This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 23.
Here’s the first in a new series about members’ regular routes. We thought it would be very fitting to ask our very first member, Karen Lipscomb, to get the ball rolling.
When Clare asked me to write an article about my 3½ mile cycle ride into work, I said let me think about it. Now I’ve left it too late to do anything other than write a short article!
I cycle from Cherry Hinton into the centre of Cambridge each morning at about 7.40 am, normally taking about 15 minutes, which is possibly five minutes longer than a car at the same time of the morning. I leave the house, rain or shine, and cycle firstly past the old quarry, more commonly known as the tins. It is a pleasure to cycle past the quarry from Cherry Hinton to the end of Mill Road; I meet the same people, at the same time, each morning and we nod and smile at each other in passing. I always think of this act of nodding and smiling as being typically ‘Cambridge’ – just the right amount of friendliness without overdoing it. If it’s a frosty morning with a clear blue sky then as you cycle over the railway bridge you can see the houses reflected in the water, which always makes this part of my cycle ride seem very rural. Occasionally, you see one or two fishermen and I often wonder whether there are actually any fish in there or if it’s just a peaceful place to sit with a fishing rod early in the morning.
At the end of Mill Road there’s a short burst of traffic reality, with a set of traffic lights to lead you across into the streets parallel to Mill Road, which are fairly quiet even at peak traffic times. On through a double set of cycle barriers, which are a minor irritation and then there’s another set of lights with very quick response time, a real find in Cambridge for cyclists. The next part of the ride involves the occasional encounter with a car wanting to come out of Greville Road, a cycle path to a road junction and then onto the cycle bridge. The bridge is fine in winter but far too hot in the summer! Another set of lights, shared with cars with a portion for cyclists, and a quick skirt round the back streets to Hills Road. This can be a long wait unless a pedestrian is kind enough to use the lights and stop the cars for a few seconds. Down Coronation Street, turn left and up Union Road into work. For the most part a good cycle ride, almost completely traffic free and in fair weather very enjoyable.