Monday, October 6, 2014

A Short more or less off-road ride out of Cambridge and back

Tuesday, 1st July 2014: This is yet another ride along the fairly newly minted Stapleford byway (it used to be a footpath) as is known (at least at one end) as Rowley Lane.

There is still the unpleasant crossing of the A1307 to deal with to get onto the Hildersham Road, which needs patience. How have we let motor vehicles become such tyrants of the road. Such that roads become massive impenetrable boundaries as the traffic levels inexorably rise. They choke the way until no-one would dream of crossing the road and lo the accountants have an excuse to avoid building a better crossing. Such is our reliance on motor vehicles that we completely fail to put people first. we spend untold amounts on the roads, but not on the infrastructure to protect movement of the non-motorists – you know kids, old people, cyclists, families walking to school – that kind of thing.

Whilst I am complaining try crossing some of the country roads during the rush hour. Crossing the Swaffham Road in Burwell can take ages and ages at the wrong time.

Back to my ride, I have shown it as a loop from the roundabout on the corner of the Cambridge Airport.  Although you have to keep you wits about you at least traffic has to slow down as it approaches the roundabout, there is also an island and sometimes motorists will actually wave you across.  Here is the route on Bike Route Toaster, it is just under 40Km/25 miles in length. and returns via Worsted Street and then Fulbourn/Teversham.

For some strange reason I cycled through Cherry Hinton on the High Street, although the road is atrocious with its mass of  traffic calming it is direct.  I try to avoid Queen Edith’s Way by dodging through the estate. The trouble is QEW is an unpleasant road with shared-use pavements that are worse than cycling on the road and cycling on the road isn’t that pleasant.

Fortunately there is a light-controlled crossing from Nightingale Avenue to Red Cross Lane. It doesn’t appear as a cycle route, but conveniently “skirts” Addenbrookes and gets you on the Addenbrookes – Great Shelford cycleway. It isn’t really a hill – that is just the way I took the picture. As you can see it runs alongside the Cambridge Railway Line running south.

Talking of which, apparently the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has announced plans for the railway line between Oxford and Cambridge.  But from the party that said pledged to student tuition fees in their 2010 campaign and then broke that pledge there are stings attached to the  railway line – such as not until the deficit has been cleared. I won’t hold my breath then – ‘cos I can’t see the Lib Dems ever being able to have their way in Government again.

If you are interested here is an on-line map of all the railway lines that existed in the UK

Someone has left some DNA on the Addenbrookes – Great Shelford Cycleway

After dodging through the back streets of Shelford the countryside opens up. You get a good view of the Wandlebury up on the hill.  Apparently the charity which manages it -  Cambridge Past, Present, Future – CPPF is celebrating its 60ths anniversary.

The oil seed rape seems to switch from yellow to brown in no time.

Wandlebury in the Distance

Rowley Lane

Potatoes in flower along Rowley Lane

Anything that means I can avoid cycling on busy roads is good for me. So I used the “cycle route” from Babraham to Abington with its own footbridge.

Cycle route from Babraham to Abington

It passes close to a cafe that is billed as the World Famous Comfort Cafe – although I have never been in so can’t vouch for it.

Cycle route from Babraham to Abington

The last time I cycled this way I failed to take a picture of the church in Little Abington so here it is. (The A1307 – has and island otherwise it would be impossible to cross.)

Little Abington Church

Wheat ripening alongside the Hildersham Road

Cambridge Flying Group Tiger Moth in the skies above the Roman Road

Poppies along the field margins – Hildersham Road

More Poppies along the field margins – Hildersham Road

Old Linton Water Tower on Rivey Hill from the Hildersham Road

Field Scabious – Worsted Street

A very late lunch break – the end of Mile Road

Looking back along the outer edge of the Roman Road – Water Tower on the horizon

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