Friday, October 17, 2014

Mid-Week Ride–Cambridge to St Ives–only a bit on the CGB cycleway

Wednesday, 30th July 2014: I was going to call this post Summer Time and the cycling is easy, because as I look back on the Summer now that Autumn is practically upon us I am wishing that it was still Summer. it might also be due to the fact that I punctured a tyre  again yesterday after a pretty muddy ride over the hills and far away to Great Chesterford. (My seventh puncture on my new bike and I am going to swop tyres despite the fact the old ones have a bit of wear left in them.  At a guess I reckon I have done about 1,000 miles as my total distance for July to now is 2,000 miles and I have been riding my new bike quite a lot.

This was a ride that turned out to be much longer than I had thought it might be.  I set off heading East of Cambridge but when I reached Quy sort of turned back and went across the fields to Horningsea and then up to Clayhithe. It was about here that I reckoned I hadn’t been up the CGB for a while and neither had I been up the Gun’s Lane or Rampton Drift/Cuckoo Lane/Reynold’s Drove. So I headed back down the track alongside the River Cam and then across from Milton to Histon.

One of the things about the UK is we do get seasons and the countryside is constantly changing – weather it is crops growing in the field, wildflowers in the verges or the flailing of the hedgerows.

Ads a result this ride meanders quite a lot – if you look at the map (second picture down) you can see it does move around a bit – it was more of a whim-driven cycle ride than anything.  Here is the Bike Route Toaster Map link, the loop is just over 70Km, ~44 miles and pretty much flat, not fens flat, but with a minimum elevation of 4m and a maximum elevation of 18m there isn’t any climbing.

That is a summery scene – the green verges are turning brown. This picture looks back along the shared-use cycle path, NCN51 heading east out of Cambridge alongside the Newmarket Road.

NCN51 – Shared-use path – Newmarket Road, between Quy and Cambridge

The map of my ride

After my “u-turn”, prompted in part by the glorious weather I turned back by heading through Stow-cum-Quy and along a bridleway called the Drove Way. The fields were being combined.

Golden fields – waiting for the baler

This picture was taken along Hundred Acre Road (as it use to be known)

Golden Field – waiting for the Combine Harvester

As I headed down the Haling Way (aka NCN11 – that stops abruptly at Waterbeach) alongside the River Cam the water was being oxygenated to safeguard the fish

The River Cam – improving the oxygen levels

This is the same picture – but as I store my pictures on Picasa (which has been subsumed into the Google+ system) occasionally pictures will be selected for extra processing – known as auto-awesome . It can be turned off – but I rather like the random nature and seeing what the results look like.

The River Cam – improving the oxygen levels
after the picture got the auto-awesome treatment

Gun’s Lane

Rampton Drift

I have taken a few picture of this tree in the middle of this field, along Rampton Drift.

A Tree in a Golden Field, Rampton Drift

A Bridleway Bridge over Reynold’s Ditch

Combining – Rampton Road

Tractor ready for the next grain load – Rampton Road

Teasels along the CGB (Cambridge Guided Busway)

Clockwise from top left  (I think) – Rosebay Willow Herb, Convolvulus, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Mayweed, Ragwort, Great Mullein, Teasel, Thistle, Clover and ? – some sort of red berry.

Some of the flowers to be found along the CGB

After heading up the CGB cycleway to St Ives I returned on the Regional Cycle Route 24 (it used to be NCN51). I detoured through Fen Drayton Lakes though.

I didn’t know that the Gravel Bridge Road was closed – so I went along to find out what was going on. I wrongly assumed that the bridge over the CGB was being worked on, but was surprised because it wasn’t that long since it was built. It turns out that the bridge in question was Gravel Bridge. The re-building was taking 9 weeks because they were casting the beams on site.

Gravel Bridge – being re-built

As you can see I didn’t take that many pictures on my travels all things being considered, it was just a very pleasant ride. Somewhat longer that I would normally go for on a random ride – but you can’t waste a good summer’s day can you?

Although you probably can’t make it out the blue sign on the right leg of the traffic sign is highlighting, in a very subdued way, NCN51 – although the route now has a different number RR24. These things seem to hang around long after their sell-by date. The issue is that it can easily create confusion for cyclists passing through – it is wrong. Cycling really is a Cinderella form of transport and yet far more beautiful than the ugly sister of motoring.

NCN51 – well no, not any more

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