Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A circular ride: Cambridge to Over and back part 2

Saturday, 14th April 2012: This was a shakedown ride for my new/old Marin bicycle. My Marin San Anselmo had suffered a cracked seat tube and been replaced under warranty some 7.5 years later by Ben Hayward Cycles/Marin – that’s what I call service. So it would have been rude not to go out for a cycle ride at the earliest opportunity.

When I got to Cottenham I was in half a mind to head over to the Aldreth Causeway and so headed out of Cottenham on a no-through road – Great North Fen Drove, which passes Great North Fen, surprise, surprise.  It also passes over Cottenham Lode. At the end of Great North Fen Drove is a bridleway know as Archie’s Way named after someone’s much loved horse.

This is Great North Fen – looking a little yellow.

Oil Seed Rape growing on Great North Fen, Cottenham

Here is the map of my route – and here is the Bike Route Toaster link. It was 56Km in length/35 miles and flat – well this is the flatlands after all.

A map of my ride around Quy, Cottenham, Over and Histon and back to Cambridge

Along Archie’s Way is a small bridge over a drain that meets up with Smithey Fen Engine Drain.

It was also a suitable place for me to take a picture of Maisie Marin – my new/old truly hybrid bike. If you look closely you can see the forks are silver and the frame grey – a marriage of old and new. You might also detect some curvy tubing – this is a bike built in the modern style with curves.

My “new” bike – Maisie Marin – a true hybrid

And this is the way back to the Great North Fen Drove

Great North Fen Drove

On the map the edge along the trees is called Lovers’ Walk – although does not appear to be a right of way. The fens round here have an unusual name – Iram.

Lovers’ Walk  - Nether Irams

A close up of the ditch (that runs into the Smithey Fen Engine Drain – not a lot of water in it. There is water in it – but not visible in this picture. You can see it in one of the pictures that didn’t make it into this Post. Yes I don’t put all my pictures in.

Lovers’ Walk - Nether Irams

Archie’s Way is quite bumpy – it is fairly soft ground and seems to be reasonably well used by horse riders. The hooves create a bumpy surface – but it isn’t that far until you reach the road – Cow Lane a roundabout route between Rampton and Willingham.

Cow Lane seems to have originally been a concrete road – and so although it now has a tarmac surface there are regular ridges in the road between the concrete slabs. Things must have been well tightened on Maisie though – no rattles developed. Although that reminds me I ought to just check with some Allen Keys before next using the bike.

The start of the Aldreth Causeway although it is called The Causeway on the OS and OSM maps and is just of Irlam Drove. Haven Drove is another byway that looks as if it was part of the Causeway. This is a delightful route, up to Aldreth and you can either head back to St Ives or towards Wicken but the A1123 is not a very nice road to cycle along and there aren’t many alternatives. It is possible to get almost to Earith and then to Over via some tracks and byways.

This time around I cycled through Willingham to Over for a change before joining the CGB near Swavesey. Sometimes I choose my routes because I haven’t been that way for a while.

After Over I reached the CGB – where even on a Saturday the cycle parking is in good use. I can’t say I am that impressed with white lining that has been put around the anti-car bollards though.

I was also interested to read this Post on the Adelaide O-Bahn which apparently spurred on the decision to go ahead with the CGB.  Their GB sounds like quite a construction. and it is carrying 8 million passengers a year – so we have something to aim for here in Cambridgeshire.

I suppose I tend to wait for times when there aren’t people around when taking landscape pictures. Or rather I tend not to stop unless there are no objects (buses, bikes, cars and people) as the multiple-exposure faff of my “HDR” pictures means that the said objects can appear in several places at once.  So there were people using the CGB, I just didn’t take their pictures. This is the stretch just before Longstanton on the way into Cambridge.  The picture is actually 2 (lots of 7 exposures) stitched together. It almost looks hilly – but isn’t really.

As I was cycling along, once again I felt my old/new hybrid was feeling good and quiet. Yes I know I listen to my MP3 player – but not all the time.  At this point I was wondering where to go next as I wasn’t planning to head all the way down the CGB I wanted a bit of rough!

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