Ride to Sharnbrook – Sunday 31st December

Giles Barringham is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance  54  miles
Refreshment stop  Podington Garden Centre Café
Pace  Steady
Time Expected Back  Around 3 – 3.30 pm


Starting at East Hunsbury the route will take us through Quinton, Preston Deanery, Hackleton, Horton, Denton, Yardley Hastings, Easton Maudit, Bozeat, Hinwick and Podington where we will stop for coffee and refreshments at Podington Garden Centre Café. This being 20 miles from the starting point. Afterwards we will head towards Souldrop , Sharnbrook, Odell, Harold, Carlton, Turvey, Cold Brayfield, Lavendon and around Olney towards Weston Underwood, Stoke Goldington, Eakley, Hartwell, Roade, Blisworth and back to East Hunsbury via Milton Malsor.


Although we should return well before dusk, please remember to bring lights.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride, and any further questions, please feel free to contact Giles or Peter Bayles.


Ride report – Boxing day

Milton led this ride and writes:

Chilly and breezy but with the sun shining, there was little not to enjoy on this ride other than it was the day after Christmas and we were all knackered or hung over or both!

Ten of us set off, James, as ever, faster than the rest, and had an easy 20 mile trip to the café at Salcey via Castle Ashby, Olney and Ravenstone. Coffee and cake consumed in the fresh air, apart from the three big girl’s blouses who sat in the warmth – how pathetic was that – before we all set off home for the final few miles via Quinton and Preston Deanery. James, on his brand new and very impressive Cannondale punctured, (isn’t it always the way) but wasn’t held up much as he had Peter helping with the replacement and Peter’s hands weren’t frozen, (unlike the rest of us) as he had been sitting indoors in the café. Northern Softie!

Good to have Danny with us for the first time as well as Geoff and John back again and promising to become regulars.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to us all!

Turkey Buster ride – Boxing day

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Leave at; 9.30

Leave from; Canoe Centre    Bedford Rd

Distance;   28 miles

Pace; It’s Boxing day!  –  we’ll do the best we can.

This is the same ride as last year at this time … and the year before and ….OK,  it’s the same old same old. That’s mainly because the only café I know that is open is at Salcey Forest, and this route allows us to fall upon that at the 20 miles point with only about 8 miles from there to the finish, which is about perfect.

We will ride at the fastest pace of the slowest, (most hungover) rider as long as that doesn’t exceed 12mph. If it does, I shall ensure that we slow down until we’re at no more than that. 

So, from the Canoe centre we head off to Little Houghton, to Cogenhoe and then up the hill to Castle Ashby before heading south to Yardley Hastings. Then we continue south to skirt the western edges of Olney before riding through lovely Weston Underwood and the even lovelier Ravenstone. From there it’s Stoke Goldington and through the forest to the café. Cake and coffee is followed by a shortish route back to the Canoe Centre via the lovely Quinton / Preston Deanery road to Great Houghton.

There is a happy Boxing Day tradition which I very much hope we continue of a rider’s collection for a small present for the ride leader. A bottle of malt would be about right I feel – modest but fitting.

This is an attractive ride, not at all hard, and we should be back easily in time for lunch. I look forward to your company – and of course my bottle of malt.

I haven’t managed to create a GPX file, but, as it’s such a simple ride on well known roads, it is probably as easy to create your own if needed.

Ride to Woodford Halse – Saturday 23rd December


Giles Barrington is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance  43 and 36 miles
Refreshment stop  Harley Equestrian Centre
Pace  2 Rides, Brisk and Moderate
Time Expected Back  Around 2.30pm

Preview of ride as follows ;

Two rides starting at 09.30 from East Hunsbury library.  A brisk ride of 43 miles and a moderate ride of 36 miles both meeting at The Harley Equestrian Centre café near Woodford Halse.

The brisk ride will head out through Milton Malsor, Gayton, across the A5 at Fosters Booth and onto Adstone, Preston Capes, along Charwelton Road turning left before Priors Marston towards Byfleet and West Farndon stopping for coffee at Harley Equestrian café, 25 miles from the start. After the stop both groups will travel through Adstone once again, then onto Maidford, Litchborough, Bugbrooke, Rothersthorpe returning to East Hunsbury at around 1.30pm

The moderate ride will follow the same route but at Preston Cape will head directly towards Woodford Halse and the Harley Equestrian café cutting out the 7 mile loop being followed by the brisk ride so both groups can meet at the café at roughly the same time.


Although we should return well before dusk, please remember to bring lights.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride, and any further questions, please feel free to contact Giles or Peter Bayles.

Ride report: Sunday 17th December

Well I said this would be interesting and it was!

A Garmin lead ride of Pete’s route to the Skylark café at Staverton.
Four gathered at the start – Giles, Milton, Nigel and myself.
Nigel’s tyre was already bulging but we set off regardless.
At Gayton a sort of left/straight on turning caught us out and it didn’t look good for the rest of the ride if this was how it was starting.
At Tiffield confusion again and we decided to ignore the Garmin altogether and make our own way to the A5 where I knew we needed to be. We approached the turn for Duncote from the wrong direction but we were back on course at least.

Ice was an issue on the country roads and we all seemed to hit a patch at some point but miraculously stayed upright.
We ticked off the approaching villages one by one until another tricky junction at Byfield but the Garmin confirmed our position as ok when we continued over the A361.

Right on cue around eleven o’clock the rain came and so with it difficulty in even reading the Garmin. Wiping it clear of rain seemed to cause it to change screens and we suddenly lost our usual map for something different. One or two stops later and help from a kind local put us back on track although the gated road through Shuckburgh wasn’t on the planned route I’m sure.
Finally at the top of a hill there it was – the Skylark Café. The most welcome sight for four weary riders.
They gave us just 25mins to eat and drink as most tables were reserved. We were all cold and wet and understandably, Milton decided to call it a day and waited for his lift to arrive whilst we set off having reset the Garmin for the homeward journey.
Immediately, disaster struck. Giles got a puncture. Not ideal in the cold and wet conditions. Two pumps and a co2 canister later we on our way again but not for long. The slow puncture required regular topping up at regular intervals but we battled on.
Everdon gave us the hardest climb of the day but the tarmac seemed better than usual which was very welcome to our tired legs. Through the Stowes we went and onwards to Bugbrooke where Giles now decided to call it a day at the Five Bells pub after one final inflating of the flat tyre and waited for his lift home.
Nigel and I continued and split at Kislingbury to make our own way home.
My thanks to those who turned out today for a tough ride in cold conditions.

Ride to Staverton – Sunday 17th December

Phil Johnson is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance  47 miles
Refreshment stop  The Skylark Cafe at Staverton at 27 miles.
Pace  Steady
Time Expected Back  Around 2.30pm

This ride is 47 miles, along pleasant roads to the west of Northampton, at a steady pace of around 12 to 13mph.
Starting off at East Hunsbury, we will ride to Milton Malsor, on to Tiffield and then to Caldecote.  We will need to follow the path running beside the busy (and noisy) A5 for a short distance before crossing it at Duncote and back onto more bike friendly roads.
The ride will then continue east past Caswell, Millford, Little Preston and Woodford Halse before turning north just past Byfield.  From there we will ride to our refreshment stop at Staverton, arriving, hopefully, before 12.00.
Suitably refreshed, it’s a pleasant ride to the long climb at Everdon, the point at which any of us that were tempted by the all day breakfast may regret their decision.  We then continue on the final leg through Upper Stowe, Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and back to the start at East Hunsbury via Rothersthorpe.
Most of the roads are pleasant country roads with a few ups and downs, but with only one challenging climb.  We are likely to return around 2.30 p.m., possibly earlier, but please remember to bring lights.
We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.
Finally, sorry for any confusion about the ride leader – Phil Johnson has kindly volunteered to step in and lead the ride instead of Peter Bayles.  Feel free to contact either Phil (07927 377191) or Peter (07979 850096) for any questions.

Ride Report (or rather, Lunch Report) – Sunday 10th December

Brian, our Secretary, writes this report on our Christmas lunch at Stoke Bruerne:

Well, the snow came (about four inches of it) as forecast and at 9.00 a.m. the texts and phone calls were flowing with plans for the morning.  Were we riding to “The Navigation” or not?  The hard men went out on their bikes to test the snow, Peter on his knoblies and Alex with a cunning plan to ride to the lunch venue along the canal, complete with wet suit and snorkel just in case it was quicker in the canal.  However, it was the wrong kind of snow and sanity reigned and we grouped up in cars!

Unfortunately a few in the west found too many cars blocking the roads whilst those of us in the east were lucky to have the roads to ourselves.  Once onto the A45 and A508 it was plain sailing to The Navigation.  Ten of us made it from Northampton and six from Milton Keynes.  We almost had the place to ourselves as the expected 130 other customers that day did not turn up!

The meal was very good as was the company and I think we were glad to have made the effort.

Thanks to Mike Harris (CTC Milton Keynes) and Philip Gray (CTC Northampton) for organising the lunch and reminding us what food we had ordered!

Ride Report – Saturday 9th December

Milton led this pair of rides on Saturday morning.  (He also checked out the first few miles of the routes earlier in the morning because it had been particularly cold overnight – dedication!)  He writes:

The weather promised cold and ice and slippy roads and offered, in the end, only a bit of a chill.  The roads were free of frost and ice and mostly dry and the sun shone almost all the time.  It was on the cool side, but only the wimps stayed at home  ….  that means most of you of course!

Six of us met up at the Canoe Centre and three of the six were new to us and one of the remainder was a rare(ish) visitor, Geoff (surely we stop for coffee every 5 miles) which left only Giles and myself from the usual club riff raff.

Giles and John C took the 38-mile brisk option and from Salcey headed west to Hartwell before taking the road to Castlethorpe, Haversham and Litttle Linford and then turning north to reach Olney arriving about 10 minutes after the 31-mile moderate group who had got there via Stoke Goldington, Ravenstone and Weston Underwood.  Fine scones and maple-syruped pancakes were enjoyed alongside scrambled egg with smoked salmon and toasted teacakes before a quick visit to the adjacent bike shop – Pedalz – where Nigel G nearly cracked and bought a bike, and we were off home via Yardley Hastings, Castle Ashby and Cogenhoe.

Good cycling, good weather, good food and excellent company meant yet another Saturday morning well spent.