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Sunny morning at Madingley

Two groups of cyclists set off from Shelford bound for Madingley Hall on a glorious Monday morning; the first group comprising two Brians, Alan and Lewis - followed 15 minutes later by Jenny, Janet, Hilary and yet one more Brian. Christmas elves - Jenny, Hilary and Janet - guarding the Christmas tree at Madingley Hall Last week we froze, this week we were basking in sunshine as we clocked up 24 miles, stopping only to enjoy coffee and cake at the Hall.
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Foggy foursome

  A cold and foggy Monday morning saw Lewis, Jeremy and two Brians heading out of Shelford bound for Elmdon. We must be mad, was the general consensus, though it felt good to be putting the second lockdown behind us. With the temperature just above freezing, special measures had been taken to keep out the cold; Brian C and Lewis sporting various items of ski-wear and Jeremy in waterproof footwear, while Brian H was muffled up in his trusty Cambridge United scarf. Jeremy's choice of footwear was prescient, coming in useful at Hinxton where the road was flooded either side of the ford. But the highlight of the outing was our stop for refreshments at Café 19 in the spanking new Duxford Community Centre, where we stoked up on sausage sandwiches, fruit scones and mince pies. The only downside was that Tier 2 restrictions meant sitting outside. Excellent as the refreshments were, it was nevertheless a relief to head back to home and hearth in Shelford, where we thawed out having clocked

Photo shoot on Garret Hostel Bridge

Monday morning saw two Brians, Jeremy, Chris and Phil heading out along the DNA cycleway . . . followed some fifteen minutes later by Jenny, Hilary, Alan and yet another Brian, heading off in a more westerly direction towards Grantchester; both groups bound for Cambridge and, ultimately, Milton. Along the way everyone paused for photographs on Garret Hostel Bridge, Hilary pointing out the fine architecture of Trinity Hall's Jerwood Library. Jeremy, Brian, Phil and Brian heading west on Garrett Hostel Bridge. Alas, we have no photo of Chris. Probably just as well; rumour has it he tried to relieve a passing cyclist of his laptop, though Chris swears it was accidental. On that exact same spot an hour earlier - Alan, Hilary and Jenny - heading east Brian struggling to frame a socially distanced selfie Alongside the bridge, the Jerwood Library All enjoyed coffee and cake in the café at Milton Country Park and returned to Shelford having clocked up a very respectable 22 miles. 22 miles

Madingley Hall

A chilly Monday morning saw nine riders heading away from Shelford Rec bound for Madingley Hall; Jenny, Janet, Alan, Lewis and Brummie Brian in the first group, followed shortly afterwards by BrianC, BrianH, Jeremy and Chris. Socially distanced on the Madingley Hall terrace By the time we reached Madingley the sun was shining and most enjoyed coffee and cake as we took in the view from the Hall terrace. Trencherman BrianH, however, opted for more substantial fare, tucking into a gargantuan sausage roll - with an apologetic bit of salad on the side. Jenny and Janet enjoying coffee al fresco Returning to Shelford via Trumpington Meadows, we had clocked up 28 miles; a few miles more than planned due to Brummie Brian's wrong turning at Haslingfield. 28 miles clockwise, including a wrong turn and reversal at Haslingfield

High up in Essex

According to Wikipedia, the village of Chrishall marks the highest point in Essex, some 147 metres above sea level. While Monday's route barely skirted the village, we got pretty close to the summit, topping out at 125 metres. With Great Shelford sitting at a lowly 20 metres, you can see our ride was somewhat more hilly than usual.  Coploe Hill - 89m and counting So it was that six hardy Shelfordians set off for a 25 mile circuit taking in Littlebury Green, Elmdon and skirting Chrishall before the descent towards Duxford, Brian C leading the way followed by Janet, Jenny, Jeremy, Alan and Brian H. Near Chrishall and pausing to get our breath back Hill climbs, eh? Tough on drama teachers but easy peasy for PE teachers  25 miles clockwise

Swaffham Bulbeck and Back

Monday morning saw six socially distanced riders heading for Fulbourn; Alan - energised by a hearty breakfast - setting the pace ahead of Hilary, Phil and three Brians. Great Wlbraham, Little Wilbraham and Bottisham came and went before we pulled up for a breather at  Swaffham Bulbeck. Thence it was on to Lode and, via a somewhat hard-to-find cycleway, Stow-cum-Quy and Fen Ditton. Approaching Cambridge from the east we were curious about the melee outside the Abbey Stadium; why  queue here at midday on an August Monday? Stopping for a chat, we learned these were the true believers queuing for their season tickets; a friendly bunch of ever hopeful, die-hard Cambridge United fans. We wished them well. Traversing Coldham's Common we headed for the Tony Carter Cycle Bridge over the railway. Named after a Labour councillor of the day, opened in 1989 and listed for a time in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest covered cycle bridge, this is a wonderful shortcut. Its on

Willingham Auctions

A fine Monday morning saw Jenny, Jeremy, Phil and three Brians pedalling to Cambridge along the DNA cycleway. Crossing the city via quiet backstreets and picking up the guided busway near the Science Park, we headed out towards Histon and on to Willingham, where we pulled in at the Auction Rooms for refreshment. Coffee at Willingham Auction Rooms This being an August Monday, Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out lark meant we got coffee and a stonking great slice of Victoria sponge for just £3; thank you, Rishi. And  Brian H called up an ex-colleague and cricketing mate - Alan, who lives in Willingham - inviting him to join us for coffee. Back on the bikes, we wound our way south through Longstanton, Oakington and Girton - and thence back to Shelford via Grantchester and Trumpington. A tad longer than our usual Monday outing, we clocked up 30 miles, arriving back in the village just before a downpour. Alas, poor Yorkie Brian still had 3 miles to go to Sawston and got a good soaking.