|Rapha womens 100|
We didn't have as much time to plan as we would have liked but we managed to plot a route taking in a few of sites of feminist significance, starting and finishing in Cambridge--where the first women's college in the UK was founded. It felt approrpiate to do a feminist ride given the historical connections between cycling and women's liberation.
On Sunday morning, I cycled to King's Cross Station with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. I've only very rarely cycled a long distance without Alberto there to sort out mechanicals (and just generally be nice company of course!), and I haven't spent much time on the road bike this year so I wasn't sure how fit I really was. But I'd also literally never ridden a route without a man along for the ride and the idea of spending the day with only women was exciting. The forecast was for hot weather, sunny skies, and calm winds -- so we really couldnt complain. It was going to be a great day.
Four wonderful women--me, Emma, Rachael, and Kate--set out to takle the route in the 27 C (80 F) heat. Our route took us south out of Cambridge, first on the traffic-free cycle route for the first few kms, and then onto quieter roads. We all had a lot of enthusiasm early in the day, and the temperatures weren't quite so high, so before we knew it we were riding through Great Chesterford, where apparently the feminist icon Germaine Greer lives (we didn't check her address!).
We carred on South and the terrain got a bit hillier as we headed into Saffron Walden. On the approach to Saffron Walden we rode on our only really busy stretch of road of the ride, a B road combined with an uphill is really never a good plan. But we made it through and soon we were out the other side and onto quiet country lanes. By the time we arrived in Great Easton we were all ready for a break.
|Enjoying the shade in Great Easton|
|Attacking the hills|
|A quick break at Audley End|
|Taking in the view|