Permanents around Cambridgeshire
This page lists all the known permanent events that start near to or pass through Cambridge. Some of these are ones we've created and organised; some are organised by audax-friends of ours. Updated October 2018
Most of the sea-bound cargo into and out of the United Kingdom used to be handled in the old port of Harwich and is now handled through the megaport of Felixstowe on the opposite side of the estuary. This very laney route takes you a viewpoint in the middle of the estuary between these two great shipping ports, yet at no point do you actually come into contact with any of the cargo, unless you pause on the A14 or A12 bridges to watch it pass beneath you.
This is a fast, relatively flat 200 to the coast at Shotley Gate, with a 100km first stage all the way to the halfway point, and a split return leg. Superbly laney, I'm sure this route's going to become very popular.
East Anglia can best be described as 'flat' and 'rural' — it was once the bread basket of the UK with Norfolk being the most-populous county and Norwich being the second-richest city in England. By today's standards, though, Suffolk and Norfolk are open, empty spaces, with quiet roads and big scenery.
This is a great first — or fast — 300 with splendid scenery from spring to autumn, and with an early start you can expect to get home with little or no night riding.
In contrast to the flatness of the Cambridge plain, this ride heads for the hills of the Chilterns chalk range with the aim of getting in some serious hill training! As a bonus, this route heads through some great scenery, which subtly changes the further west it goes. The view from the top of Dunstable Downs (not quite the high point of the ride) down to the glider club 300ft below is awe-inspiring.
The route uses mostly lanes and B/C-roads, using main roads only where no alternative exists. Where there's a hill, the route goes up it. This is for fitter riders looking to “up their game”, so to speak — it's a cracking ride!
Sometimes hills are fun — I'm of the opinion that hills are always fun, but sometimes a little "too fun" — and Cambridge is just within reach of the Chilterns "massif". This route stretches its legs briefly into the eastern reaches of the Chiltern chalk hills for a straightforward 100km run through some very peaceful countryside.
This route is hilly for Cambridge, but average for the UK. It is a useful starting point for any flatlander wishing to "up" their game, or anyone looking to step-up to longer distances.
A rolling route out through Suffolk to the former East Anglian island of Eye. After the turn the route gets gradually lumpier — but still not hilly — before the climax in Balsham and an 8km descent back to Cambridge.
This route pusposefully eschews main roads and large towns and heads across the grain of the land to find lanes less ridden and is veritably more interesting for it. A lovely route!
A flat, scenery-laden route to the picturesque market town of Diss in Norfolkshire, before turning south to the picturesque town of Debenham in Suffolk and a laney cross-land trek to the historic — and picturesque — town of Clare, before returning via a long downhill spin to the historic and — you got it — picturesque city of Cambridge.
This is an ideal first ride for anyone wishing to step up to the longer distances of 200km and above. This route involves straightforward navigation, easy roads and very little climbing and a great variety of scenery from wide skies to winding lanes.
A 100km figure-of-eight ride from Cambridge taking in some Essex scenery to Saffron Walden and turning back to huge skies in southern Cambridgeshire before turning for home.
This is an ideal first ride for anyone wishing to try audax but who is wary of the longer distances: easy navigation, great scenery, plenty of time, no significant hills. You won't get any points, but it is a lovely route.
Cambridgeshire is surrounded by some interesting counties: nothing too vertiginous or excessively scenic, but lovely nonetheless. Compared to the flatness of most of Cambridgeshire, the surrounding counties are fascinating.
At least a quarter of the route is pan-flat, with a couple of significant climbs out at the far end. This route also passes straight through the centre of Milton Keynes, which is an experience: it's like a small American city dropped into the north-eastern corner of Buckinghamshire. Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire provide some laney, lumpy interest with surprisingly remote and rural lanes connecting the controls, before the return to the plains of Cambridgeshire.
A 200km ride from Cambridge to “The Rural Capital of Food” — Melton Mowbray — for some fine pork pie and Stilton cheese. This is a surprisingly hilly — and fun! — route for one starting from Cambridge. This is a cracking ride — and if you love birds you should see a few hawks while you're a-wheel!
This is a great training ride for all flatlanders, as there's enough ‘winching’ at the far end to make it hurt, but the flat sections nearer home mean you shouldn't trouble the generous time limit.
A 200km ride to the site of one of the most influential battles in English history: the Battle of Naseby, where King Charles I's forces faced Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army. This route starts in Girton, Cambridge, and heads out to Market Harborough where it then passes southwards through the area of this key battle.
This is a great all-season 200, and the route rolls nicely with some interesting lumpiness at the western end.
Starting from Girton, 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.
This is a great early- or late-season 200, especially into an easterly breeze, which will blow you back to the start. The terrain ripples slightly, but there are no proper hills and the roads are mostly good.
New rides in the pipeline
We are working on a number of rides heading off in different directions, each with its own theme. Pop back to check when they're available.
Rides from other organisers in the area
A 200km cycling event starting from Great Dunmow in Essex, which passes through Swavesey just north of Cambridge. A rolling route out to Buntingford, then via Potton to the Fens at Chatteris. Back to Cambridge Services on the A14, then a few lumps on the chalk hills of NW Essex.
This ride is run by our AUK friend Tom from Dunmow. This is a perm ride, which means that you can, by agreement with Tom, start and finish the ride at any control — Cambridge Services on the A14 is about 15km from Cambridge and an easy ride there and back. This is a well-established route with some surprising climbs and excellent controls. A little over-distance at 217km means that some may find this challenging!
A 200km cycling event starting from Great Dunmow in Essex, which passes through Newmarket, a mere 15km from Cambridge. This ride is a relatively flat run through Essex to Lavenden, then through Suffolk to Snetterton in Norfolk, and then to Newmarket, before heading southwards back to Gt Dunmow. There is nary a hill on the way (at least none that should challenge even a flatlander). The route is fast, with lots of good lanes and empty B-roads. There are cafés and pubs a-plenty. This is a good ride in the sun with a lightweight crew — ideal for a first 200.
This ride is run by our AUK friend Tom from Dunmow. This is a perm ride, which means that you can, by agreement with Tom, start and finish the ride at any control — Newmarket is about 15km from Cambridge and is an easy ride there and back. None should find this route challenging.
A 600km event starting from Great Dunmow in Essex. The route heads out to Red Lodge, near Newmarket, for breakfast, and through the Lincolnshire fens to Goole on the Humber Estuary for supper. The route returns via Lincoln and Spalding to Chatteris. The route then passes right through the middle of Cambridge at the 550km mark!
This is a two-day (40-hour) ride and you may have to sleep in fields or bus shelters (depending on the weather), or book yourself a room at the Premier Inn after passing through Lincoln. You will need mental as well as physical stamina for this ride!
This is another ride organised by our AUK friend Tom from Dunmow. This is a perm ride, which means you can, with Tom's agreement, start and finish the ride at a place in Cambridge, which means you don't have to ride the 50km to Dunmow (and another 50km back) twice!