Ride to Radford Semele – Sunday 18th August

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:


A real shame about Chris’s ride to Culworth which had to be cancelled yesterday. It would have been a great ride. Let’s hope next weekend is a little calmer than this wild weekend and we can get riding again.

Weather permitting, I am leading the ride as follows:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Distance:  Steady 60 miles
Refreshment Stop: White Lion pub in Radford Semele
Average Pace:   average speed 13mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 3..00pm

We’re heading towards Leamington Spa on next Sunday’s ride and the village of Radford Semele with its 16th century pub, The White Lion. https://www.whitelionradfordsemele.co.uk/  The village is named after a family from Saint-Pierre-de-Semilly in Normandy. They were lords of the manor in around 1120.

The White Lion has been extensively refurbished and has a lovely beer garden at the back where we can enjoy their great food and wonderful hospitality.

But before that there’s work to be done.

From Sixfields we’re heading out through Duston, Upper Harlestone and eventually over to Whilton Locks.
Norton’s gated road guides us to Welton, Braunston and on to Willoughby where we could have a quick cuppa at the greasy spoon if anyone fancies it.
The lovely lanes of Grandborough will take us towards Long Itchington and the long drag up Snowford Hill. Once over, only Offchurch remains before we reach our destination at Radford Semele.

Refuel here as best you can on the fine fayre that the White Lion serves as the journey home will require plenty of energy.

We’re following signs for Southam along quieter roads on the way back with a third category climb at Priors Marston shortly after. It does have a quintessentially English view over Hill Farm at the top so it’s well worth the effort. Sometime later there’s a road closure towards Preston Capes but we can easily skip around the barriers and over the weak bridge without any problems assuming the combined weight of the group doesn’t exceed a ton!
Safely over we’ll be heading for Litchborough and familiar roads back to Bugbrooke and the start of the ride at Sixfields.

It’s worth packing a snack or two and refilling your bottles at the White Lion before we head back. This is easily a sixty miler that won’t trouble the Guy Barber supremo’s but will be a challenging ride for the rest of us.

Brian T kindly provided a gpx file when we did the ride last year and I’ll probably be following pretty much the same route although I’ll do the ride this week myself just to be sure. I can dig it out for anyone who wants it and will send it to Pete Bayles for inclusion on our rides calendar.

Hope to see some of you there.



Ride to Culworth – Saturday 10th August

Chris Duff is leading this ride and writes:


Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  Brisk 45 mls, Moderate 40 mls
Refreshment Stop: Forge Coffee
Average Pace:   Brisk ~15mph, Moderate ~12mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm


The main route for the moderate riders is Milton Malsor, Gayton, Dayton, Pattishall, Blakesley, Woodend, Weston and


For the brisk riders there is a slightly wider circuit after Blakesley that goes to Bradden, Wappenham and Helmdon then turns West along the B5425 for a bit before turning north for Culworth.

The café has great coffee and good storage for the bikes in the garden at the back.  The food is limited in range but should have good cake and some other snacks all local sourced with vegetarian options.

From Culworth the route back is Moreton Pinkney, Cannons Ashby, Adstone, Maidford, Farthingstone, Upper Stowe, Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury, Hunsbury.

New riders would be very welcome.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Chris Duff on 07770 976291

Brisk Route:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30637370

Moderate Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30637348

Ride report – Sunday August 4th

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

A great days riding was enjoyed by everyone on todays ride. No mechanicals, no punctures, just good solid riding around a great route devised by our webmaster Tim H.

Our destination, The Emmaus Centre is always a popular stop for cyclists with its lovely spacious café complete with seating indoors and out. It’s great that they provide bike racks for our benefit giving it that cycling friendly feel.

Emmaus Village Carlton is a homeless charity based in north Bedfordshire offering active support to formerly homeless people. It’s a drop off centre for your unwanted goods on one side of the street with the café located on the other.
Tim insisted this was a steady ride and led the riders out through the well ridden villages of Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby and Bozeat before we enjoyed his planned descent at Dungee Hill.
Despite seeing the three mile signs for Carlton at one point, Tim insisted we continue on a 12 mile loop to build up our appetites. Through, as it happens some very quaint villages like Felmersham and Pavenham. The road undulated most of the ride and by the time the signs appeared for the Emmaus Village we were ready for a break.

Fortunately the electrical problems that had occurred in the village on one of our previous rides to Emmaus didn’t repeat themselves and we were able to enjoy good food and drink without problems. The fayre is superb at this café and the recommendation of the sausage sandwich was hard to resist by several of the group. The service was second to none and despite the numbers nobody had to wait for any orders.

Geoff from our Kettering group arrived to join us and tested the bike parking facilities only to upend the rack his bike was leaning on. I’m sure it wasn’t the weight of Geoff’s bike that caused the issue but the weak foundations of the rack. Nonetheless it was amusing for everyone there!

The ride back from Carlton was equally as picturesque as the ride over with some negotiation required on the short stretches of busier road along the way. The group split here and there but Tim held the pace nicely for the accompanying pack. A second stop at Salcey Forest was considered but there were no takers and we were soon flying down Quinton road with the end in site.
Along the way hoards of cyclists were everywhere including TT riders speeding along Bedford road just as we set out. It’s good to see so many club and occasional cyclists out on the road.

An excellent route from Tim. If you missed it you missed out!


Ride to Carlton – Sunday 4th August

Tim H is leading this ride and writes:


Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton NN4 7AA
Distance: 57 miles
Refreshment stop: Emmaus Village, Carlton (at approx. 30 miles). Optional second stop at Salcey Forest Café (at approx. 50 miles)
Pace: Steady (approx. 13 mph)
Time expected back: approx. 3:30 p.m.


This Sunday’s ride takes us through a series of villages to the east and south of Northampton. From the Canoe Centre, we head out on familiar roads through Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, Easton Maudit and Bozeat before enjoying the descent down Dungee Hill.

From here, we take a 12 mile loop around Odell, Felmersham, Pavenham, Oakley and Stevington en route to Carlton and our café stop for lunch at The Emmaus Centre (their sausage sandwich comes highly recommended).

On leaving the Emmaus Centre our route homeward takes us through Turvey, Newton Blossomville and Emberton. There follows a short section of A509 (cycle path available for those who would prefer it) after which we re-join quiet lanes through Filgrave and Tyringham before climbing up through Bunsty Wood (there has to be some pay back for the earlier descents of Cogenhoe and Dungee hills) and on to Tathall End, Hanslope, Pindon End and Hartwell.

We then have the option of a stop at Salcey Forest Café for afternoon tea before completing our journey back to the Canoe Centre via Quinton, Preston Deanery and Great Houghton.

At 57 miles, this is a longer than average route with a fair bit of up and down but nothing steep enough to be awarded a chevron by the Ordnance Survey. The ride is intended to be ridden at a steady pace (13 mph or thereabouts) and no-one will be left behind. Nonetheless, there are 30 miles to the café stop, so it may be worth packing an energy bar or two in your jersey pocket. The weather forecast seems to be somewhat variable at the moment so please also remember to bring a waterproof (unless we chance upon another heat wave).

Note that for those that would like a shorter ride, the 12 mile loop from Odell to Carlton can be cut short in a couple of places. One option skips the entire loop, continuing direct via Harrold; other options are to shorten the loop at either Felmersham or Pavenham. Such short cuts would be “self led” (unless it rains in which case we might all be keen to take advantage of them!).

The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton group on RideWithGPS:


Any questions please contact Tim – 07749 477231.


Ride report – Saturday 27th July

James C led this ride and writes:

Five members arrived at an already rainy Hunsbury library, each hoping to be the only one there, but putting on a brave face when it became apparent there would be a ride in the wet.

Braving the rain and headwind on the climb to Gayton, we were soon rewarded with a quick breather as Darryl suffered an early puncture. Inner tubes were traded and soon installed, inflated in 0.2 seconds with an icy blast of C02 and we were on our way.

A small detour meant the rest of the route to Daventry was completed on time and a very bored looking café owner was waiting to greet us at the country park. Our plan to retain dry saddles were soon thwarted as she insisted we move our bikes from under cover into the bike racks, but service was quick and the food welcome.

Upon leaving it seemed like the roads were holding a lot more standing water and any attempt to avoid the puddles was now futile. We now took the more direct route home via Roman Road and a tailwind helped us take Little Brington and Nobottle in quick succession, the occasional splash from passing cars providing welcome refreshment.

On through Harpole and we had another puncture, this time Pete S giving us a short break to admire his oily legs. Soon changed, we were on our way back to Hunsbury via the smooth cycle paths through the Pineham industrial estate and on to home.

A wet morning but the warm weather and company meant this was still an enjoyable ride, see you next time!

Ride report – Guy Barber Memorial Ride

2019 CTC Northampton annual Charity ride in memory of Guy Barber.
There were the options of the full 110m route from the Canoe Centre or a car assisted start from St Neots. (42m)

Peter S writes on this challenging ride:

Five guys set off from the canoe club at 8am on an extraordinarily long ride led by John W. He set a very fast pace. It was suggested we could do the London, Edinburgh, London Audax instead (ref John Weller’s previous exploits on a bike) but we had people to meet.

The usual route east was taken through Little Houghton, Easton Maudit and Bozeat through the Nene Valley. There were some fancy cars to be seen on the way to a show at Santa Pod.
We crossed the A6 and then we were reliant on Arthur’s directions. Terrain was fairly flat all the way to St. Neots.
We arrived at The Market Square by 10am much earlier than expected so we drank lots of coffee and had some breakfast while we were deafened by the Hells Angels revving their Harley’s.

Over the horizon appeared Rob H. He’d had a puncture just after leaving home and chased us to St. Neots. This guy must have ridden even quicker than us. We were now six guys joined shortly by three riders starting at St Neots.
Brian led us out of St. Neots on a Brompton. After leaving the town the group then split in two for the section to Cambridge. Chris H had to help us with his Garmin for directions as all of us were in unfamiliar territory.
We briefly caught the slipstream of the peloton of the London to Cambridge cycle race before joining  Cambridge’s hazardous cycle paths. Very crowded paths but a beautiful city nevertheless.


Good lunch at Tatties café, sitting outside in the shade of a quiet side street.
For the return leg, we were all very fresh still.
Ian set an even faster pace than the outward journey.

2019-GB ride

Another quick stop off in the historic market town of St Neots to drink more coffee.
A few wrong turns meant we almost completely retraced our steps. We got back on the route by taking a detour through Riseley and onwards to Sharnbrook.
At about the 100 mile mark it got very hard for me and I ran out of water. Here there was talk of which beers and wines will be drunk after the ride. It was agreed ‘all of them‘.

After climbing the hill to Cogenhoe I had to go begging to use someone’s tap to fill my bottle. Some great guys who are friends of the rowing club filled our bottles in Little Houghton.  Now we were re-hydrated for the final stretch into Hunsbury climbing the Great Houghton hill.
I couldn’t carry on to Oxford. (Which Guy Barber had done on one occasion !)

Excellent day out and an incredible effort all round.