Monday, 19 July 2010

• The BRCA2 Cycle Path Ride 18 July 2010

"Inspired by tales of previous rides, we were joined this time by Lisa's lab mate Ihsene. So, along with Rupak and Kinnary, we were five as we set out from central Cambridge, heading towards Shelford. Our route led down Trumpington Road to Addenbrooke's and from there via the "DNA Cyclepath" to Great Shelford. After a lunch break there, we rode on to Whittlesford and returned to Shelford via Newton. We retraced out steps back to Cambridge and the group broke up at Newnham. " - Steve

This was a long-anticipated ride. Since the beginning of Summer (and good weather!), I've been answering the query, 'What did you get up to this weekend?' with the same answer: "We had a great day out on our bikes cycling around the villages surrounding Cambridge." Finally, it was all too much for my lab mates and we arranged to do the "DNA Cyclepath" from Addenbrooke's to Shelford (with the option to go on further if we felt up to it!). We planned to have a small picnic in Shelford and then decide whether to go on or not. The path commemorates the National Cycle Network reaching 10,000 miles and was completed in September 2005. The path is about a mile long and is patterned with 10,257 stripes representing the human gene BRCA2, which codes for a DNA repair protein.

Originally we were to be 6 with Steve & me, Rupak & Kinnary and two 'newbies' - Ihsene and Yvonne, the senior-most and junior-most members of the lab, respectively. Unfortunately, this was not to be as Yvonne had problems with the bike she was planning to ride and opted out at the last moment. (We missed you, Yvonne!) So depleted, we set out.

The cycle path turned out to be a hit with everyone and we spent a good time there photographing each other copping various 'attitudes' on the 'Double Helix' sculpture at the beginning of the path. Eventually, though, thoughts turned to lunch and we cycled on to Shelford. There we spread out on the green (a slightly more busy green than that at Bottisham!) and had our lunch. We decided to go on a bit and cycled to Whittlesford, returning to Shelford via Newton.

r i k l

Everyone seemed to enjoy the ride as much as we did. Ihsene was rapturous - declaring, at one point, that she had "found her sport". I think she was finding the beautiful countryside and villages and the pace (cycling as opposed to driving or walking) exhilarating. Whatever it was, I think we might have a real 'convert' in Ihsene!

After dropping folks off, Steve and I wended our way home, stopping off on Mill Road for meat for dinner and beer (for me). Once home we showered and prepared dinner on the BBQ. (Ihsene: I made lamb mince skewers, Algerian style!) We had minced lamb koftas with couscous and lettuce, tomato and onion salad with yoghurt and tahini dressing. Yum...

After dinner, which we ate by candlelight on the grass in the garden, we lay back to on our blanket and gazed at the stars (I saw a "shooting star") for a while. The evening was so pleasant and we were so content that we decided to bring our pillows and duvet outside and sleep under the stars! Wonderful!

And so ended a really fun, long weekend. More to come... soon!

Sleeping out-1