Friday, 31st January 2014: Although I like the solitude offered by cycling in the countryside I had a ride around Cambridge instead. Now when I say solitude I actually mean somewhere not dangerous, noisy, smelly and ridden with traffic, rather than totally isolated and in the back of beyond.
However having had a couple of months not cycling I was keen to get back to some level of cycling fitness during January and I reckoned that a shade under 50Km would see my monthly total for January at 500Km, which whilst not a huge mileage wouldn’t be too bad. A ride around Cambridge would suit and I reckoned it was time I cycled a hill.
The only hassle was that when I finally set off a drizzle had set in and basically drizzled the whole way. Looking back at the Cambridge DTG weather for that day there rainfall line doesn’t look impressive, it added up to 0.68mm for the afternoon. Although I remained dry on top, hands and feet I was wearing Lycra leggings – which did get damp, but was more pleasant than wearing waterproof over-trousers.
I took my camera with me, but it was such a grey day that I didn’t really want to use it in the rain. So there are only two pictures. The route heads out east along NCN51 and then through the Wilbrahams and then up through Fulbourn and up past Mill Hill and Limepit Hill on the Shelford Road. It isn’t that big a hill, but in the flatlands it takes you from 18m (in Fulbourn) to 68m at the top, a 50m climb. This is a proper hill with an up and then a down where I reached 50Km/h.
Although before all that I did stop to take a picture of the currently closed for repairs Green Dragon Bridge. Apparently it will take 10 weeks and will end up British Racing Green.
Green Dragon Bridge Closed for Repairs
The River Cam has been looking full for a while now although not as bad as I have seen it. Mind you a week or so later as I type this and things are looking more serious with flood warnings for Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.
The ground is so sodden that it is also putting pressure on the sewage system (literally) with a Waterbeach family reporting a sewage pipe burst. Apparently the rainfall is causing the sewage system to back up.
My route took me along Wort’s Causeway, which will keep its apostrophe but not some of its green belt which will be swapped for 500 houses! The first step was for the Council to declare two plots of Council land surplus to requirements apparently. I would imagine that the Council would also benefit from the conversion green belt land to building land as well.
After that went past Addenbrooke’s and down Long Road and then along the CGB to Trumpington. There is work on the shared-use paths along Long Road planned although it is still a rather piecemeal set of cycle provisions. There is also a lot of development in the area – with Trumpington Meadows (including Country Park and Allotments) and Great Kneighton (another Country Park and Sports Pitches).
I headed down on NCN11 back into the city, following NCN11 thorugh New Bit and then heading over the Coe Fen and the River Cam. Where I stopped to take a picture of the Cam – pretty full eh.
River Cam, near Paradise (Nature Reserve)
Then I headed out along the Lammas Land Access Road where experiment evidence suggests that cars have right of way over bicycles. Well one driver was so frantic to get to the car park she drove past me and a fair old lick and her wing mirror missed me by a couple of centimetres. My route then followed Barton Road and Grange Road and I made my way to the Coton Path – the site of more development with the University North West Cambridge Development.
There is the Coton Countryside Reserve that I sometimes cycle around – but muddy concrete paths can be slippery so I didn’t head that way this time.
This became more apparent as I cycled back into Cambridge along the Madingley Road – the path is shared use – and pretty appalling in places.
Whilst in the Madingley area (metaphorically) – it is mentioning the Bar Hill, dry Drayton, Madingley, Cambridge Cycle path activity. Whilst Cambridge might be seen as a cycling city some of the villages around Cambridge can be very difficult to get too – Bar Hill is one such pace. They have a petition to open up a cycle route – go and sign it. (Currently 151 supporters).
There has been a fair bit if building around Storey’s Way – Cambridge is in for some massive change over the next few years.