Reach Fair Ride 7th May 2012

We are delighted to announce that the Mayor of Cambridge, Ian Nimmo-Smith will be riding with us this year.

All welcome

This May Bank Holiday Monday 7th May 2012 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 almost 400 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 to open the fair at noon. This tradition goes back over 800 years, and is accompanied by the throwing of pennies for ‘the poor villagers’. 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.

Feeder Rides

Spread the word at your workplace. Share it among your facebook friends. Encourage your neighbours, your students and your teachers. Organise a feeder ride from your neighbourhood, school, college or choir and arrive together at the Market Place to join the main group. Why not wear the colours of your team, club or school, or decorate your bike is a common manner to stand out (balloons). Wear your gowns in the wind, and your mortar-boards, or perhaps your group will bring some music or performance to the event.

The Ride

The ride is supported by this EU project. Cycle Cambridge Logo Bike Week logo 2012

We are working with Bike Friendly Cities 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 Bike Friendly Cities and 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 age 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 7th May 2012
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.
10:00 am
Final group departs
10:30 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 10:30 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.

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

Ride from Ely to the Fair

Another ride to Reach Fair meets outside Ely Station at 9.30am to depart at 10am for Reach. This is a free lead ride which follows the National Cycle Network and is suitable for the whole family. This event is organised by Ely Cycle Forum and Cambridgeshire County Council.

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