Philip is leading this ride to Thornby and writes:
Meeting Point: BVW (Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA) Time: 9.30am Distance: Brisk 38 mls, Moderate 35 mls Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph Café Stop: Thornby Hall Buddhist Centre Estimated return: Around 1.30pm
This is a slightly extended version of the ride originally planned for 10 December, cancelled due to cold weather. This Saturday should be a few degrees warmer. We go out anticlockwise via Creaton, Cottesbrooke and Naseby up a couple of nice hills to get us warmed up. The Moderates then go direct to Sibbertoft and Welford, while the Brisks proceed further north through Clipston and along Dick’s Hill lane before looping back to Sibbertoft. We all regroup for a warming teastop at Thornby Hall (25 mi for Moderates, 28 mi for the Brisks).
My planned diversion around the circuit of Draycote Water once we had left the Solstice café didn’t materialise due to ongoing repairs on parts of the track. Added to that, my planned visit to the Solstice café didn’t happen either, due the simple fact that it was closed despite the advertised opening hours for Sunday. PlanB: Quickly over to Draycote on the perimeter, jostling among the hoards of walkers solved the problem.
A quartet of riders joined me on a surprisingly sunny day at Sixfields. Hartley, BrianT, Nick and ChrisD carrying a knee injury. The ride over was relaxed and no more than undulating through Althorp, Whilton and Welton. We diverted in Dunchurch at the crossroads for the aforementioned café only to find it well and truly closed. So the Waterside Restaurant it was and despite the numbers out walking around the reservoir didn’t seem particularly busy. Hartley was impressed with the service and we all sat down to refuel with coffee and cakes. Chris characteristically went for more than just cake. Egg roll in fact! And cake!
Which was a good idea because the ride back is more elevated and requires more energy and time. Nick and Chris showing no sign of a knee injury pushed on at times despite the terrain getting harder. Back over the gated roads soon brought us to the A5 and a quick burst towards Brockhall in the busy traffic. Flore gave us the last real climb of the day up to the canal bridge and we were soon heading for Sixfields after a decent days workout and a ride of two halves.
Meeting Point: TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG Time: 9.30am Distance: 50 Miles Pace: Steady – Around 13mph Average Cafe Stop: Solstice Cafe, Dunchurch Estimated return: Around 2.30 pm
If you were on the last ride to the Solstice café at Dunchurch, you’ll recall that we skirted Draycote Water on the way back during their running festival, crossing the line along with plenty of fun runners!
This Sunday we’ll try the longer path around the reservoir once we’ve enjoyed tea and cakes at the Solstice. It’s a flat five miles all the way round and will bring us out at the regular exit of Draycote Water ready to rejoin the regular route back.
From Sixfields the outward journey takes us over to Whilton Locks followed by the gated road at Norton. Welton and Barby follow with Dunchurch then appearing on the road signs shortly after.
The Solstice is a quaint café at the garden centre with lovely teas, coffees and homemade cakes on offer.
The return journey is through Grandborough, Willoughby and Braunston. Then it’s up and over the gated road again which gets us back to the village of Norton. Brockhall and Flore then leads us onto familiar roads home.
The route below is pretty much the Draycote ride without the added circuit of the reservoir.
Peter B went on Philip G’s ride to Great Bowden and writes:
Nine keen riders met at the Co-op in Moulton for Philip’s steady ride to Welton’s Café in Great Bowden. The weather was good; seasonally chilly, but dry all day with good periods of sunshine.
It was nice to be able to welcome to Mark and Sarah, joining us for the first time. They arrived at the start just a few minutes late, impressive considering the considerable distance they had come to join (all of 400mtrs 😂).
Amazingly, considering how many times we have ridden in this area, Philip managed to find some new roads (for me) as part of a great route to Market Harborough. Of course, being Philip, he just couldn’t resist including quite a few strenuous hills, which gave us all a good workout.
James C was riding his newly built single gear bike, based on a Cannondale frame that he had impressively repainted, complete with decals. In fact, he had finished it just the previous evening, and so the day was a bit of a test run for it. Unfortunately, his chain snapped at Overstone. For James, however, this was only a minor issue and he asked the group to continue on without him whilst he repaired and caught us back up, which he did surprisingly quickly!
Riding through the traffic in Market Harborough was not quite so pleasant as the scenic and mostly quiet roads we had been enjoying, but we were soon through, with only a short, easy road to our café stop. But before we could reach the café, Peter S suffered a puncture. Most of the group continued to Great Bowden, leaving Peter, Philip and Mark, who apparently did all the hard work whilst Peter sat back and watched.
The café has very nice coffee and food, and inevitably tends to be busy (yes Brian, we know), meaning that we ended up ordering take-away and sitting on the park benches as well as some of the outdoor café tables. As fate would dictate, of course, the café emptied out after we had eaten our food, but too late for us.
We had a bit of a head wind for the return leg, and the group was back at Moulton around 2.00pm.
Thank you Philip for a great day, and to all who joined.
Meeting Point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB Time: 9.30am Distance: Steady 44 mls Pace: 13-14mph Cafe Stop: Weltons Cafe, Great Bowden Estimated return: Around 1.45 pm
This Sunday we head via a slightly indirect route (including Little Harrowden and Braybrooke) to Market Harborough and Weltons Café in Great Bowden. After the coffee stop we double back to Harborough and up East Farndon hill. Then we enjoy some ups and downs to Arthingworth before returning to base through the familiar territory of Harrington, Old and Holcot.
The forecast is currently for a coolish day (4 to 6 degrees), with a moderate westerly breeze and some stronger gusts, but dry and possibly with a glimpse of sunshine.
Come along and enjoy some “roads less travelled”.
Please wrap up appropriately, bring a lock and sign up on Signup Genius if possible.
The first ride of 2023 might just turn out to be one of the wettest and windiest of the year. It was almost on par with our legendary Stowe ride from October ’21. There were five ready to start the year off with a coffee at Culworth before JohnW arrived on the scene in civvies along with wife Eleanor. Quickly attired and bike assembled we then set off for PeteB’s place down in the valley to get John a spare helmet. The three brisks had long gone by now.
Finally on our way, we headed for the long haul up Banbury Lane. A difficult start for any ride but especially so with the damp and windy conditions this morning. Rainwater was cascading down the hills faster than we were going up! OK, I was going up! I was suffering Christmas indulgence and just the boxing day ride to my tally in December.
A5 behind us, we pressed on to Maidford and Moreton Pinkney without conditions improving. The Forge was a welcome site when it arrived. The brisks claimed bragging rights and had already finished dining. John kindly bought the coffees for Pete and I and I think Pete got the sausage rolls in for us both. Very kind gentlemen!
If we were hoping for better conditions on the way back, like a wind assisted ride, we were out of luck. We hit a headwind in Culworth high street before I even got my cleats in, and it didn’t get any better after that. Pete and I were riding together and soon found ourselves in the middle of an icy blast of wind and rain, the kind that hurts your cheeks. I was actually expecting the forecasted blue skies to reveal themselves anytime soon, but things just got worse, much worse.
More wind, more rain, multiple potholes to avoid and the odd one to bunny hop. Surface water became hazardous, but we were soaked anyway. We battled on over hill and dale eventually reaching the A5 again at Caldecote. We arrived home in weather that we simply wouldn’t have gone out in at 9am this morning. I see the sun has just come out. Arghh!!
Time: 9.30 am Meeting point: East Hunsbury – Overslade Close, near Hunsbury Hill Library, NN4 0RZ Distance: 39 miles Brisk, 35 miles Moderate Pace: 14+ mph Brisk, 12 mph Moderate Cafe: The Forge Cafe, Culworth Return: Around 1.00 pm
Dear All, Firstly, Happy New Year!
This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides, the first of 2023, are to Culworth, with our café stop at the Forge Café there. We will meet near the Library in East Hunsbury at the usual time of 9.30. The route to Culworth will take us to the West of Northampton, following the pleasant roads through Pattishall, Maidford, Canons Ashby and to our café stop at Culworth, with the return leg via Greens Norton and Tiffield. The Brisk route adds an extra four miles to give the Moderates enough time to get the tables first and have their pick of the cake and sausage rolls. Please be mindful of the increasing COVID numbers and consider appropriate precautions. As usual, it’s really helpful to use this link to the Signup Genius App if you want to join the ride – look forward to seeing you. Cheers – Peter
A stunning day for a boxing day ride in total contrast to the recent icy blast. Blue skies and permanent sunshine on this saunter around a twenty mile loop that your grandma could have done!
Half a dozen joined me for a coffee at Salcey Forest, which turned out to be packed when we arrived as it happened.
Conditions were perfect despite the slight wind chill in the early stages. Traffic was minimal through Milton Malsor and onto the Stoke road through Stoke Bruerne and onto Ashton. The countryside looked picturesque towards Hartwell and we were soon exiting the other side and into Salcey Forest for a welcoming and warming cup of something.
We acquired a table for seven alongside many other cyclists who had already arrived. One group informing us of their brush with black ice in Grendon as they departed for their return journey.
JohnW arrived soon after whilst Geoff was already enjoying coffee Al Fresco.
Festivities over and suitably refreshed James dashed for home whilst ChrisH and Philip headed for Olney to increase the mileage on Chris’s 500k challenge between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Chapeau Chris!
PhilL stayed at the café chatting with JohnW whilst I wondered how James had unlocked my lock on his bike without the key, leaving the lock still locked on my bike. What sorcery was this?
Anyway, the group had split into many parts by now and the remaining four headed back along the Quinton road and through Hunsbury back to the start. PeterB and I actually making a rare return to whence we came accompanying BrianH in the process.
All in all a pleasant ride in excellent conditions.