Boxing Day Ride Report

Milton led this ride and writes:

Perfect weather saw ten cyclists with nothing but coffee and cake in mind meet up at the Canoe Centre for a simple 28-mile drift through the south east of the County.

Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, Yardley Hastings, Weston Underwood and Ravenstone gently slid past as we sauntered slowly but with great determination to cake at Salcey.

Down the hill through Great Houghton and we were back at the Canoe Centre just after mid-day and heading home to some cake and mince pies and whatever chocolates were left before getting stuck into lunch.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ride report – Saturday 17th December

Tim, our webmaster, went on this “leader-less” ride to Yelvertoft and reports:

Five riders congregated at Brampton Valley Way for Milton’s “Steady ride to Yelvertoft”.  Sadly Milton wasn’t able to be one of them having been laid low the day before by Norovirus; we wish him a speedy recovery.

We headed west via Holdenby and East Haddon before turning north at Long Buckby towards West Haddon and on to our most northerly point at Yelvertoft.  From here it was back south to Crick where we had an impromptu stop outside St Margaret of Antioch Church for an energy bar or two.

There was a minor deviation from Milton’s planned route at this point to avoid the road to Ashby St Ledgers (discovered to be coated with a rather unsavoury layer of semi-liquid mud and horse manure on a reconnaissance ride the Thursday before!).  Instead we branched off down a very pleasant gated road to Watford village before rejoining the planned route just east of Welton.

From here a section of “Milton special tarmac” (to borrow from Eric Morecombe – “all the right pieces, just not in the right places”) led us to Norton and thence to our planned stop at Whilton Locks where bacon butties were eagerly consumed.

It was then just a short ride back to the start via Great Brington and Harlestone.

All in all a very pleasant December morning out: no blue skies but warm and dry nonetheless.  Thanks to Milton for providing us with a fine selection of quiet country lanes to enjoy.

Milton will be back to lead the “Boxing Day Bash” (departing 9.30 a.m. from the Canoe Centre – 28 miles with a stop for elevenses at Salcey Forest) so why not come along and join him?

Ride report – Saturday 10th December

Brisk & Moderate Rides to Welford

Eleven riders – a good number for a December morning – gathered at the Brampton Valley Way meeting point for a morning organised by James.  We welcomed new rider, Phil W; and welcomed back John for his first CTC ride since his accident.  Drizzle in the air was not going to dampen our spirits.

A late change of plan and routes – our original café stop at Kelmarsh being unavailable because of a Buddhist holiday – meant that we were to head for a café new to nearly all of us: Mini-Meadows Farm Café just outside Welford on the Naseby road.  Five riders opted for James’s brisk ride; six for the moderate route plotted by Brian and led by Ian M.  James must have taken to heart Mother Theresa’s dictum that “Brisk means Brisk” and by Church Brampton the brisk group was down to four and the moderate group up to seven.

The moderates pedalled through East Haddon, Coton, Guilsborough and Welford to reach the café after seventeen miles at 11.05 a.m. finding the brisks already ensconced – having been through Holdenby, Spratton, Brixworth and Naseby after eighteen lumpier miles in an hour-and-a-quarter! The drizzle hadn’t turned to anything worse but those who had no mudguards had nice stripes-of-honour up their backs.

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At Mini-Meadows Farm Café

The café served good coffee and cakes (the Xmas Tiffin was much consumed); conversation was lengthy; and both groups set off again at 11.45 a.m.  The moderates pedalled through Naseby (welcoming the easier approach from the north-west), Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Teeton and Holdenby to return to the BVW after 15 miles by 1.15 p.m.  The brisks headed on to Sibbertoft, back to Naseby, and then through Kelmarsh, Harrington, Old, Scaldwell, Brixworth, and Holcot before splitting on the edge of Northampton after 28 miles just after 1.30 p.m.

So twenty-nine miles for the moderates, forty-eight miles for the brisks and a splendid morning enjoyed by all.

Thanks to James for the morning plan and to Brian for reminding us of the recommendation for the café from Peter W and the CTC Leicestershire group.

IMPORTANT UPDATE – NEW ELEVENSES STOP AND NEW ROUTES – Saturday 10th December

Start time and meeting point remain the same.  BVW at 9.30 a.m.

How could we not have known that tomorrow is Maitreya Empowerment Day? Is our knowledge of the Buddhist Calendar so poor?

So the World Peace Café isn’t open. My first thought was Kelmarsh Hall – bigger but not karma – and which once served us when we arrived in the village on another Buddhist holiday. But it’s closed for winter!

Brian remembered a recommendation from Peter Witting and CTC Leicestershire: just outside Welford, the Mini-Meadows Farm Café (farm website here but there’s nothing about the café) . Brian also plotted a route for the moderate ride on RWGPS.

So this morning I followed Brian’s route and had my elevenses at Mini-Meadows. I can report excellence – bike parking à la Dutch infrastructure (not yet complete), spacious café, comfy seating and, most importantly, good coffee with my cake choice of Christmas Tiffin (white chocoate to die for)!

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Bike parking infrastructure being installed

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Service counter (Christmas Rocky Road, Christmas Tiffin, etc)

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Pleasant seating area

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Check out my Xmas Tiffin!

So a new venue and all is good! And the moderates have two ride leaders!

Moderate route here on RideWithGPS; James will, I am sure, lead the brisk riders on a route to fill their lungs with country air.

See you at BVW at 9.30 a.m. Moderate route is slightly shorter than the original; we may be back by 12.45 p.m. Or still at 1.00 p.m. if I’m carrying Xmas Tiffin internally.

Cheers,

Ian

Morning rides to Kelmarsh – Saturday 10th December

Two rides – one brisk, one moderate – starting at the same place & time, meeting for elevenses and finishing at the same place & time.
Start
9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing (NN6 8AA – near The Windhover).  There is parking  in the BVW car park further up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 38 miles (brisk) or 32 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: World Peace Café, Kelmarsh
Return by 1.00 p.m.

James has organised the rides and will be leading the brisk one.  He writes:

Saturday’s brisk ride sees us flying through some familiar, albeit occasionally challenging, territory towards the World Peace Café at Kelmarsh Buddhist Centre, where our efforts will be rewarded with fine coffee, good karma and cake.  From our starting point we’ll head out in the direction of Holdenby before diverting towards Teeton and then crossing the Welford Road at Spratton.

As the more spiritually-minded among us already know, the Buddha made “Life is Suffering” his First Noble Truth, and it’s a statement we’ll all have plenty of time to reflect on as we leave Spratton and confront the arduous climb into Brixworth.  From there it’s full steam ahead through to Kelmarsh via Haselbech (another testing one, I’m afraid), Naseby and Clipston.  The return journey is less demanding – discounting the uphill bit at Harrington – heading back, as it does, through Lamport, Scaldwell and Holcot. The last stage diverts out through Pitsford towards Chapel Brampton before we finally reach our nirvana, a.k.a the Brampton Valley Way car park.

The tempo will be brutal (!) but, fear not, Sir Ian Macsporran will be leading out a moderately paced group for anyone wishing to take things more gently.  The weather promises to be a lot milder than it has been over the past few days and rain isn’t forecast until the afternoon, by which time we’ll all be home and dry – so, no excuses…
More information from James on 07841 933046 or Ian on 07960 302095.

A ride not to be missed.

Brisk route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17767762 – 38 miles; 2,100 feet of climbing
Moderate route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17768228 – 32 miles; 1,640 feet of climbing

Ride Report – Sunday 4th December

Iain D, our Chair, led this ride and writes:

Seven of us gathered on a crisp and bright December morning in the village of Moulton, despite some of the quieter roads in the area having turned a noticeable shade of white.  We headed off through Holcot (the bend of the bottom of the hill had been gritted!) and through Hannington and Isham to Burton Latimer.

We passed the Weetabix factory okay but things went a little bit awry in Barton Seagrave.  It seems the ride leader was following the route he’d planned, not the route RideWithGPS had published, but after a bit of frantic searching round the housing estate (while others were resting by the Ise Garden Centre), the group got itself back together and headed out to Twywell and Woodford.  This minor hiatus did at least give the sun a chance to clear most of the remaining frost.

Woodford Mill was as welcoming as ever (I believe it was the second visit of the week for some of our riders!) although in deference to the weather we sat inside instead of taking our usual riverside table.

The trip home passed garden centre in Burton Latimer and then proceeded up the Slips to Great Harrowden before the group returned to Moulton, with plenty of daylight to spare as promised.

R … Iain

PS: I didn’t make it back to Moulton.  After the rear brake failing yet again on the Galaxy I limped back to Kettering from the Blue Bridge turning.  My thanks to Brian for taking over the ride at that point.