Bicycle Ambulance Byway Bash
Organised by local bike shop Bicycle Ambulance, the Byway Bash took in 40 plus miles of South Cambridge byways, gravel tracks and the occasional road. With a mid-way stop for beer provided by the folk at Linton’s ‘Wylde Sky Brewing’ and the promise of pizza at the end it made for a perfect Saturday ride.
A 9.30'ish start from Bould Brothers Coffee, saw a group of around 12 bike packing and gravel enthusiasts head off towards Granchester via the Backs. The first bit of off-road saw an early puncture with an impressive spray of tubeless sealant. Being a no-drop ride it made for an excuse to get properly introduced to the other riders.
With the tyre repaired and the sun out we headed towards Haslingfield and then up over Chapel Hill before taking a right, along the top wooded ridge above the old Cemex cement works. The greasy single track made for a fun ride before hitting the downward run into Barrington and the first of many styes that needed to be negotiated.
Through Barrington we hit another stretch of byway and some more punctures. It was then single track through to Harston, more styes, another puncture and then a clear run along the byway to Shelford and then Stapleford. We had planned to ride Thriplow to Whittlesford but with the time taken, that section was missed out. The group then rode along a local favourite route - the Stapleford to Babraham byway with a couple of us braving the ford. At the Babraham end we were met by the beer wagon.
After a couple of beers we then rode through Abington and then along the backroad to Linton where we faced the only major climb (by Cambridge standards) of the ride, the loose gravel path upto the water tower. Regrouping, it was a quick downhill and then along three stretches of the Roman Road towards Cambridge. Pretty clear of walkers and horses we sped along, regrouping at the top and then riding down past the Beechwoods and for a final treat through the Worts Causeway footpath section. A quick dash through Cambridge and we arrived at our destination, the Maypole where Bicycle Ambulance had laid on some pizza (thanks) which arrived with additional chips (kindly provided by the pub). A couple of pints later and it was time to head home, along the first part of the ride that we’d completed earlier. All in all a great day out and looking forward to the next one.
Main photo credit: Sam Hester