Thursday, 6th March 2014: I reckon that here in the flatlands once the rain stops the byways and bridleways tend to dry up fairly quickly. I do like exploring the old tracks, you see things from a different perspective, most of the time you tend to be in the middle of nowhere and you hardly see anyone around. Although those you do see can be quite sociable. It is not so much about getting away from people as getting away from traffic and seeing a more natural world.
I have once bumped into a lady unable to control her dogs and was bitten by one of them. I also occasionally get lost or find the track too hard going on my bicycle and have to find another route. However there is a certain satisfaction on finding a “new” route and finding out where it goes.
One of my local “off-road routes” is Low Fen Drove Way, it is slightly more rugged than the Lodes Way. I usually then head over on a track just north of Horningsea (once call Hundred Acres Road) and get to Lode and thence onto the Lodes Way. I thought I would give it a go, after a bit if dryer weather.
The first bit of the track, off High Ditch Road is tarmac with a large bridge over the A14, just after the bridge it quickly deteriorates into a potholed track.
Looking Down Low Fen Drove Way from the Bridge over the A14
Although the traffic wasn’t heavy on the A14 there were examples of tailgating – well that is what it looks like to me. The car on the left seems to close to the lorry and similarly the third of those cars in the second lane of the oncoming group seems too close to the car in front.
Traffic on the A14
As I cycled down the other side of the bridge a plane went by with a distinctive registration – G-ZZOO. I wasn’t fast enough to get the whole plane in shot. Apparently it is a Gulfstream 200, and appears to have been owned by the Coca-Cola company previously.
Gulfstream Jet – G-ZZOO – In the Skies of Cambridge
There are improvements being made to the B1047/A14 interchange for pedestrians and cyclists. It is part of the Fen Ditton – Horningsea cycleway route. Apparently the work started in the 7th October 2013 – it seems to be taking some time!
B1047/A14 interchange improvements – still ongoing
This looks like the East Anglian Air Ambulance although the picture is too blurry to tell. Quite a few missions were flown by the EEAA on the day.
EE Air Ambulance?
As it happens Low Fen Drove Way (and tracks over to Lode) is quite passable – but the going is softer than I would like in quite a few places. Still is gives me extra exercise I suppose.
When I got to the Headlake Drove/Great Drove/Little Fen Drove junction there were a couple of large lorries parked up. As I carried on up Great Drove I could see what was happening. The sugar better I had seen at Blinkers Hill the day before was being shifted. The roads are single track country lanes and so it is pretty difficult for large vehicles to pass.
Sugar Beet Lorry – picking up from Blinkers Hill
This is the view of the junction – you can just about make out two more lorries waiting their turn.
Beet Lorries – Lodes Way
When I cycled through Wicken Fen I popped up to the footbridge over Burwell Lode, but then made my way back via Burwell and the Swaffhams. This picture shows the Warren Hill Comms on the far side of Newmarket.
Warren Hill Communication Tower