Phil J went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes (with pictures by Dave):
A misty but fairly warm morning greeted the group of five riders on this rerouted ride.
Taking in a number of familiar roads and one or two less known to us, we headed off through plenty of villages including the picturesque Ecton and Orlingbury further along.
Rowan had an early mechanical but nothing to hold up the steady pace we were making. The route undulated as expected but the group coped admirably.
Traffic levels seemed high in parts but so was the level of cyclists that we regularly passed en route – a positive sign indeed.
The cafe stop at Great Cransley was a welcome sign where Nick joined us from his start in Welford. The small but friendly café at Bugtopia provided enough fuel for us to continue our journey where we were now a group of six.
The sun finally broke through the clouds and raised the temperature a degree or two as we left the café making the return journey a much better prospect than on the way out. At least for a while. The hills at Loddington that were approaching were mentioned several times by our leader during the morning and they didn’t disappoint as hills go. Coming in quick succession as well.
Iain departed soon after the climbs having put the miles in already with his ride in but not before a superb display of short sharp climbing from the back of the pack right to the front.
Nick took his preferred route back shortly after and the remaining four pressed on towards Old. The anticipated climb at Brixworth didn’t materialise as Milton found a more pleasing route through Scaldwell to soften the blow which was most welcome to all. Another of the group – Rowan – said her goodbyes leaving a trio to carry on with the ride.
We cruised over some of the flatter parts of the route thereafter which was useful in keeping us warm as the sun had disappeared again, dropping the temperatures.
We returned through Ecton and eventually along the familiar cycle paths parallel to the A45. Again the group split with Milton and Dave heading home and just myself returning to the Canoe Centre.
Thanks for the ride Milton! Good riding all!