Cambridge Market 200 Perm Enter this ride
This is a permanent ride and can be ridden at any time.
204km, 14.3 to 30kph (6hrs 40mins to 14hrs). 1300m of climbing.
Starting from Girton, just north of Cambridge, this ride heads due east to the picturesque and historic castle town of Framlingham in Suffolk. You will pass ancient castle sites in Cambridge, Denham and Haughley by way of the historic market towns of Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Needham Market and Framlingham itself. You will also pass by a dozen halls and lodges of varying historical interest.
This is a great early- or late-season 200, especially into an easterly breeze, which will blow you back to the start. In the summer, with a gentle breeze, the scenery is big skies across very gently rolling fields and woodlands. The terrain ripples slightly, but there are no proper hills and the roads are mostly good.
There are plenty of pubs along the route to break up the ride.
The route includes a fast, flat run from Cambridge to Newmarket, where the road narrows and starts to climb. You will use good, mostly empty A, B and C roads (and a few lanes) to Bury St Edmunds and on to Needham Market. From here to Framlingham even the A roads are more like B roads and the traffic levels are low. The return from Framlingham is much more laney, so in winter you should take care for ice. From Bury it’s a good B- and C-road dash to Newmarket and then you’re blessed with a straightforward fast run back to the sleepy spires of Cambridge.
The lanes may be agricultural in places during the autumn and winter and mudguards are recommended — please be conscientious towards café owners, their furniture and their other customers.
Between Bury and Thurston there's an excellent cycle path on the right-hand side, which crosses over and then heads down a lane, over a brand new bridge over the railway and into Thurston itself: it's quiet, if you're out for a easy ride; just turn R @ T in Thurston, then R @ mrbt IMM L $ Stowmarket to rejoin the route.
There is one section of dual-ish carriageway from Stowmarket to Needham Market with a passable cycle path on the left-hand side. This is noted on the routesheet.
You can browse an interactive map and profile of the route on RideWithGPS and download GPX/TCX files below.
The controls are all well-serviced, commercial controls with 24-hour provision, except Needham Market, which is 7am-11pm (if riding as an overnight ride, control in Stowmarket by prior arrangement). Toilets are available in Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Framlingham, or behind any hedge on the route.
Start and finish at the Co-Operative at 120 Girton Road, Girton CB3 0LW, opposite Weavers Field (07.00-22.00), which is close to ample car-parking. You can also use the BP Garage/Spar on Huntingdon Road, CB3 0LQ, which is open 24-hours and has a toilet.
Alternatively you can start at any control on the route and ride in either direction. If you wish to start and finish at a point on the route between controls then please confirm with the organiser first.
You should carry a lock to secure your bike at the controls.
The routesheet and GPS files
There are two versions of the routesheet, depending on what you want: one has distances between instructions and holds your hand; the other contains just the turn-by-turn instructions with only as many distances as necessary for navigation and planning, as preferred by old-school audaxers: (updated 28 August 2015)
There are several versions of the GPS files, depending on your device and preference: TCX files provide turn-by-turn in Garmin Edge devices; GPX files provide a track to follow on-screen on all devices and is more universally compatible, although older devices need tracks with fewer than 500 points. They're all here, you only need to download one, although you must copy over both tracks (one there, one back) from whichever ZIP you download: (updated 11 February 2015)
- Download the TCX courses for Garmin Edge and new devices
- Download the full GPX tracks for all newer devices
- Download the 500-point GPX tracks for older devices
Getting to the start
Hopefully you live close enough to cycle to the start, but if not then park in Girton north of the A14 — there is a public car park at the recreation ground next to the church in Girton. Alternatively, park in any side road — Pepys Way, Hicks Lane and Mayfield Road are close and safe.
Before you start
It is a requirement that you notify the organiser of the date of your ride for validation and insurance purposes — a text or email is sufficient.
When you have completed the ride, write the control establishment names and times on the brevet, complete your details on the reverse and then send your brevet card and receipts to the organiser (details are on the routesheet). And please remember to sign your brevet!
Have a great, safe ride! Enter this ride