Reach Fair Ride 2012

The next Reach Fair ride will take place on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May 2012. This page will be updated in the coming months, the details below relate to the 2011 ride.

Did you ride to Reach Fair?

The ride is over for another year – see photos from the 2011 ride. Read this report by a participant.

We are delighted to announce that the Mayor of Cambridge will be riding with us this year.

Mayor Sheila Stuart will be accompanied by The Mayor’s Consort (her husband Bruce), The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith), Councillor Paul Saunders, Councillor Tim Ward (if his physiotherapist gives the OK) and Liz Bisset, Director of Customer and Community at Cambridge City Council.

All welcome

This May Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May 2011 bring your family and friends on a leisurely free bike ride from Cambridge to the village of Reach for the historic village fair. We shall go at a leisurely pace following National Cycle Network Routes 51 and 11. Last year we had a turn out of 357 riders, and weather permitting we’d love to beat that.


The ride takes place on the day of the historic country fair in the village of Reach at the end of Devil’s Dyke. The Mayor of Cambridge will be riding with us and tradition requires that she opens the fair at noon. This tradition goes back over 800 years, and is accompanied by the throwing of pennies for ‘the poor villagers’ – but children love to catch 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. The ride back to Cambridge will leave at 2pm on the very quiet roads towards the fens, via Lode and rejoining the outgoing route at Bottisham.

The Ride

Cycle Cambridge Logo Team Green Bike Week logo 2011

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

Come prepared for stunning views of open country, all the fun of the fair and changeable weather. Bring water, snacks, a bike lock and money to buy food. The pace will be leisurely: the riding time to Reach is a bit less than 2 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 this includes accompanied child cyclists who are strong enough to ride for around 27 miles. Children under 10 may find the full distance challenging, but you can do shorter rides by joining the ride along the route, at Newmarket Road Park and Ride site for instance. The ride will be accompanied by marshals who are able to help with simple bike problems. You are of course free to ride independently. This is a ride just for fun, there is no charge and there is no sponsorship.


9:00 am Monday 2nd May 2011
Gather outside the Guildhall, Market Square, Cambridge
From 9:30am
Groups of riders (each led by a marshal) depart towards Riverside following route NCN 51.
10:15 am
Final group departs
10:45 am
Final pickup at Newmarket Road Park+Ride site
around Noon
Arrive in Reach

The cycle parking at Reach Fair is on the right 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. Please do not park in the cemetery. Slower riders should join the early departures. You can do a shorter ride by starting from Newmarket Road Park n Ride as late as 10:45 am. Toilets are available at the Park and Ride site, the Missing Sock pub, and the Fair.

Returning from Reach

Return rides at 2pm, and 2:30pm from the cycle parking area in Reach via Tubney Fen and NCN 11 through Lode to Bottisham. Arrive back in Cambridge by around 4pm.


How many people are you expecting on the ride?
It really will depend on the weather on the day. Last year we had more than 350 riders, and this year we are hoping for 500 riders.
Are children welcome on the ride?
Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Accommpanied children are welcome on the ride – but you will be responsible for looking after them. We travel at a pace which should easily accommodate most children who are regular cyclists. Children under about 10 might find the full return distance a bit much, but if they’re on trailer bikes they should be ok. You can make the ride shorter by joining the ride along the route, at Newmarket Road Park and Ride site for instance. 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.
Are you on Twitter?
Yes, for the latest tweets: Twitter icon Add your own by mentioning the hashtag #ReachRide in your tweets.
What happened to the ride to Wicken and Ely?
In previous years we’ve ridden on from the Fair to Wicken and Ely. This year we’ve decided to focus only on riding to the fair, but coming back via the newly opened Lodes Way route. This will allow us all to be together for the whole ride and gives us a bit more time to enjoy the fair.
Is it possible to ride to Ely and then take the train back to Cambridge?
If you want to ride on independently to Wicken or Ely that is fine. 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. You are advised to check whether there are scheduled engineering works: the list of planned engineering works nearer the time. We can’t be more definite than that!

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

More information

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.

Previous rides and suggestions for routes