James went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes:
Twelve of us departed from Moulton under conditions very reflective of the ride organiser’s temperament: grey, sullen and slightly damp. At the same time, his the choice of destination – the World Peace Café at the Nagarjuna Buddhist centre in Kelmarsh – typified his more positive qualities, e.g., his lifelong commitment to the enlightened one’s emphasis on equanimity and loving-kindness as the core values of daily existence.
In order to encourage more people to come out and ride, Milton – in a familiar display of thoughtfulness – had devised faster and slower route options. The ‘proper’ brisk route followed a slightly more circuitous path to Kelmarsh – going via Orton – than did the moderate one, which was shorter by something like five miles. Of course, the division also gave some of the slightly faster and, err, more competitive riders the challenge of trying to catch up and overtake the second group before they reached Kelmarsh. It was childish, but I did it …
As we progressed through Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old, the sun started making increasingly frequent appearances and by the time the brisk set diverted off to Orton it was warming up nicely. A couple of the quicker riders caught up with the “moderates” just outside of Harrington and sped on to bag some good seats in the café‘s serene back garden. The remainder of the two groups all arrived within fifteen minutes or so, and it wasn’t long before we were all enjoying the high quality fayre we’ve come to associate with the caféand its delightful staff. Some of us attempted to respect the Buddha’s emphasis on frugality by just taking green tea and a few biscuits. Unfortunately, one rider, i.e., Giles ‘Bake Off’ Barringham, was less sensitive to this precept and keen to declare he was eating his fifth (large) piece of cake in five days.
By the time we departed the sun was in its full glory and this continued to be the case as we came back en masse via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke, Brixworth and Holcot. Once back at Moulton it was blazingly hot and bright, both which served to top off a most enjoyable little jaunt.
As ever, sincere thanks must go to Milton for his patience and beautifully devised routing.
Milton is organising two rides (moderate & brisk) from Moulton Co-op and writes:
Both rides will leave from the Co-op at 9.30 heading to Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old. From Old we take the lovely single track road towards Mawsley and then head towards Harrington. The moderate ride will then cross the A14 and turn left on the outskirts of Harrington and go to Kelmarsh. The brisk group will take an additional 5 mile loop that takes us east through Orton before turning west again and returning almost to the start of the loop before following the other group to Kelmarsh.
After coffee and cake at the Buddhist Centre it’s an attractive trip home via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth. It’ll make a change going down the steep hill at Haselbech for once, rather than climbing it!
It’s quite a short flat ride for both groups so I hope that one or two people who might normally be nervous of their ability to stay with the riders might venture out on the moderate ride. And for the brisk ride, I’m expecting it to be fairly quick. The loop is put in as a bit of a test for us all to see if we can reach coffee at the same time, or before, the others.
We can expect to be back at Moulton by around 1pm. I hope to see you at the start.
Milton went on this ride led by Tim and writes:
Not only did the sun shine, but nothing more than a light breeze caressed us all day as 8 cyclists took the quiet and beautiful roads to Hogwash on Tim’s 63 mile steady. Tim had a plan that it would be a one stop ride but made the mistake of suggesting that we could stop for coffee and cake at Boycott Farm after 20 miIes if we were unable to control our greed. 7 out of 8 of us proved unable to control our greed. Ah Tim … the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay!
Mark, who had stuff to do at home, left us to go go back after Boycott Farm and so we were seven as we rolled into Green Dragon Eco Centre Farm where we came upon Geoff on his fixie and James who had been late to the start. James had, of course, put his foot down and beaten us to the lunch stop by a sizeable margin overtaking us as we guzzled at Boycott Farm.
Geoff soon left for a solo run home and we were 8 once more, and, just after we set off on the return trip, James found the urge to test out his new wheels too great, and disappeared up the road never to be seen again …… so we were 7 once more.
The weather stayed warm and dry and, much to Tim’s amazement, the group eschewed another stop at Salcey as we passed, having stayed in a close knit peleton throughout the return journey, keeping up an average speed of over 14mph.
A fine day in the saddle much helped by a beautifully devised route and 2 excellent stops.
Tim is leading this ride and writes:
Start: 9.30am, Sunday 20th August
Meeting point: East Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 63 miles
Anticipated Speed: 13-14mph
Refreshments: Green Dragon Eco Centre Cafe
This Sunday’s ride heads south via Gayton Marina and the villages of Tiffield and Caldecote before a short section of A5 lets us gain the village of Duncote from where generally quiet country roads take us on our journey to the west of Buckingham and on to our lunch stop at the most southerly point of the ride at The Green Dragon Farm at Hogshaw.
Our return journey heads north east to Winslow and then on to Stony Stratford (complete with a nice downhill section for a couple of miles just after crossing the A421 south of Nash). Familiar roads then lead us to Hanslope and Salcey Forest before the final homeward leg along the Quinton Road and suburbs of East Hunsbury.
The ride is planned with a single stop at approx 33 miles, so it may be a good idea to bring an energy bar or two for any impromptu roadside stops. However if the urge for morning coffee or afternoon tea (or indeed both!) proves too strong there are options in the guise of Boycott Farm (at 20 miles) and Salcey Forest (at 57 miles).
We should be back at East Hunsbury library mid to late afternoon, depending on the number of stops we choose to make on the day.
The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton group on RideWithGPS:
Any questions please contact Tim – 07749 477231.
Ian M will be leading this ride and writes (with photos from the recce last Saturday):
- River-side & canal-side paths = 10 miles
- Parks & cemeteries = 6 miles
- Cycle super-highway = 2 miles (1 mile blue paint, 1 mile fully segregated)
- Quiet streets (defined by Transport for London – TfL) = 7 miles
- Roads with traffic = 4 miles.
We’ll take about 1 h 10 m to get to the 2012 Olympic Velodrome (now named the Lea Valley Velopark), via the Regent Canal and Victoria Park, and with a good view of the Olympic Stadium, now the London Stadium.
Entry to the velodrome is free, there is bike parking inside next to the reception desk and there are toilets and a café on the viewing level. We can spend upto twenty minutes having a look inside.
Ian M went on this ride led by Phil J and writes:
Four of us – Phil, Justin, Peter and Ian – gathered in Hunsbury for today’s ride to Draycote Water. Phil, our leader, got us to leave very punctually at 9.30 a.m. and set us a good pace along some of his favourite roads and lanes. He had arranged ideal cycling weather – warm but not hot and the sky never got too cloudy. At times, however, a headwind seemed to be facing us in every direction! He had also arranged for it to be a one-stop ride!
We were soon going through Upton, discussing its housing styles, around the edge of the Althorp estate and on to Wilton, crossing over the M1 for the first time. Then we were up to Welton and heading towards Barby with Phil, rightly as it turned out, ignoring pleas for an elevenses stop there. We crossed over the M45 into Dunchurch. Over the motorway again and soon we were climbing the humped road towards Draycote Water. Here was our reward for foregoing elevenses: the famed Draycote scones. Huge they were, with jam and cream. We sat on the delightful balcony overlooking the reservoir. Half the party added large portions of carrot cake to their plates, arguing that the calories had already been spent!
Phil cracked his whip again and soon we were whizzing on the lovely surface of Warwickshire lanes into Grandborough. A short stretch of the A45 and we were off into the village of Braunston and soon found ourselves back in Welton. This time, we left Welton through Norton. A short stretch of the A5 and we were onto lanes again into Brockhall, crossing over the M1 for a second time. Phil knew from his recce that the “road closed” signs on the lane from Brockhall to Flore were just that – closed even to bikes – and so we went diverted along the gated road. We scrupulously followed the signs requesting that we closed the gates behind us before descending from the Roman road – and over the M1 a third time – into Flore. And just one of several glorious descents that Phil had built into the route.
The next lanes took us past the mill and then, quickly, through Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke. We went in and out of Kislingbury via a fourth and fifth crossing over the M1. Then, after Rothersthorpe, courtesy of Banbury Lane, we made our sixth and final crossing over the M1. Justin left for home before Ladybridge Drive, and then Peter too felt the siren call of home comfort, leaving Phil and Ian one last climb up to Hunsbury for 3.00 p.m. Sixty miles from start to finish (and seventy miles door-to-door for your correspondent – brilliant!)
It had been a lovely day and a lovely ride. Our thanks to Phil for making it all so enjoyable!