Ride to Great Bowden and Foxton, Sunday 5th December

PhilipG is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 48.2 miles, 885m (2906 ft) of ascent.
Refreshment stop: Foxton Locks
Pace: Steady

This Sunday we have a steady ride to Foxton in South Leicestershire. This is planned to be 48 miles, but subject to conditions, we can shorten if required. Coffee stop TBC but either at Foxton Locks, or Great Bowden at 20 miles (where there are two good options). 

GPS route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37956094

Please book as usual at Signup Genius.

Let me know if any questions and I hope to see you there. 


Ride to Barby, Saturday 27th November

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: Brisk: 36mls, Moderate: 31mls
Refreshment stop: Willows Cafe, Barby
Pace: Brisk/Moderate
Return: Around 1.30pm

This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides take us to Barby, setting off from Brampton Valley Way.
We ride West to East Haddon, where the Moderates take a more direct route through Long Buckby and Watford to our café stop at Willows Café, Barby Nurseries. The Brisks do extra miles through Guilsborough and West Haddon, re-joining the Moderates’ route at Watford.
Both groups return on the same route via Norton, Whilton and through the Althorp Estate back to the start.

We look forward to seeing you, and as Philip keeps (rightly) reminding us, COVID is not yet over, so please consider the usual precautions.
The weather looks very windy at the moment, so I’ll assess properly when we get nearer the time.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

Link to routes on RWGPS

Brisk: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37967015

Moderate: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38073456


Ride report, Sunday 21st November

Peter B led this steady ride to Bourne End and writes:

It was a good turnout for Brian T’s ride, with 10 riders meeting at the Canoe Centre on what felt like a proper November morning.  It was sunny but with a cold breeze that made it feel as if we’d finally started winter.  It was great to see Peter S out again, as well as the more regular riders.  Milton was also able to join us as well for the first time since his holiday in Tenerife, which was great (back out, not the incident), not least because he knew the route, having originally devised most of it.

Brian was supposed to lead this ride and did all of the preparation for it, but had to pull out last minute to work on his local church organ.  Milton, childishly, was very forthcoming with the innuendos which, whilst he found them amusing, don’t merit being repeated here.  Milton was so distracted by organ jokes that he misplaced his glasses, hunting all over for them at the start until Brian fortunately found them wedged on the railings near his bike.
The ride out passed through some wonderful countryside along mainly quiet, small roads, and with the wind generally behind us and the sun shining, it was a very pleasant morning. Milton kept us on track most of the way, although Hartley came to rescue navigating a couple of the difficult roads with his Wahoo when my Garmin hiccuped.

Our coffee stop was the Bike Bus (a real double decker bus) at Bourne End.  The coffee and cakes were, as always, excellent and it was just warm enough to sit outside in the sunshine.  The cake portions were huge, just right for a cycling stop, but even so I noticed that Chris, who has previous form, still managed to put away both cake and a large slab of shortbread and Phil ate half of Viki’s carrot cake in addition to his own.  John enjoyed the coffee so much he ordered a second one, just as we were ready to leave.  In our usual considerate way the rest of us voted to leave him, forcing him to hurriedly drink as much as he could before setting off with the group.  

The return leg was more of a challenge and we quickly hit a headwind, and even though we enjoyed sunshine all day, the wind felt cold.  In a few areas the roads were relatively busy on the route back to Northampton, especially for a Sunday.  We suspect this was primarily because the M1 had been closed to lower the road underneath a bridge, and so temporary.
As usual, we had an enjoyable day out on a great route and coffee stop, thank you Brian and Milton, and to all the riders who joined.  And Peter S, perhaps you could have a word with you company and get your shift patterns changed on a weekend !

Cheers – Peter

Ride to Bourne End, Sunday 21st November

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 47 miles
Refreshment stop: The Bikebus, Bourne End, Beds.
Pace: Steady
Return: by 2:30

Please bring cash for the café as they do not have a card reader.

We set off through Little Houghton to Cogenhoe and Grendon before Easton Maudit and then, for a change, down the endless Bungee Hill to Turvey. Then it’s Harrold and Carlton before we reach the gorgeously named Newton Blossomville. We’re now on some lovely quiet lanes where we are much more likely to meet a bike than a car, that will eventually lead us to the charming Bikebus at Bourne End which is a double decker bus sited in the grounds of a farm. There they serve some of the best coffee and cake in the County. Seating can be inside or out and it is likely to be well populated with cyclists.

The return is through North Crawley, Chicheley and Sherrington. There is a good cycle path, clear of the A509, down into Olney. Then on to Yardley Hastings , Castle Ashby and back to the CC. It’s not too lumpy and we should be back by about 2.30pm.

As always at this time of year it is worth having lights to be seen by.

More details from Brian on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

The route can be downloaded from RWGPS.


Please note that in converting an original gpx file to the RWGPS route the hills seem to have magnified somewhat. The correct total ascent is 1500 ft and the max gradient is 3.2% according to the original plot. It doesn’t feel like a hilly route.

Ride report, Saturday 13th November

BrianT led this ride and writes:

The forecast of a dry morning and relatively mild temperatures attracted 16 riders to MCP for the start of Saturdays ride to the World Peace Cafe at the Buddhist Centre, Thornby. Numbers were six for the brisk group led by Philip G and 10 for the Moderates. Both groups headed for Harrington via Walgrave, Lamport and Draughton. Here, the Brisks headed off to the hills and Gt Oxendon, Clipston, round to Naseby and then Thornby.

By Lamport the moderate pace group had spread out a bit so we re-grouped and Viki volunteered to navigate a group on to Thornby at a faster pace leaving the other five riders to continue on what we later termed as a more ‘leisurely’ pace.

All three groups met up at the Buddhist centre cafe and it was comfortably warm enough to sit outside in the gardens enjoying coffee and cake. There was a hint of blue skies which on the way back turned into a warming sun. The recent high winds had not quite taken all the leaves off the trees and we were treated to some great autumn colours on the mainly quite country roads.

Welcome to new rider Chris and it was good to see Milton back on his bike with a nearly mended shoulder. On the way back Dennis mentioned, as we went through Creaton, that the ride had been a little hillier than he had expected and that we had just been up the 5th hill over 10% (the wonder of Garmins!).

Both routes may had been a little shorter than usual but I think the hills made up for it and at least kept us warm. Thanks to all for a very sociable ride.

Ride to Thornby, Saturday 13th November

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: Brisk 38 miles / Moderate 33 miles
Refreshment stop: Buddhist centre café. Thornby
Pace: Brisk 14mph+ / Moderate 12mph+
Time Expected Back: By 1:30pm
As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

From MCP we head up to Walgrave, Lamport and then on to Harrington. From there it is Gt Oxendon, Clipston, Naseby (Brisk group) or Kelmarsh and Naseby (mod group), to join up at Thornby for coffee at the Buddhist centre.
Return via Guilsborough, Creaton, Brixworth, Holcot to Moulton. Should be back by 1.30pm

Free car park opposite the Co-op. (see www.ctc-northampton.org.uk for a map )

Brisk Thornby 38m

Moderate Thornby 33m

More details from

Brian Tunbridge
01604 622073
07722 055149

Ride report, Sunday 7th October

ChrisD led this ride and writes:

Ten riders braved the wind (15mph from the west) and were rewarded with a ‘grand day out’; the weather held and the Sun shone most of the time.

The ride had all the harder bits in the first quarter with long stretches against the wind and the hills through Litchborough, Maidstone and through Moreton Pinkney.

The Leader persuaded all that they should have an extra coffee stop at Forge Coffee at Culworth and we sat outside in the Sun.

Some said that the Leader was worried – rather selfishly on his part – that there would not be enough sausage rolls by the time we got to Evenley so best to ‘grub up now’.

All downhill after that and with the breeze behind us we were soon through Charlton and at Evenley – our main stop.

There were places inside the café and more sausage rolls and scotch eggs than we could eat!  

Phil J was kind to the Leader and said that the club – in the past – used to stop twice for coffee and that this was not such an unusual event back then.

I can only say that all riders had to be cajoled to leave both cafes and that criticism of this unusual practice on this particular day is unfair – especially since they were very nice cafes.

Then off through lovely countryside – not commonly ridden – Mixbury, Westbury, Syresham until we rejoined familiar paths at Wappenham.

The discipline of the peleton – so useful in the early windier section – began to fracture as the scent of home stirred the legs.

There were two who punctured just three miles from the finish and Peter B, Brian T and the Leader proved that they were ‘not just a pretty face’ and no one was left to go home alone.

53 miles, 2,400 feet or so of ascent – average speed around 13.7mph. 

Some riders were home later than expected but this was probably due to the punctures rather than too much coffee!

A good day on the bike in Northamptonshire – what more can be said?

Chris Duff

Ride to Evenley, Sunday 7th November

Chris D is leading this ride and writes:

Venue: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 53 Miles. 2392 feet of ascent.
Pace: Steady – Around ~13mph Average
Cafe Stop: Forge Coffee
Estimated return Around 2.00 pm

Route Description is as follows:

The route is Milton Malsor, Kislingbury, Bugbrooke, Litchborough, Moreton Pinkney, Farthinghoe, Charlton, Evenley.

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 wonderful coffee, good sausage rolls, scotch eggs, cake and some other snacks all local sourced with vegetarian options.
From Evenly, the route back is Mixbury, Westbury, Syresham, Wappenham, Bradden and Greens Norton.

New riders would be very welcome.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

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

Kind regards

Link to route on Ridewithgps:
CTC Ride to Evenly Chris Duff

Ride report, Sunday 31st October

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Quite frankly I don’t know where to start on this one. We were wet, windswept, and cold, and that was just at the start at EH. JohnW, BrianH (the elder of the two) and I joined PeteB for this long ride to Stowe in what was shaping up to be unpredictable riding conditions from the beginning and all of us unaware of the drama to unfold later. Setting off, Pete mis-read his Garmin in record time and almost took us into Yeoman Meadow at the top of Hunsbury Hill. Not surprising really given the rainy conditions we set off in and the difficulty he was having reading the small screen. It is a quaint cul-de-sac but not on the route.

Soon back on track we headed towards Milton Malsor where we cycled through a deluge of water and quickly got soaked even more. Climbing Gayton hill, rainwater came cascading down quicker than we were going up! A large reservoir at the top proving tricky to cross. Heading out to Dalscote we commenced our battle with the forces of nature. The sun popped out briefly just as the wind and rain threw all its fury at us as if to say, ‘take that’. Still upright we crossed the A5 for Cold Higham still reeling from our surprise wind slammer. I have never seen so much debris from trees on the roads but incredibly none of us had any punctures or mishaps. Many roads were covered in leaves and broken branches for most of our journey, not to mention being hit with them occasionally as the wind swirled around our heads. Downhills were precarious and if anyone has any brake pads left then I’ll be surprised. Further flooding at the bottom of many dips made us cautious of traversing the water. Covered potholes became our main concern.

The Nevillery Café at the National Trust in Stowe became increasingly more inviting during the journey for our battle-weary riders. As we entered the grounds however, a friendly official unwittingly crushed our spirits by informing us that the cafe wasn’t open due to power issues. We were stunned and speechless. Power lines had come down in the windy conditions. Nor was there any other option to get food he concluded. It was a devastating blow, just when we needed coffee and cake to lift those flagging spirits. After a sharp intake of breath and suitably resigned to our fate, we decided to continue the ride hoping to call in at the Whittlebury Bakery instead, just a few miles further on. That hope came in the form of several signs at the side of the road indicating it was ‘Now Open’. Once inside the entrance we were dealt another hammer blow as we realised the doors were well and truly bolted. Our group was now getting desperate for food to keep us going. With around ten miles to go, at least the end was in sight.

But more dramas came our way on the approach to Shutlanger, adding to our misery. A Road Closed sign. Fortunately, this type of situation does not usually prevent us from getting through and despite friendly advice from a passing local about a fallen tree, we ignored it. Further on, as it became clear that the road had taken a battering from the winds, we continued, despite more advice from a fellow cyclist coming from the tree’s direction. Furthermore, and even further on I was shown pictures by another friendly local who assured me that we would not be able to get through and we ignored that advice too! We would not be defeated.

At the sight of the fallen tree, some head scratching eschewed. But with some swift pruning of branches by Pete and BrianH we were soon viewing the devastation from the other side. The second and third fallen trees further up the road obviously proving less of an obstacle to our green fingered tree experts and we swept them aside with some ease.

The rest of the ride home now provided us with a sense of victory. Man had braved the elements, overcome the forces of nature and moved immovable objects.

Chapeau to everyone who took part in this eventful ride today.


Ride to Stowe, Sunday 31st October

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time 9.30am
Distance 46 Miles
Pace Steady – Around 13mph Average
Cafe Stop: Nevillery NT Cafe, Stowe
Estimated return Around 2.00 pm

This Sunday’s ride is from East Hunsbury to Stowe near Buckingham.

We will ride out past Milton Malsor, Pattishall, Helmdon and Syresham. Our cafe stop is the NT cafe at Stowe Gardens, which is around the 28 mile mark.

The return route will take us through Wittlebury and Stoke Bruerne. The link to the route is below.

The bad news is that the weather forecast is not brilliant at the moment, with rain in the morning. Still, the BBC can never get the weather right, so my prediction is that it will be warm, sunny and dry !!

As Philip keeps (rightly) reminding us, COVID is not yet over, so please consider the usual precautions.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

Link to route on Ridewithgps:


Cheers Peter