Today’s ride (23rd March) CANCELLED

Yet again we find ourselves hostages to the weather.  Iain (today’s leader) can’t, with a clear conscience, suggest we ride and so the ride is CANCELLED.

We will, he’s sure, run this route another time.

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Club ride to Gayton – Saturday 23rd March

Iain Dawson (of shorts in snow fame) will be leading this ride and writes:

Brian has put together a lovely route for us for Saturday – including a lane that I didn’t even know existed, so I’m looking forward to trying that out.

Unfortunately, he can’t lead on Saturday so I’ve been nominated in his place (you’d better hope I can find that lane) and we may have a surprise waiting in Gayton, if we time things right.

If you read the ride report for last week, you’ll know the weather’s being extremely fickle at the moment so come prepared!

Hope to see you on Saturday at 2.00 p.m. outside the Canoe Centre.

John Cutler, our Right to Ride Officer, adds:

The forecast for Saturday is scarcely credible, but, if it turns out anything like accurate, you will break more records and win a medal for the bike ride.

 

Our shortest ever ride?

On Sunday 17th March, despite leaving home with the sleet falling we were convinced that the weather forecast  “4°C with rain later” would be correct. Four of us met up at the new start point at Sixfields – Iain (the ride leader and in high spirits as he’d ridden the newly-surfaced Brampton Valley Way and through the flooded underpass at Kingsthorpe, although he noted that the track to Mill Lane from the BVW is as rough as ever), Brian, Ian and Phil J. We were of one mind.  Plan 1: 25 miles to Farthingstone and 25 miles back.

At 9.30 a.m. – our start time –  the sleet turned to light snow flakes so we amended our plan. Plan 2: ride to Flore and make a decision over elevenses. The day was bound to warm up and, besides, the snow wasn’t sticking.

Riding through Upton the snow flakes got larger and by the time we reached Duston the snow was heavy and lying.  The slush was deep.

IMGP5793 Phil and Brian on the cobbles of Upton

At this stage we adopted Plan 3: head to Sainsbury’s for coffee and a reassessment of the day.  We watched the snow continue to fall. It was over an inch deep in the supermarket car park.

With the snow / slush that substantial we adopted Plan 4: head for home! Iain and Ian walked to Kingsthorpe, Phil was picked up by car, and Brian walked into town. By the time Brian reached Billing Road the roads were wet rather than icy and he managed to cycle on after that, getting home by mid-day.  Likewise, for Iain and Ian, by the time they reached Kingsthorpe and were able to cycle home in wet / slushy roads rather than ice and snow.

IMGP5794It wasn’t like this when we started

IMGP5795The view from Mill Lane looking towards Kingsthorpe Church

The weather forecast was certainly a long way out but it was a good day to  test out the rain-wear. Iain will probably confirm that shorts and bare legs are the most breathable after centuries of development.

IMGP5796Iain demonstrates that bare legs are the answer to snow

Of course, by the time each of us arrived home, the sun was about to breakout!

Thanks Iain for a short and memorable ride.  Short?  As a group, we managed just under 1½ miles!  Route here!

Club ride to Farthingstone – Sunday 17th March

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, is leading this ride and writes:

This Sunday we’re off to Farthingstone on a 50-mile jaunt taking in a few of the less severe hills to be found in the western half of Northamptonshire.

This is a one-stop ride and Farthingstone Golf Course (where we’ll be taking lunch) is almost exactly at the turning point so we’re looking at two 25-mile legs. Bring extra supplies as necessary.

The route out is fairly circuitous incorporating Everdon Stubbs while avoiding Dodford and Newnham.  The route back brings us through Silverstone and almost through Towcester.  It should be an interesting trip.

We’ll be meeting at a new start location – outside TGI Friday’s at Sixfields at 9.30 a.m.

(If you’re coming to the start by car, please don’t leave it at the start location; there is plenty of parking available down by the lakes, a mere 200 yards away).

See you on Sunday!

Brisk Ride – Saturday 9th March

Philip Gray will be leading this ride and writes:

This Saturday’s “brisk” ride will head to the poet John Dryden’s family house at Canons Ashby, and will be about 35 miles there and back over a rolling / slightly hilly route. On brisk rides we try to keep a steady pace, slightly higher than the leisure rides. To compensate, the teastop is provided by the National Trust, and we can look forward to various signs of spring along the way.

The weather forecast is uncertain but there may be light showers, with temperatures around 8°C with a light wind.

If you are interested, please come along to East Hunsbury (Overslade Close) for 9.30 a.m.

Please let Philip know if you fancy coming but have any questions, or are new to the brisk rides. (07724 778215; 01604 720522)

Ride Report – Sunday 3rd March

Iain Dawson went on this ride and writes:

Six of us gathered in the bright but chilly forecourt of the Canoe Centre – three of us equipped in usual day-ride trim, two on fixed gears and one poor soul who’d decided to see how his bike rode with a week’s worth of touring gear strapped to it!

Brian led us off into the sunshine and down the A45 cycle-path before dispatching the climbs into Cogenhoe and Grendon in a brisk-ish fashion before we hauled ourselves through Wollaston and into Podington to find Eleanor basking in the sun while waiting for us to turn up.

After a quick comfort/shopping stop at the garden centre, we rolled eastwards and out onto the A6 (the road itself, because some berk had parked his car right on the cycle path) then past the motte-and-bailey at Yelden and up to the old airfield at Bedford, familiar to those who’ve ridden the Guy Barber ride.

Lunch was at a very good garden centre café in Milton Ernest. Not only had they reserved us a table but they’d had to because the place was so busy. I guess it must be spring or something. Anyway, highly recommended for future stops.

The return leg was just as pleasant with a steady roll through Felpersham, sorry Felmersham, and Bozeat before hitting the lovely swooping lanes behind Castle Ashby. Discretion being the better part of valour, Brian elected to give Whiston Hill a miss and so we took the easy way round to Cogenhoe (with its unmissable hill), the group starting to split as various riders turned for home on the way. The small rise to Little Houghton and a brief sprint along the A428 brought the ride (well just me actually, the others all having split off by now) back to the Canoe Centre just before a quarter past three, with the sun still shining and the forecourt considerably warmer than it had been when we left.

Thanks to Brian for a pleasant day’s ride, and for searching out a new lunch stop for us.

See you next time!

Beaumanor Rally, 24th – 28th May 2013

Ray Clay, the rally secretary, has kindly sent me an information sheet and an entry form  for this year’s CTC East Midlands regional rally at Beaumanor Hall near Loughborough.
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There is a full programme of guided rides on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday and a morning ride on Tuesday.

You can attend for as many or as few days as you wish.

The entry form should be returned to Ray by 21st May.