Phil J led this ride and writes:
Seven riders gathered at the start for this undulating ride to Naseby including new rider Peter B on his first group ride.
The first descent out of the blocks had a surprising headwind which seemed to be present on a few more of our subsequent drops. Once through the eco village of Upton, St Crispin’s provided the first unlikely climb of the day as we settled into the ride.
We levelled off towards Harlestone before we all got into the small chainring and the slow grind up Church Brampton.
Sedgebrook Hall passed by during another long haul which split the group a bit and took us up to the Market Harborough road and the route to Pitsford. A rapid descent on the busy road was then quickly followed by another testing rise to the entrance of Pitsford Water.
Through Brixworth the group went, when Phil L and I suddenly found ourselves on our own. We’d turned left in full view of the rest of the group but they continued over. Head scratching ensued before the group appeared from another direction much to our relief and amusement.
The fast downhill on the Spratton road came next with Milton suggesting this could be one of the fastest downhills in the area. We all took full advantage of the opportunity and headed for Spratton. The bridge closure wasn’t on our route and we climbed uninterrupted through the village before regrouping at the top for a well earned breather and refuelling.
Over the Welford Road another opportunity to test the descending skills. We dropped swiftly towards Teeton and as expected we soon started to climb as the road ramped up once more.
The journey to Guilsborough was perfect “active recovery” and we enjoyed the dry country roads and comfortable speeds. The road to Cold Ashby seemed rather more caked in dried mud but it was pleasant nonetheless as we started to see the signs for Naseby.
With another couple of miles in our legs All Saints church at Naseby came into view. We arrived at The Old Vicarage café just as some cyclists were leaving but they insisted they had left some cakes for us.
With renovations underway outside we were lead along the corridor to possibly the grandest venue we may have ever had refreshments in. A large dining room with a table that was almost impossible to reach over due to its huge size and a chandelier over the centre. We almost expected a butler to start serving us but various group members took that role upon themselves. The service was equally splendid and the food exquisite.
The loop continued through the Cottesbrooke estate and probably the most hair raising descent of the day. Plenty of gravel and uneven tarmac at the base making it a heart in mouth situation just before entering the village. All safely down and the gated road to Brixworth lead us to the steep climb back into the centre and onto Pitsford once again.
Four of us were lured by a second stop at the Willow Tree Café whilst the remaining three continued home.
The rest of the ride back mirrored the ride out with another mix of testing ascending and fast descending.
This was a pretty difficult ride today with over 3000ft of climbing but all riders performed superbly.
Many thanks, Phil, for guiding me with such encouragement for my first group ride after a minor op. And many thanks to Tim who chatted to me most of the way and made the miles fly by. Much appreciated!