Ride to Reach Fair 2010

The ride is over for another year

Despite a bit of rain, two hail showers and a strong headwind we had a good turn out for our annual ride to Reach and Ely.

The Camcycle 20 / 50 – All Welcome!

The page below relates to the 2010 ride, planning for the next ride has started and it will take place on Monday 2nd May 2011. More details will be added here as they become available.

This May Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May 2010 why not bring your family and friends on a leisurely free bike ride 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 Routes 51 and 11. Last year we had a turn out of 385 riders, and weather permitting we’d love to beat that.

Mayor opening Reach Fair
Mayor opening Reach Fair 2007 – throwing coins to the villagers.

Some sections are on road, with other traffic
Real riding: Some sections share the road with other traffic.


Boy looking at a Hog Roast
Traditional country fayre.
Morris Dancers
Mad fun
Mock battles
I got here first!

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.

The Ride

Cycle Cambridge Logo Team Green Bike Week logo

We are working with Cycle Cambridge and BikeWeek to promote this ride.

Come prepared for stunning views of open country, wild horses near Wicken Fen and changeable weather. Bring water, snacks, money to buy food and a bike lock. 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 Cycle Cambridge and Team Green Britain Bike Week. They are open to everyone, and everyone is welcome to bring their roadworthy bike. This includes accompanied child cyclists who are strong enough to ride for around 20 miles (the return distance to Reach). Some sections of the route share the road with motor traffic. 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.


Distances and routes from Midsummer Common

The ride is over for another year. Planning for the next ride will start in 2011.

9:00 am Monday 3rd May 2010
Gather outside the Fort St. George Pub on Midsummer Common, Cambridge
From 9:30am
Groups of riders (each led by a marshal) depart towards Riverside and Stourbridge Common
10:30 am
Final group departs
10:45 am
Final pickup at Newmarket Road Park+Ride site
around Noon
Arrive in Reach

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. Last year we had close to 400 riders, and this year we are expecting around 500 riders, most of them will be doing the 20 mile ride. About 50 riders will continue on to Ely.
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 but there are some sections on roads shared with motor traffic.
Is it possible to ride to Ely and then take the train back to Cambridge?
As for the trains, we’ve again 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 our 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’re told there are no scheduled engineering works, but to be sure check the list of planned engineering works nearer the time. We can’t be more definite than that!
Are you on Twitter?
Yes, for the latest tweets: Twitter icon http://twitter.com/#search?q=ReachRide. Add your own by mentioning the phrase: ReachRide in your tweets.

More information

Cambridge Ely route map

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, cafĂ© 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.

Previous rides and suggestions for routes