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!