The Cambridge Spring Dash 100 calendar event Enter this event »

9.30am, Saturday 5 June 2021, from the Recreation Pavilion, Girton, Cambridge (next to the church).

110km, 12.5 to 30kph (3h22m to 8h05m).  900m of climbing.

IMPORTANT — this event will be run under current covid rules, which means riding in groups of up to six, ten minutes apart.

NOTE — the routesheet and GPS files are now up-to-date (1 June 2021)

Early spring is one of the most exciting times to ride a bike — everything's just beginning to bounce back into life and there's earnestness in the air for the business of living to get underway again.  No matter the excuse, it feels so good to be back on the bike after the winter!  We're running this in early summer this year because covid …

Spring in Barley (aptly named)    Audley End House   

Spring is a lovely time of year — barley in Barley and Audley End House (May 2015)

A few months of winter, our legs have atrophied and distances seem far greater than they did at the end of summer.  100km is a long way, but only if you're unused to the distance — it's only just over 60 miles.  If you're looking for an easy first audax, or if you're not ready for a 200, or if you prefer to think of it as an organised Saturday Club Run, or if you simply don't have time to ride the full Pork Pie, then this is the ride for you: a fun route of three parts, easy navigation, great scenery, two pubs (although only one this year), cake at the finish, what's not to like?!

Also, this route is fixed-friendly: the climbs are gradual and easily rideable on 72-inches — it's an ideal test event if you're looking to try riding fixed-gear over longer distances.

The route

Starting from Girton on the northern edge of Cambridge the ride heads south on quiet C roads to Duxford and Ickleton, where it starts to climb the Chilterns-chalk hill to Elmdon.  Some elevated fun across the ridgeline past the highest points in both Cambridge (Great Chishill) and Essex (Chishill Common).

The Dash is an anti-clockwise route; information controls at Meesden and Withersfield; RideWithGPS link

The route then heads cross-country thru classic cycling territory through picturesque country villages to the beautiful English Heritage house at Audley End and into the historic centre of Saffron Walden, where there's the opportunity to stop for coffee at Bicicletta café con velo.

The route continues with a few lumps and bumps — nothing that should worry any but the pure-bred flatlander, and even then nothing that should need to be walked — through big-skies territory and some interesting quick descents on minor B-roads and lanes to the historic White Horse Inn at Withersfield.

The final leg heads up-and-over to Balsham thru more wide, rolling fields to a long, gentle 8km descent to Fulbourn and back through Cambridge city centre to the arrivée in Girton where there will be tea and cake of the homemade variety (included in the entry price).

The roads are likely to be clear most of the way, however mudguards are still recommended in heavy weather for the benefit of our friendly pubs and their clientèle, as well as riders trying to stick to your wheel.

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Important notes

  • The route can be damp in places and therefore mudguards are recommended for the benefit of café proprietors and other riders.
  • This is a semi-x-rated event — you must answer two information-control questions – one near Meesden village Hall and one next to the White Horse Inn in Withersfield.
  • You are on a private excursion on public roads.  The given route is advisory.
  • You should carry a lock to secure your bike should you decide to stop.

The controls

Start and finish at the Recreation Pavilion in Girton, Cambridge CB3 0FH, next to the church.

The event starts from the Recreation Pavilion in Girton.  This year there is no hall and no refreshments, although we are trying to gain access to toilets before you start.  We will have bottled water for anyone needing to top up at the start.

This year, because covid, we are running this as a no-touch event with just two information controls as proofs of passage.  The info controls are in Meesden and Withersfield villages.

I will be at the finish to collect brevets and listen to your stories of derring-do.

The routesheet

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 1 June 2021)

The GPS files

IMPORTANT — make sure you understand which version of the following GPS files are most suitable for your device.

  • Garmin Edge devices — new 500, new 700, 800/810/820, 1000, 1030 — use TCX; 10,000 points should be okay
  • The RideWithGPS IQ App also allows direct download from the pinned track to the latest Garmin Edge units
  • Older Garmin Edge devices — you're in a murky area in that TCX should work, but you may get a more reliable result from GPX; 10,000 points should be okay
  • Wahoo devices — TCX 10k, or "pin" the RideWithGPS route
  • Older Garmin devices — GPX and either 250-point or 500-point depending on which device.

Make sure you test these files out on your device before you start!

The full-route files are provided as a single TCX or GPX each.  However, the rest of the GPS routes, where the route is split into multiple GPS files, are provided as a ZIP file for each format — you require all of the files in the ZIP file!

The routes are provided as follows:

  • a single route for the whole 218km — FULL;
  • two routes, one to Melton Mowbray, and one back home — STG1 and STG2

There are additional notes in the organiser's notes and routesheet, including cautions and alternative routes. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the route and any reported hazards before you start, especially as none of this information is included in the GPS files!

This is now where it gets complicated — there are a LOT of options here, sorted by how split up the route is, how many points in each part, and whether it's TCX or GPX.

Getting to the start

Hopefully you live close enough to cycle to the start. 

Cambridge is well-served by train and you should be able to catch the 06.44 from King's Cross, London, and arrive just about in time for the start — don’t worry if you’re a few minutes late to the start, we will still be there for the start of the 100km event.  It’s an easy 7km ride from the station to the start through the historic centre of Cambridge — routesheet | GPX | TCX — if you use these instructions, continue past the Co-op to the start on RHS in 1km next to the church.

If you intend to drive, aim for St Andrews Church on Cambridge Road, CB3 0FH.  And then park in the village, but not in the Parish car-park (which will be busy all day), and ride to the pavilion.  Wherever you park, please park considerately.

Due to the large numbers of entrants, if you could ride to the start instead of driving, that would be a great help!


There are no refreshments at either the start or finish this year, I'm afraid — Covid.  We will have bottles of water to refill bidons of you adventurous ECEers.

On completion

The arrivée will be manned, so we will collect your brevet from you on completion, along with the answers to the two questions, which you should write in the brevet.  Please remember to sign your brevet before handing it in!

Have a great, safe ride!  Enter this event »