which makes the trip to Quy safer and more pleasant. At least – it will do in due course. We went about three quarters of the way before our progress was stopped by two diggers completely blocking the path. The construction machinery has to be parked somewhere but it meant we had to manhandle bikes back onto the road – but it was only a short way into Quy and we then left the main road for the tunnel under the A14. Shortly after this point the group split – Ray taking the city slickers back and I led the South Cambridgeshire team through to Addenbrookes.

I got home at 5.30pm (bang on time – natch!) having ridden some 44 miles in total – the actual scheduled ride distance from Brookside was 37.7 miles. The temperature was only just above freezing by the time I got back – but a crisp wintry day – bright and cold – is no bar to spending time out on the bike – it was a great time – Wicked! Greg Tucker

New website

CTC Cambridge will soon have a new website! It isn't completely finished yet but whilst we add the finishing touches we're inviting people to try it out and tell us what they think. The new website is at (without the hyphen). Please take a look!