Two local cycling events – Sunday 29th December

Gary H, one of our members, wants to bring two non-competitive events to everyone’s attention:

The first is a three-hour mountain bike orienteering (or trail quest) event.  The second is a road sportive event (over distances of 30 / 40 / 70 kms).  Both are ideal “come and try” events and are based at Naseby Village Hall – just off the A14/A508, post code NN6 6DE.
 
The Hall will open at 8.00 a.m.  The trail quest event starts between 9.00 a.m. and 10.30 a.m.  The 70 km sportive starts at 9.00 a.m. and the 40 km and 30 km sportives start at 10.00 a.m.
 
The entry fee for either event is £10.00 and includes maps and refreshments.
 
The trail quest is run under Midland Trail Quest rules and guidelines.  The sportives are run under British Cycling rules and guidelines.
 
Details and on-line entry for the trail quest can be found here and for the sportives here.  The 70 km sportive route is set on a figure-of-eight course: you need to complete the first 40 km before 11.30am (and call in to HQ) before you can start the 30km. 
 
CATS Mountain Bike Club have successfully run this event for the past 11 years, giving almost £8,000 away to charity.  The chosen charity for this year is a local cancer charity called Hope Against Cancer based in Leicester.  (This charity has been looking after the wife of the original organiser of the event, who stepped down this time last year to look after his wife.)
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Re-introducing cars to Abington Street in Northampton Town Centre

John Cutler, our Right To Ride Officer, alerted me to the way in which it is proposed that cars be re-introduced to Abington Street.

The majority political party on Northampton Borough Council included this proposal in its manifesto for the 2013 Council elections.

St Giles Terrace is to become one-way (northerly); Abington Street will be re-opened to cars one-way (westerly); and then Wellington Street will be accessible one-way (northerly).

The main problem with the Road Traffic Order is that it is, unthinkingly, to apply to ALL vehicles – so that cyclists will be affected by it.  It is as if the use of bicycles has been forgotten by the planners.

It would be perfectly possible to design the road markings and infrastructure to allow cycling in both directions.  (Indeed, other East Midlands towns and cities – Leicester, Derby, Nottingham – allow cycling in their pedestrianised areas.  This was forgotten in Northampton when Abington Street was originally pedestrianised in the late 1980s.)

Could I urge you, therefore, if you live in Northampton and the surrounding area to e-mail your objections and suggestions to abingtonstreet@mgwsp.co.uk and to copy your e-mail to your borough councillor and to your county councillor?

Ride Report – Sunday 8th December

Phil L went on this ride, led by our secretary Brian, and writes:

The weather was kind to us again for the ride: sunshine and pretty mild considering the time of year.  So the four of us who set off to explore the northern reaches of Northamptonshire were in good spirits.  The route was good and straightforward  – at least until we got near Desborough where someone had thoughtlessly built the A6 by-pass which didn’t feature on our maps.  So this required a bit of cycle-cross trail finding to get across to the village of Braybrooke via a rather overgrown, rutted minor path. Still we made it without p*nct*ring and visited the Farndon Fields Farm Shop for brunch.
The route back via Naseby and Teeton was described by our leader as “downhill all the way” which, if true, means either I’m weakening or he’s got problems with his eyesight! Undulating perhaps?!

Good ride!  Thanks Brian!

Ride to Braybrooke and back – Sunday 8th December

Brian, our Secretary, is leading this ride, and writes:

Start: Moulton Co-op   9.30 a.m.   40 miles.   A challenging ride at this time of year.

This will be our last ride before Christmas. A one-stop ride via Braybrooke and then skirting Market Harborough to the Farndon Fields Farm Shop café.  (http://www.farndonfieldsfarmshop.co.uk/the-cafe)

The planned route is Moulton, Walgrave, Draughton, Thorpe Underwood, Braybrooke, Market Harborough, Farndon, Naseby, Guilsborough, Brixworth and back to Moulton (subject to the weather).  There are several short-cut options en route.

We shall ride mainly on quiet roads with the exception of 100m of gravel path around Pitsford Reservoir at the end.

The ride time is just over three hours plus a stop so we should be back before 2.00 p.m. at the latest.  Still worth bringing lights to be seen by at this time of year.

For more details ring Brian on 01604 622073 (or 07722 055149 on the day).  Please check your e-mails on Saturday for any last minute alterations.

For digital map aficionados, the route is here.

P.S. Don’t forget to book the CTC Christmas lunch on the 16th Dec. Details on
www.ctc-northampton.org.uk

Ride Report – Saturday 30th November

Phil L led this ride and writes:

I think for the four of us who rode today, it was quite refreshing to ride a fair bit off-road and without having to constantly be on the lookout for wayward drivers.  So, having dusted off our mountain bikes, we took a route in the morning sunshine which linked the parks of Delapre, Becketts, Sixfields, Upton, Hunsbury Hill and Grange emerging not far from Salcey Forest for a loop of the woods and a coffee stop.

Our return via bridleway to Piddington and Brackmills Cycle Network didn’t take too long despite some interesting wheel-gripping sections of mud on-route.

An enjoyable change.  So a “New Year’s” resolution: do more off road!