Calendar events around Cambridgeshire

This page lists up-coming calendar events that start near to or pass through Cambridge. The list includes rides that are easy to get to on the day without a car, unless they're exceptional.  Updated January 2017

30 July — London Edinburgh London 1400 — Loughton, Essex »

THE biggest ride in the UK, happens only once every four years, and if you don't already have a place then you will have to wait until 2021, because entries are closed!

I've written an alternative, A6/A5 routesheet and created alternative GPX/TCX files, which you can download from here »

A very long, very scenic route from London, through Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and across the Pennines to Gretna Green before climbing up the Devil's Beeftub and heading east to Edinburgh.  Then a magnificently lonely retour through the scarcely-populated Borders to Brampton before heading back to London the way we came, nearly.  This ride skirts Cambridge on the way north via St Ives, and currently the route heads back through the centre of Cambridge itself for some late-ride selfies in front of King's College and on past Audley End House into Essex and back to London.

We are, inevitably, forecast gales and rain!!

For me, this is the ride that started it all, back in 2012 — I started audax in November to get myself fit for this ride in July 2013, and I have ridden at least one 200km ride every single month since then!  This will be my second LEL and I have already secured a place (as of 6 Jan).

LEL Website »

7 October 2016 — Richard Ellis Memorial 200 — Great Dunmow »

The first Essex foray of the new calendar, starting a busy time for the ACME team.  This is a lovely route through north Essex, south Cambridgeshire and west Suffolk. To commemorate our friend Richard Ellis' life, tragically cut short; Richard's family manned some of the controls last year.

Enter »

21 October 2016 — The Cambridge Autumnal 200 »

It feels like the end of the year, but it's actually the beginning of the new audax season and October is the time to get the winter bike out and enjoy the change in seasons!

For this autumnal adventure, the route takes you exactly due east across the gently rolling Suffolk landscape via the old towns of Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Debenham to the historic castle-and-market town of Framlingham for lunch.  The return route visits the Maglia Rosso bike-haven in Hawstead for afternoon tea, before re-ascending the chalk ridgeline around Cambridge and a long descent back to the plains below.

Enter »

8 October 2016 — The Cambridge Autumnal 100

For some riders the new audax season starts with that first long ride that leads into the second long ride and so on.  We all started somewhere! 

This is an exciting new route that takes in a series of long, steady climbs through the hills south of Cambridge and visits the historic towns of Thaxted, Saffron Walden and Linton.  Over a third of the route is on narrow lanes, the rest being a mix of quiet C, B and A roads.  Navigation is straightforward and the scenery should be fantastic! 

Enter »>

 


Recent Events

22 July — Suffolk Lanes Extravaganza 200 — Bildeston, Suffolk »

A 200km wander around the lanes between Bildestone and the Suffolk coast, visiting our old favourite, Framlingham.  Possibly a bit too close to LEL for some.

This ride is ideal to extend to 300km by ECEing from Cambridge (or 200 for the 100).

This event has taken place.

16 July — The Baron's 200 — Good Easter »

A celebration of 200 years since Baron Karl von Drais invented the Laufmaschine, draisine or vélocipede in 1817.  A figure-of-eight course.  Also 100 and 50.

This ride is ideal to extend to 300km by ECEing from Cambridge (or 200 for the 100).

This event has taken place.

14 July — Hereward the Wake 300 — Great Dunmow »

This is another classic Essex event — a curry dinner (not included) at 6pm for an event start of 9pm.  Then 300km of riding through the night and much of the next day — including a visit back to Cambridge — to get back to arrivée for brunch, included in the entry fee.  You get a number of larger groups together on this, which makes it a very sociable ride.  Sometimes rains.

This ride is ideal to extend to 400km by ECEing from Cambridge.

This event has taken place.

1 July — Kingdom of the East Saxons 400 — Great Dunmow

Literally a true "Essex 400", this route zig-zags around within the pre-1972 boundary of Essex — the former Saxon Kingdom — from the chalk hills of the north-west to the marshy coast along the south-east.

This ride is ideal to extend to 500 by ECEing from Cambridge, especially since the main event doesn't start until 11am on the Saturday.  Last year I extended it to 600km, rather than riding The Flatlands for my Essex SR badge!

You can download GPS files from our page here.

Enter »

11 June — Herts High 5 — Ware (where?) »

A visit to the high points of five different counties — Herts, Bucks, Beds, Cambs and Essex — none of which is particularly high, so don't be afraid!

Where's Ware?  A near-ideal distance for an ECE from Cambridge, that's where!

This event has taken place.

4 June — The London Ditchling Devil 200 — Wimbledon Common »

This is a ride that's fairly easy to get to the start, even though it's out in West London, and with a large number of starters, for fun.  There are some decent sharp climbs, although it's mostly rolling, and the controls are all manned, so plenty of TLC out there.

This ride starts from London, which is an easy train ride away, but you'll have to cycle through city streets to the start.  It's worth riding, I think, because it heads down to Brighton on the south coast, an opportunity that is hard to resist!

This event has taken place.

3 June — Asparagus & Strawberries 400 — Manningtree, Colchester »

Another traditional Essex ride starting from Manningtree, this time first thing in the morning.  You head circuitously through Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk to Stow-on-the-Wold on the north Norfolk coast for fish & chips before returning to Manningtree via a dead-straight night run through Newmarket and Saffron Walden and then some of the best Essex climbs to test you!

This ride is an easy train ride away from Cambridge via Ipswich to Manningtree, or alight at Ipswich for a gentle warm-up to Manningtree on the bike.

This event has taken place.

27 May — Grand Tour de Stour — Long Melford (Sudbury) »

A lovely route around the length of the River Stour, this is a route through some lovely Essex and Suffolk countryside.

The start of this ride is the perfect distance from Cambridge to extend to 200km.

This event has taken place.

13 May — Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 400 $raquo;

Just for the name on its own this is worth it!  However, I've ridden it and it is a lovely, lovely ride. "Why" you ask, "is it in a list of rides near Cambridge?"  For no other reason than it goes almost past the home of my youth — certainly the old route turned right at the pub of my youth! North Wales is my homeland and this is a glorious traverse of it.  You'd think it would be mountainous, but it's actually really quite flat — there are optional climbs up Halkyn Mountain and Sychnant, but the new route is almost completely devoid of significant climbs, and yet the views are singularly mountainous as you circumvent Snowdon itself!!

And if ever you get to ride in Wales, you'll discover a distinct lack of traffic, which is almost alien to East Anglia!

And should we ever meet, I'd be happy to pronounce the name in full for you ;D

This event has taken place.

6 May — Green & Yellow Fields 300 — Manningtree, Colchester »

A classic Essex event, starting at one minute past midnight — after the obligatory curry dinner — and heading almost due north to the North Norfolk Coast for breakfast and then a leisurely return to Manningtree in the light for tea.  If you've ever wondered whether you can manage riding overnight, this is an ideal ride to test yourself on.  We've experienced mild nights and nights at -5ºC, as well as still air through to block 20mph headwinds.  Character-building!

This ride is an easy train ride away from Cambridge via Ipswich to Manningtree, or alight at Ipswich for a gentle warm-up to Manningtree on the bike.

This event has taken place.

1 May — The Counties Festival 100 — High Easter, Essex »

This one's new to me, although I'm familiar with the territory — Essex is a lovely county for cycling, because it is definitely hilly, but not Welsh or Scottish hills!  The biggest hill is about 100m in elevation gain — less than enough to do any serious harm!

The start of this ride is the perfect distance from Cambridge to extend to 200km.

This event has taken place.

22 April — Seething All Over 200 — Norwich »

I've only just spotted this on the calendar and it looks like a fun ride.  The lands south of Norwich are benign and rolling and hilghly enjoyable because of it, and the Maglia Rosso and Framlingham are worthy destinations in my book (see Cambridge Market and Cambridge Autumnal 200).

You may need to catch the first train to Norwich to get to the start in time, but it is just within reach.

This event has taken place.

15 April — Double Dutch 200 — Huntingdon »

Go to Holland on Easter Saturday without leaving the UK! A flat tour of the Fens with waterways, bulbfields, history and an optional ferry.

I have never managed to ride this event, because I'm always either with family for Easter, or riding an Easter Arrow to York … But I hear good things!

This event has taken place.

8 April — The Shaftesbury Spring 200 (etc.) — Henham »

A re-run of the new figure-of-eight route around picturesque Essex, Herts and S.Cambridgeshire. First control is in St Neots, the second back at the event HQ, then a shorter loop back to the HQ (village shop + pubs en route).

This ride is ideal to extend to 300 by ECEing from Cambridge, or even extend to 320km for that first double-Imperial-century of the season …

This event has taken place.

3 April — Stevenage Start of Summertime Specials 200 (etc.) — Stevenage (obviously)

CTC Herts runs these grand events with many hundreds of entrants every year.  The route heads westwards to the historical and lovely village of Lavenham in Suffolk before returning.  It's a fun route and it's interesting to have so many other riders around.

This ride is ideal to extend to 300 by ECEing from Cambridge, or even extend to 320km for that first double-Imperial-century of the season …

This event has taken place.

18 March — The Cambridge Pork Pie 200 »

We love a good pork pie! Melton Mowbray is synonymous with that tasty, pastry-covered block of jelly-enshrined meat! Nom-nom!  This event takes you from Girton, Cambridge, to Melton Mowbray and back via some truly scenic (in the traditional sense) and scenic (in the audax sense) landscapes. A fantastic opportunity to climb les Alpes de Leicestershire to fetch your own pork pie!

This is a surprisingly hilly — and fun! — route for one starting from Cambridge: made more fun because most of the hills are concentrated at the far end. A flat and quick run-out for the first leg, and a mostly flat and quick run back in again on the final leg mean that you should easily make back any time you lose climbing les Alpes de Leicestershire, although don't dilly-dally in Oundle on the way out if you want to beat the cut-offs!

This year there's just a single control at Melton Mowbray!  Plus an optional extra-scenic route!

Enter The Pork Pie »

18 March — The Cambridge Spring Dash 100 »

This early in the season everything's just beginning to wake up and it's always good to have something interesting to aim for.

This is a 100km triangular route with a couple of pubs as controls — the Tally Ho in Barkway serves the best coffee I've tasted outside Italy, and Bradman's in Withersfield (formerly the White Horse) will also oblige; plus there's an optional coffee stop at Bicicletta in Saffron Walden midway between the two.  Coffee and croissant at the Tally Ho, elevenses at Bicicletta, and coffee — or a pint — at the White Horse.

There will be cake at arrivée!

Enter The Spring Dash »

11 March — Victoria CC's Brazier's Run 100 — Henham »

106km cycling event starting from Henham, S of Saffron Walden. Controls at H.Q. UGLEY, plus 4 information controls.  Easy-to-follow route. A warm and friendly welcome to all riders. The price of all refreshements is included in the entry fee — believe me when I say that the quality and quantity of cake on offer makes this an absolutely terrific ride!  Slightly later than usual.

An eminently suitable 100km ride for extending to 200km with a suitable ECE from Cambridge!

Enter »

4 March — The Horsepower 200 — Great Dunmow

A good and rolling early-season 200 from Great Dunmow in Essex.  A mix of quieter B roads with some lovely lanes in Suffolk and Norfolk. Commercial controls with food at the start and finish included in the entry fee.  A week earlier this year, so a good partner to riding the Pork Pie as well!

This ride is ideal to extend to 300 by ECEing from Cambridge, or even extend to 320km for that first double-Imperial-century of the season.

This event has taken place.

4 February — Knights Templar Compasses and Cross 100 — Witham, Essex

The fourth and final of the ACME (Audax Club Mid-Essex) Winter Series of 100km events.  This event is a Dan Brown special in the vein of Angels and Demons, visiting a number of churches and chapels that form a cross on the map of Essex (not quite Rome) — oh yeah!  Since the churches are also Templar-themed, one could argue a Da Vinci Code relevance, so this ought to be called the Dan Brown Winter Special, I think!  ;)

This ride is good, although a little over-distance, to extend to 200km by ECEing from Cambridge.  The over-distance on the ECE is almost enough to consider extending to an early-season 300km.

This event has taken place.

21 January — Kelvedon Oyster 100 — Kelvedon, Essex

The third of the ACME (Audax Club Mid-Essex) Winter Series of four 100km events.  This event is a 100km scribble on the map passing around a couple of estuaries and with a number of info controls.  We're promised an oyster at one of the controls in the entry price!

This ride is good, although a little over-distance, to extend to 200km by ECEing from Cambridge.

This event has taken place.

8 October 2016 — The Cambridge Autumnal 200

A brand new event that we are running for 2016!

It feels like the end of the year, but it's actually the beginning of the new audax season and October is the time to get the winter bike out and enjoy the change in seasons!

For this autumnal adventure, the route takes you exactly due east across the gently rolling Suffolk landscape via the old towns of Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Debenham to the historic castle-and-market town of Framlingham for lunch.  The return route visits the Maglia Rosso bike-haven in Hawstead for afternoon tea, before re-ascending the chalk ridgeline around Cambridge and a long descent back to the plains below.

This event has taken place.

8 October 2016 — The Cambridge Autumnal 100

A brand new event that we are running for 2016!

For some riders the new audax season starts with that first long ride that leads into the second long ride and so on.  We all started somewhere! 

This is an exciting new route that takes in a series of long, steady climbs through the hills south of Cambridge and visits the historic towns of Thaxted, Saffron Walden and Linton.  Over a third of the route is on narrow lanes, the rest being a mix of quiet C, B and A roads.  Navigation is straightforward and the scenery should be fantastic! 

This event has taken place.

1 October 2016 — Richard Ellis Memorial 200 — Great Dunmow

The final Essex foray of the calendar — a new route in 2015 that I haven't ridden yet, but everyone said they enjoyed it.  To commemorate our friend Richard Ellis' life, tragically cut short, 'Flitchbikes' has been renamed for this year.

This event has taken place.

10 September 2016 — The Flatlands 600 — Great Dunmow

Another classic Essex event: this is possibly the flattest 600km event in the calendar!  It has less climbing than all of our Cambridge 200km events!  The lack of vertiginous challenge does mean that the one or two lumps on the route do feel like mountains, and spinning across the featureless fens on my own into a block headwind with nowhere to hide is probably the most character-building situation I've ever been in!  This is an event that is harder than it appears on paper and is a serious test of mental as well as physical stamina, and should be attempted by any self-respecting audaxer at least once!

This ride is ideal to extend to 700 by ECEing from Cambridge, not that you need the extra distance for any of the standard awards!

This event has taken place.

30 July 2016 — National 400 — Biggin, Hartington

The National 400 is the ideal first 400km event for riders who haven't attempted the distance yet, because it's fully catered and all the controls are manned.  You can't beat it.  You are going to have to drive to the start, though.

This ride is included because it's one of the big rides on the calendar.  It's not particularly close to Cambridge or easy to get to, though.

This event has taken place.

23 July 2016 — Straight Outta Hackney 200 — Harringay, N London

Another ride that heads back to where you've come from with a control in the city centre of Cambridge.  It's fun to ride out of London and experience the roads and lanes getting steadily quieter, before turning around in Cambridge and heading all the way back again with the associated increase in volume.  Run by the coolest club in audax — Audax Club Hackney — there's usually a barbecue and beer at one of the organisers' homes afterwards!

This ride starts from London, which is an easy train ride away, but you'll have to cycle through city streets to the start.

This event has taken place.

15 July 2016 — Hereward the Wake 300 — Great Dunmow

This is another classic Essex event — a curry dinner (not included) at 6pm for an event start of 9pm.  Then 300km of riding through the night and much of the next day — including a visit back to Cambridge — to get back to arrivée for brunch, included in the entry fee.  You get a number of larger groups together on this, which makes it a very sociable ride.  Sometimes rains.

This ride is ideal to extend to 400 by ECEing from Cambridge.

This event has taken place.

2 July 2016 — Kingdom of the East Saxons 400 — Great Dunmow

A new Essex 400 — literally — for 2016, this route zig-zags around within the pre-1972 boundary of Essex — the former Saxon Kingdom — from the chalk hills of the north-west to the marshy coast along the south-east.

This ride is ideal to extend to 500 by ECEing from Cambridge, especially since the main event doesn't start until 11am on the Saturday.

You can download GPS files from our page here.

This event has taken place.

16 August 2015 — Paris-Brest-Paris 1200

"PBP" is the blue-riband audax/randonneuring event around the world!  It has been running since 1891, and is a veritable festival of cycling.  Over 6000 cyclists will take part in this 1200km ride across western France to the tip of Brittany and back again.  It happens only once every four years, and 2015 is one of those years.

I've created a complete routesheet for Paris-Brest-Paris, as well as GPS route files in various formats here.

Many of the rides in the UK during March thru June have been "qualifiers" for this event — to qualify you must successfully complete a Super Randonneur series of eligible rides: 200km + 300km + 400km + 600km.  Qualification is now complete, but it's listed here to give context to some of the other rides listed.

This event has taken place. The next running will be in August 2019.