Ride types

CTC Cambridge runs a wide range of cycle rides every week throughout the year. This page describes the various types of ride we run.

In addition our rides lists always show a grade and distance for most rides. For example a ride might be described as "moderate, 50-60 miles". Our system of ride grading is explained at Ride Grading

The planned length of our rides varies over the year, with rides in the summer typically being longer than those in the winter. The actual distance covered on the day will also depend on the group and the weather conditions.

For general information about our rides (such as what to wear and what to bring) see About riding with CTC Cambridge.

Saturday short social rides
Sunday afternoon rides
Sunday light day rides and winter rides
Sunday full day rides (occasional)
Sunday longer day rides(occasional)
Sunday car-assisted rides (occasional)
Tuesday rides (Senior Cyclists' Group)
Wednesday evening rides
Thursday rides

Saturday short social rides

We have a short ride on Saturday mornings about twice a month except during the winter. These are our shortest and easiest rides and are intended to be suitable for everyone. They start at 10.00am at Brookside and cover about 15-25 miles at a gentle pace, stopping for a refreshments at a cafe along the way. Anyone able to cycle around Cambridge should be fine on these rides. See our guidelines for riders under the age of 18.

Saturday social ride at Teacake Cafe, Shepreth

Sunday afternoon rides (summer and some winter Sundays)

We organise Sunday afternoon rides for most of the year. These start at 1pm, 1.30pm or 2pm (depending on destination and time of year) at Brookside in Cambridge and include a stop for tea after which the ride returns to Cambridge. The length of the ride varies from week to week, but as a guide we cover about 40-50 miles in the summer and about 30-40 miles in the winter. Bring lights throughout the winter.

These rides are less frequent during the darkest months of winter. On days when there's no afternoon ride many of our regulars switch to the Sunday winter ride.

The Sunday afternoon ride on the busway

Sunday afternoon tea stops

Our Sunday afternoon rides always include a tea stop. These take place at a variety of places. Sometimes we visit a conveniently-located cafe or garden centre, whilst in the summer we like to seek out teas served in village halls. Periodically we arrange a prebooked tea at a country pub, where a spread of sandwiches and cakes is waiting for us when we arrive. Best of all are the occasional "home teas" at the houses of a member where again a prepared tea is waiting. Prebooked pub teas and home teas have a fixed charge, currently £4.50 for home teas and £3.00 for home teas.

Sunday afternoon tea in Braughing Church Hall

Sunday light day rides and Sunday winter rides

Our "Sunday light day rides" and "Sunday winter" rides start at 9.00am (summer) or 9.30am (winter) at Brookside in Cambridge. These rides stop at a cafe for morning coffee (approx 11.00am) and at a pub or cafe for lunch (approx 1.00pm). After lunch the ride heads back to Cambridge.

Our Sunday light day rides take place for most of the year except winter. These rides are typically 60-70 miles and return to Cambridge by about 5pm.

Our Sunday winter rides take place during the darkest days of winter. These are shorter than our normal light day rides in reflection of the colder weather and reduced daylight, typically covering 50-60 miles. We aim to get home before dark but please bring lights anyway in case of delays.

Some riders shorten these rides by returning to Cambridge after the morning coffee stop. There is no official leader for the ride home from coffee, but if you are a new rider or simply want to be led back from coffee, please check with the leader at the start who can usually arrange for a buddy rider to ride back with you after coffee. The coffee-and-back option is typically 35-45 miles and gets back to Cambridge around lunch time.

Sunday full day rides (occasional)

Every few weeks we extend our Sunday light day rides and Sunday winter rides to go a little further. These are referred to as "full day rides" and start at 9.00am (summer) or 9.30am (winter) at Brookside in Cambridge. In addition to stops for morning coffee and lunch these rides have a third stop for afternoon tea at about 4pm before returning home, arriving in Cambridge around 6pm.

If there's an afternoon ride on the same day the two rides will usually meet up at the tea stop and ride home together.

As with the Sunday light day rides and Sunday winter rides, some riders shorten these rides and return to Cambridge after the morning coffee stop.

During the darker months you'll need to bring lights for the final part of the ride.

Sunday longer day rides (occasional)

Occasionally in the summer we have an additional extra-long ride which starts a little earlier (usually 8.30am) and goes a little further (usually 90-100 miles). These rides tend to be slightly faster than our normal full day rides. They usually meet the normal full day ride at one or more stops along the way.

Sunday car-assisted rides (occasional)

From time to time we organise all-day "car-assisted" rides in which we travel by car to a more distant start point and have a circular ride from there. Contact the ride leader for details and to arrange car-sharing. If you don't have a car we'll try to find space for you.

Tuesday rides (Senior Cyclists' Group)

Our Senior Cyclists' Group meets on Tuesdays. These rides are open to everyone but the pace is gentle. The group meets up informally in smaller groups near Cambridge and we then ride to a country pub for lunch before returning home. We aim to all arrive at the pub around 12:30pm.

The details of the planned lunch stop can be found on the rides lists. If you’d like to meet earlier to ride out with us, or for any other information about the ride, please contact the appointed leader.

If the weather is doubtful, call the leader the previous day (Monday) to find out whether the ride has been changed.

Wednesday evening rides

During the summer months we have rides every Wednesday evening. These depart from Brookside at 6.30pm and involve two hours of riding before stopping at a pub at about 8.30pm. We stay there for about half an hour before returning directly to Cambridge, usually arriving back before 10pm. Bring lights for the last part of the ride.

During the winter these rides change to monthly and are held on the Wednesday closest to the full moon, when riding at night along empty unlit roads (or along the busway) can be a magical experience. Bring good lights.

Evening ride on Coploe Hill

Thursday rides

We hold all-day rides on Thursdays throughout the year. These are probably our most popular rides and these rides are now split into two linked rides with two different start points. The "village start" ride starts a few miles south of Cambridge at either Hauxton or Haslingfield and the "city start" ride usually starts at Brookside. Occasionally the rides may start from another location so always check the website to confirm the correct location.

Both rides depart at 9.30am and then meet up at the coffee and lunch stops before returning during the afternoon. Lunch is at a pub or cafe though some riders prefer to bring a packed lunch, especially in the warmer summer months. The groups often get mixed up at coffee and lunch so you get a chance to ride with different people, but one group always returns to Cambridge and another group returns to the village start after lunch. In the winter both rides aim to get home before dark.

Thursday ride near Manuden