Reach Fair Ride

Camcycle’s annual Reach Ride is a leisurely ride through beautiful countryside to the historic fair in the village of Reach. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it did not take place in 2020 or 2021, but we are back for 2022 with kind support from Continental Tyres and Cambridge City Council.

Please save the date – Monday 2 May, 2022 – and get in touch if you would like to get involved as a volunteer.

BANK HOLIDAY RIDE TO REACH FAIR

Reach Ride poster 2022Start points and departure times

Assemble from 9am in front of the Guildhall on Market Square, Cambridge. The ride departs at 10am. You can also join the ride at any point on the route; for example we’ll pass the Green Dragon bridge at 10.15am and Newmarket Road Park & Ride at 10.30am.

You may also cycle from Ely with Ely Cycling Campaign along a scenic off-road route through the fens on NCN11. Meet from 9am at Ely station for a departure at 10am and come prepared for some off-road sections.

Led return rides will depart from the Reach cycle park to Cambridge at 2.30pm and to Ely at 3pm, although you may wish to travel home independently.

The cycle ride

The Reach Ride is an occasion to take in the stunning views of the open countryside and enjoy the fun of the fair with family, friends or colleagues. Why not come as a group with a theme, a colour, a sound or the logo of your business?

The pace is leisurely, but aims to reach the village of Reach for the opening of the fair at noon. It is open to everyone, and this includes accompanied child cyclists who are able to ride for around 15 miles each way from Cambridge (or 13 miles each way from Ely). Children under 10 and some adults may find the full distance challenging, but you can do a shorter ride by joining at a later point along the route.

You are responsible for your own safe and legal cycling and that of any minors you are accompanying on the ride. Please ensure you follow the Highway Code and that your bike is in suitable condition for the ride. You can join and leave the ride at any time.

Camcycle marshals will be on hand to guide the route and a team of mechanics from Outspoken Cycles can help with simple bike problems (there may be charges for parts). This ride is just for fun and free to participate in.

The route

The ride follows National Cycle Network routes NCN 51 to Bottisham then NCN 11 via Lode. On the return to Cambridge, we’ll take a shortcut along the protected path alongside the B1102 from Lode to Stow-cum-Quy. You can view the map or download GPX files of the route between Cambridge and Reach using the website CycleStreets (outwards and return) or Komoot (outwards and return).

Reach Ride route map

Reach Fair

We’ll arrive in Reach for the opening of the historic country fair at noon by the Mayor of Cambridge. The fair dates back over 800 years and still has the tradition of throwing pennies for “the poor villagers” – children today scrabble for as many as they can. There are stalls, fairground rides, a maypole, Morris dancing and food and drink tents. It’s perfect for a family day out.

Mayor of Cambridge at Reach Fair 2019

Bike security at the fair

Please ensure you park your cycle in the designated area. The cycle parking at Reach Fair is on the left as you approach the village centre. It is simply a field near to the fair. There’s a fence and hedge to lean bikes against. We suggest you lock bikes together in groups, at your own risk.

What to bring

On the day, make sure you bring water, snacks, weather-suitable clothing (e.g. sunhats, raincoats) a bike lock and cash to buy food. It is also advisable to bring a basic repair kit including a cycle pump.

Toilets

Toilets are available at the Newmarket Road Park & Ride site and at the fair in Reach. For the Ely ride, there are toilets at Ely station and Wicken Fen nature reserve.

A fun day out…

  • “I enjoyed the nature on the way to the fair and back. I even saw a snake (by the Lode’s path) but unfortunately it was dead. The fair was amazing and I got a lot of exercise!” – Jesaelle
  • “I couldn’t believe we cycled as long as a marathon is, going to Reach and back. I’m proud of doing it.” – Garris

Some images from previous years

(video by Rad Wagon)

(video by Antony Carpen)

(video by Matthew Danish)

Previous years’ events

See also 10 years of the Reach Ride.