Tuesday 23 June 2020

Mediocre Mountain Challenge

#CamRideHome Challenge!

So @TheTimTraveller has challenged people over the world to take part in a "Mediocre Mountain Challenge". This seems to fit in perfectly with Cambridge, so let's do it for #CamRideHome!

So, you can choose your highest place and do a selfie or bike shot (or both) of you there with a description.

Or follow the meanderings I had to make to find Cambridge's highest point (or just jump to the end). I'd really like us to do lots of pictures at Cambridge's highest point but I leave it up to you!

So, what is the highest place in Cambridge? That should be easy I hear you say. Nope. Not a bit of it.

Where is Cambridge

We'll start with "Where is Cambridge?". Easy really, it's that city in East Anglia on the kink in the river Cam. Well, it is, but where are the boundaries?

Let's look at the parlimentary constituency borders (in red). The highest point is the south-east point on the Gog-Magog hills up Worsted St (or Worts Causeway). That's obvious and it's a lovely place. However, it's surrounded by fields with a good view of the city. It's not really "in" the city. On top of which, the nearby houses in view are NOT in the constituency. This really does make me feel like this isn't the place.

No, I think we need to look at what "feels" like the city (in blue). I don't think Grantchester should be included, or more importantly, the road over Lime Kiln Hill. Trumpington, Orchard Park, and Girton, yes. This is very subjective, I know, I just can't see how else to do it sensibly. And it's the latter location that provides our next dilemma.

Highest Place?

So, it's simple, look at the map and find the highest place. Well, not quite. Which map? Surely, they all agree. Nope. I looked at two that I trust the most, and they don't agree.

Looking at the Ordnance Survey map, they have a few places around Girton peaking at an enormous 25 metres. However, looking at the Topological map, they have a DIFFERENT place topping out at 30 metres. And both maps do NOT agree with each others points.

The highest point is either on Huntingdon Road directly outside Girton College or on the Ridgeway track to Eddington where it crosses the north-south access to the university farm.

So, I did a barometric altitude check by cycling between the two places. I know it's not accurate, but it shouldn't vary by much in a few minutes. The results favour the Ridgeway track, but only just. I think it fair to say, I still don't know.

So, What's the Challenge?

Go to either you're highest local location. Or go to Girton and take pictures at either Girton College Gate, or the Eddington Ridgeway track, or both as they are 5 minutes apart.

Take a selfie, bike photo, or both, and send them in on the #CamRideHome hashtag.