Monday, August 12, 2013

The Sweet Blue Skies of Summer

Monday, 15th July 2013: A quick post, all this cycling I am doing gives me less time to write about it. I am definitely not complaining though. One of the signs of Summer is when I start carrying water bottle around for a 2 hour cycle in the countryside.

So basically this ride was a figure of 8; out to Lodes Way, ducking down towards Swaffham Prior and then Black Droveway to Reach, Blackberry Droveway/Straight Drove/Harrison’s Drove to Upware. Then back down the other side of the Lode from Upware down the other Harrison’s Drove to Burwell and then back via Reach and Barston Drove to Swaffham Prior and NCN51.

All this cycling in the sun has also been very good for my back – not an instant cure – just a bit-by-bit improvement.

Church Hill, Reach from Black Droveway

Black Droveway – the path has had a haircut

The Wide open Fens (Swaffham Prior Fen)

Flowering Spuds – looking towards Blinkers Hill

A traditional Cock Up Bridge (over Wicken Lode)
Seen from Harrison’s Drove

This bridge was built in 1995. If you follow the link it references a chain ferry at Upware and how the area had a network of routes and the work to re-instate the public rights of way. It is sobering to think that some of these rights of way were only reopened in the 2000s.

Wouldn’t it be rather fantastic if the old chain ferry was re-instated as part of the NCN11 route from Clayhithe through to Upware. No doubt there would be concerns about safety etc. But it would make a pretty neat leisure route. The chain ferry was still in use in 1910. There is a picture of it on this link.

A View from the Cock Up in the last picture
Wicken Lode and the newly repaired bank

Pylons over the hill

A new Permissive bridleway near Reach

A 4x4 attempting Barston Drove

As it happens that 4x4 turned around and went back to Reach after about a third of the way around the drove. What he might not have realised is that he did the difficult bit – it was all a lot easier after that.

Whilst I might not want to see these tracks see the constant passage of 4x4s the odd one is neither here not there. It helps to flatten the track out a bit.

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