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New year, new route

What better way to kick off the new year than exploring the newly opened Chisholm Trail  and its landmark features: the Newmarket Road underpass and the gleaming new bridge over the River Cam. The new Cam crossing - with the old railway bridge in the background So it was that seven riders set off towards Cambridge for the first outing of 2022. Picking up the new trail at Coldham's Common, we followed the impressively wide cycleway past the Abbey Stadium - Brian H here raising an arm in salute to his favourite team - before diving under the busy Newmarket Road and thence on to the magnificent new bridge over the Cam, where we paused for a photo opportunity. Chris, Brian C, Janet, Paul, Brian H and Alan With Cambridge North close by on the other side, it was here we picked up the guided busway heading for Histon and Cottenham where, alas, our leader pulled up with a puncture. Fifteen minutes - not to mention much effing and jeffing - later, Brian was reinflated and back on the road,
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Look out for cowpats

Under a beautiful blue sky Janet, Jeremy, Lewis and three Brians set off for a 23 mile jaunt around the villages north of Cambridge. A flat ride, much of it off road and away from traffic, the only residual hazard being the occasional cowpat on Grantchester Meadow. Baits Bite Lock Pulling in for refreshment at the half way mark, we enjoyed coffee and cake at Histon Station House, before returning home via Milton and the River Cam towpath. 23 miles clockwise

Manning the pump

 A chilly November morning saw eight Spokers heading out of Shelford for a tour of the villages way out west. Barton, Comberton and Toft went by in a blur before we reached Kingston, where we stopped for a photo opportunity at the village pump. All hands to the pump Back on the bikes we turned south east, heading homewards via the Eversdens, Harlton and Haslingfield, where we pulled in for refreshment at the Mohak Café and jostled for service among a jolly crowd of builders and motorcyclists. It was good to see the place open again - seven days a week too - and doing a roaring trade. Sugar and caffeine levels restored, we made short work of the return leg to Shelford - Gordon, Hilary, Janet Jeremy, Lewis and three Brians clocking up 24 miles in all. Well done, team! 24 miles anticlockwise from Shelford

Back to Wimpole

Monday morning saw half a dozen Spokers gathering on Winners forecourt for a 27 mile outing to Wimpole and back. On the return leg we pulled up for a photo at the Orwell meridian marker 27 miles: Shelford - Newton - Thriplow - Foxton - Barrington - Orwell - Wimpole - Orwell - Shepreth - Fowlmere - Newton - Shelford

Flat tyres and waffles

An autumnal Monday morning saw our gang of eight heading out for a 24 mile loop around Cambridge, taking in Milton and Impington. Pulling in for refreshment at The Station House café in Histon, most opted for coffee and cake while Jeremy, our doughty trencherman, stoked up on waffles, bananas, cream and syrup. Back on the bikes - and having enjoyed a long run of puncture free rides - our luck finally ran out as Alan pulled up with a flat front tyre. There followed various attempts at a fix, albeit with wrong-sized inner tubes. Undaunted, and with a little help from a Cambridge bike shop, he was soon up and running again -  and pedalled off to visit his mum in Addenbrookes. The man is unstoppable! 24 miles anticlockwise: Shelford - DNA path - Cambridge Station - Riverside - Milton - Impington - Histon Station House - Girton - Eddington - Grange Rd - Grantchester - Trumpington - Shelford

A14 flyover

Bar Hill by car? There's no avoiding the A14. But Bar Hill by bike can be a very pleasant, traffic free experience - if you know where to find the local bridleways and cycleways. What's more, you can now exit Bar Hill via the gleaming new cycle bridge spanning the A14, which is ten lanes wide at this point.  High above the traffic So it was that Lewis, Alan, Hilary, Chris and two Brians explored a novel route to Oakington and Histon. And it was in Histon that we pulled in for refreshment at the Station House Café. Open these past two months, the coffee and cake were top notch and the service very good too; we shall return. The Station House, Histon Back on the bikes we followed the guided busway back to Cambridge and on to Shelford, clocking up some 25 miles in all.  Lewis, Alan, Hilary, Chris and Brian 25 miles clockwise: Shelford - Trumpington P&R - Grantchester - Coton - Madingley - Dry Drayton - Bar Hill - Oakington - Guided busway - Histon Station House - Cambridge Nor

Anglesey Abbey

A fine September morning saw Chris, Lewis, Gordon, Alan and two Brians labouring up the hill to Fulbourn, en route to Bottisham, Lode and Anglesey Abbey. Pulling in for coffee and cake at the National Trust tea room, we enjoyed the view across the Abbey Gardens before setting off on the return leg via Ditton Meadows and Cambridge Riverside. 25 miles anticlockwise: Shelford - DNA path - Worts Causeway - Fulbourn - Great Wilbraham - Little Wilbraham - Bottisham - Swaffham Bulbeck - Anglesey Abbey - Stow cum Quy - Newmarket Rd P&R - Ditton Meadows - Riverside - Cambridge Station - Shelford

Monday in Milton

 Alan, Lewis, Gordon and two Brian's - Yorkie and Brummie - set off for Grantchester, Cambridge and Milton, where we pulled in for coffee and cake at the café in the country park.  Refreshed, we made the return leg to Cambridge via the towpath along the river, clocking up 22 miles as we returned to Shelford.  22 miles clockwise: Shelford - Hauxton - Trumpington Meadows - Grantchester - Grange Rd - Garret Hostel Bridge - Market Square - Jesus Green - Chesterton Church - Cambridge North - Milton Country Park - Riverside - Cambridge Station - DNA path - Shelford 

Ouch!

Ten miles into our Monday outing, Gordon - poor chap - was stung on the face by a wasp. Stout fellow that he is, he pedalled on and, by the time we pulled in for coffee at El Cafecito, he had quite recovered his composure. Otherwise, it was a pleasant ride and we clocked up some 25 miles zigzagging our way around the nearby villages. For the record, the turnout was: Alan, Chris, Jeremy, Brummie Brian, and poor old Gordon - who took it on the chin (or more precisely, the cheek). A 25 mile, back and forth route taking in Whittlesford, Newton, Thriplow, Fowlmere, Foxton, Fowlmere, Chrisall Grange, Duxford, Whittlesford and Sawston

Dodging the showers

The forecast was for heavy showers, but we thought we'd take our chances; Alan, Gordon, Jenny, Jeremy and Brian, hoping for the best but dressing for the worst. The gamble paid off; it did rain - but only while we were safely inside the café at Burwash Manor. And judging by the flooded roads we encountered in Harston it must have been quite a downpour. Miraculously, we stayed dry, despite tempting fate by stopping for a picture in Haslingfield churchyard. The graveyard shift: Brian, Jeremy, Gordon and Jenny at All Saints, Haslingfield. Note the sunshine! 25 miles clockwise: Shelford - Newton - Harston - Haslingfield - Harlton - Eversden - Kingston - Toft - Hardwick - Comberton - Barton - Haslingfield - Harston - Hauxton - Shelford