30 October 2011

Lanes and Fens ride: 100km around Cambridge

Yesterday we took advantage of the still-lovely Autumn weather on a delightful 100km ride around the Cambridge area, organised by Alberto's colleage Becs via the cyclechat forum. I was excited to join a forum ride--Alberto has been on several but they're usually at a pace and distance that is just a little out of my reach. Becs organised this ride specifically as a social ride that would accommodate all paces.

The route of the day as uploaded by Luke

Several of us met up at King's Cross to catch the 9:15 train to Cambridge. It was lovely to be able to sleep in a bit compared to our usual start times! We then met up with the rest of the crew at Cambridge and began our cycle out to the countryside. It was a beautiful day and, once we were out of Cambridge, the roads were surprisingly quiet and the cars were surprisingly respectful! One of the many benefits of cycling in groups I suppose! It was nice to be out in the Cambridge area again as it has been a while.

It is always nice to cycle with others and I thought the group yesterday was especially friendly. There were many interesting chats with interesting people, which made the miles fly by and the ride so much more enjoyable.

Alberto chatting away (pic courtesy of Dave)

Caught laughing at something (pic courtesy of Dave)

We had an early pub stop at Withersfield which had great food and reasonable prices. It was nice to be able to stop for a proper meal as we almost never do that on our rides these days!

Outside the pub stop - Alberto and I are in the centre in yellow (pic courtesy of Dave)
After lunch, we continued on for a while and then a small group turned off to head back to Cambridge via a more direct route. The rest of us headed across the Fens, a flat expanse of marshland that is windy all the time! Yesterday was no exception and it was definitely one of the most challenging parts of the day to get across it. Shortly after that we stopped for tea and cakes at the Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve where we all remarked on how amazing it was that we were able to sit outside comfortably so late into October.

Gorgeous weather (pic courtesy of Dave)
After that it was just a flat and quiet ride back to Cambridge, via Becs' house and a cycle path all the way into the town centre. All in all it was a great ride, slower than usual for us but with much better company! It was also really refreshing for me not to be the slowest rider, as I usually am with Alberto, because it meant that I could relax in the knowledge that I could keep up with the pace rather than have to worry about whether I was going fast enough.

Autumn has arrived
I know we will not get many more great days for cycling so I was glad we took advantage of this one.

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