On Bank Holiday Monday 7th May join our big bike rides from Cambridge into the fenland countryside. There’s a short ride to the village of Reach, stopping for the village fair, or a longer ride through Wicken Fen to Ely. Both rides start together in Cambridge and will go at a leisurely pace following National Cycle Network Route 11.
The ride takes place on the day of the historic country fair in the village of Reach at the end of Devil’s Dyke. We’ll arrive in time to witness the opening of the fair by the Mayor of Cambridge at noon. This tradition goes back over 800 years, and is accompanied by the throwing of pennies for the poor villagers. There are stalls, fairground rides, a maypole, morris dancing and food and drink tents. It’s perfect for a family day out. The ride back to Cambridge will leave in the mid afternoon – the ride leader will arrange a time with the group to meet before setting back.
For those wanting a longer ride, the stop at Reach will be just enough for lunch. We shall then carry on through Wicken Fen, expecting to arrive in Ely in the mid afternoon. At Ely there will be time to enjoy the sights and more refreshment, before getting back on our bikes and returning to Cambridge by the same route. Bring bike lights. Alternatively return by train, subject to limited availability of space for bikes.
Come prepared for stunning views of open country, wild horses near Wicken Fen and changeable weather. Bring water, snacks and money to buy food. The pace will be leisurely, the riding time to Ely is expected to be four hours each way. These rides are organised by Cambridge Cycling Campaign and are run in association with Sustrans. They are open to everyone, and everyone is welcome to bring their roadworthy bike. This includes accompanied confident child cyclists who are strong enough to ride for around 20 miles (the return distance to Reach). The return distance to Ely is 50 miles. Both rides will be accompanied by marshals who are able to help with simple bike problems. You are of course free to ride independently at your own risk. This is a ride just for fun, there is no charge and there is no sponsorship. Both rides start and finish in Cambridge.
- 9:30am Monday 7th May 2007
- Gather at Reality Checkpoint, in the centre of Parker’s Piece, Cambridge
- 10am Prompt
- Ride Departs towards Midsummer Common
- Green Dragon Bridge, Stourbridge Common
- Newmarket Road Park+Ride site
- around Noon
- Arrive in Reach
- Download the Route Leaflet (0.5MB)
- Route to Reach Fair and back
- Route to Ely and back
- If you have the Google Earth software you can download and `fly virtually` over the 20 mile or the the 50 mile routes. [Help]
The ride leader will tell you the time and place to meet for the rides back to Cambridge or on to Ely.
Returning from Reach
Depending on the weather and what the group wants, the ride will probably leave at around 2pm. The riding time back to Cambridge is less than 2 hours.
Onward to Ely and Back
Leaving Reach at around 1pm, there will be a short stop at Wicken Fen, arriving in Ely at around 3:30pm. In Ely the ride leader will tell you the time and place to meet for the ride back to Cambridge. We expect to be back in Cambridge before 9pm.
- How many people are you expecting on the 20 mile ride or on the 50 mile ride?
- It really will depend on the weather on the day. We are expecting between 50 and 100 riders in total. Most of them will be doing the 20 mile ride.
- Are children welcome on the shorter ride – is there any age limit?
- Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Accommpanied children are welcome on either of the rides – but you will be responsible for looking after them. We travel at a pace which should easily accommodate most children who are regular cyclists. Younger children might find the distance a bit much, but if they’re on trailer bikes they should be ok. You must be prepared to bail out and go back with them! The route is almost all along quiet roads or off-road paths.
- Is it possible to ride to Ely and then take the train back to Cambridge?
- As for the trains, we have contacted all the train companies that run Ely to Cambridge. The trains can take only two bikes at a time, but often take more at the discretion of the Senior Conductor. So they can’t guarantee space, but in my experience they are usually quite accommodating. There are three trains an hour on that day in the early evening, so if you can’t get on the first train, then another train will probably be able to accommodate you. We have also checked the list of planned engineering works and everything seems to be OK. We can’t be more definite than that!
- For specific enquiries contact the campaign.
- Reach Village Home Page (info about the fair hasn’t been updated for 2007)
- Reach Fair Photos
- Wild Horses en route!
- Photo of typical Riders
Other Leisurely Rides
Leisurely rides take place occasionally throughout the year, each led by a member of the campaign. The rides vary in format, but they usually pass through a local part of the countryside, at a gentle pace, and include a stop at a tea shop, café or pub. We’re usually back in Cambridge by 6pm. Some rides have a specific campaigning aspect, such as reconnaisance or trailblazing and there are rare train-assisted rides further afield.
There are no more scheduled rides at present. Please check back another time, or lookout for announcements in your newsletter diary page.