James Holden led this ride and writes:
Four gentlemen departed Brampton Valley Way on Saturday’s brisk ride out to The Willows Café in Barby. Going by the colour of the sky – a shade of bruised grey – and the forecast for an all day downpour, it seemed as though cycling gods had forsaken us on this particular occasion. However, as it turned out, our trepidation was unfounded: the rain held off, the temperature remained pleasantly mild and the sun even attempted to make a few (weak) appearances.
Our outward route passed through familiar territory: Harlestone, Althorp, Wilton, etc., and whilst there were a few ‘upward’ bits there was nothing especially troublesome to either legs or lungs. The range of cakes and savouries on offer at The Willows was up to the usual high standard with the paninis, in particular, proving popular. The only blight being Giles’s disappointment that the cafe no longer had its little bicycle windmills on display.
In contrast to our outward journey, the return leg was – at least initially – on roads relatively unknown to us, traversing the county boundary into Warwickshire and places such as Hillmorton and Clifton-upon-Dunsmore. As well as being unfamiliar, this part of the route was also pleasantly flat, with some stretches looking ideal for a spot of time-trialling. Alas, the lack of elevation became a distant memory as we crossed back into the county and headed homewards via Yelvertoft, Guilsborough, Teeton and Spratton Hill… The final stretch back to Brampton was – due to a routing error by yours truly – along the main Welford Road, which, whilst busy, wasn’t too hair-raising an experience.
Thanks to Giles, Peter and Phil J for coming along and ensuring this didn’t turn into a Cycling UK solo ride!