Ride report – Saturday 27th October

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Autumn had well and truly arrived for todays ride to one of this years most popular café stops , the Harley Equestrian Centre near Woodford Halse. If we didn’t know it at the start we certainly did out on the road. Skies were clear and the sun was out initially.

Elspeth regrettably decided to pull out of leading the moderate ride leaving seven riders on the brisk ride including my returning neighbour Ian and our mutual friend and Monday night rider Chris on his first CTC ride. With two options available, James H decided to follow Elspeth’s moderate route which as it turned out was a brilliant move!

The ride blasted out of the blocks towards Milton Malsor before the hill at Gayton made us regret it. We weren’t warming up very much so it was best to get a move on as best we could. Wind-chill was noticeably dropping the temperatures somewhat. Total contrast to the week before.

The route undulated a little through familiar villages and it wasn’t long before the welcome signs for Woodford Halse started to appear.
I for one geared up for the two tiered climb prior to the café only to realise that Elspeth’s route came in from the opposite direction. We still climbed a little but it almost felt like we were going downhill in comparison to the double digit% brute on the other side. Chapeau! Elspeth.

Our favourite French chef greeted us in the usual friendly way as we sat down outside in the chilly air. The usual excellent service from the staff got us tucking into warm food quickly. But realising how cold it was getting we were soon on our way again.

It definitely seemed colder as we set off. The sun having long gone leaving grey skies instead. Midway home we split up. Not intentionally, we just lost Ian, Chris and John Weller. A quick call confirmed they were ok and they made their own way back. Pete and I actually caught Ian on Banbury Lane having split again near home.

A chilly ride today which sets the scene for the next couple of months.

Thanks to James for leading a cunning route by Elspeth!

Thanks also to Chris and Ian for getting John back home and apologies for losing you along the way. Two fine fellows.



Ride to Woodford Halse – Saturday 27th October

Elspeth is leading the Moderate ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.

Meeting point:  Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ

Distance:  34 miles for the Moderate ride, the Brisk ride will be a few miles longer

Refreshment stop:  Harley Equestrian, Woodford Halse

Pace:  Moderate (11 – 12 mph), Brisk (14+ mph)

Time expected back:  2 p.m.


We have a pair of rides this Saturday. One “Moderate” and one “Brisk” with a common tea stop at Woodford Halse.

Elspeth is leading the Moderate ride and James the Brisk ride.

The Moderate ride heads out from East Hunsbury to Milton Malsor and up the hill to Gayton. Having paused to regain our breath we then make our way on quiet lanes through Eastcote and Pattishall before crossing the A5 at Fosters Booth.

It is then on to Grimscote, Litchborough and Maidford before turning north at Adstone and on to Woodford Halse (with a nice long descent just prior to entering the village). Our tea stop is at Harley Equestrian about half a mile south of Woodford Halse where we should meet up with the Brisk group.

Our journey home sees us returning to Adstone via Eydon and Canons Ashby before proceeding along nice quiet lanes back to the A5 crossing at Fosters Booth. A final stretch along Banbury Lane brings us back to the suburbs of West Hunsbury before the final short climb back to our start.

The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton account on RideWithGPS:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28439682 (Moderate route)

Any questions please contact Elspeth (07889 606274).

Ride report – Sunday 21st October

Peter Bayles went on this ride and writes:

Ten riders turned out for Phil Letts’ semi off-road steady ride to Willen Lakes, Milton Keynes; a really enjoyable ride in perfect Autumn weather.

Setting off from East Hunsbury, Phil, sporting his still new gravel bike, was determined to get us onto as much rough ground as possible to prove its worth.   To that end, we were quickly taking a detour off Quinton Road to go through Foxfield’s Country Park at Grange Park, before continuing on to Castlethorpe by road.

Shortly after that, we were treated to a wonderful route in the Ouse Valley Park, closely followed by another picturesque route around Linford Park avoiding, what appeared to be, every local dog enjoying walkies in the glorious sunshine.

It was at this point that Martin had to leave us to return for a family event.  Really Martin, is that more important than cycling with friends?

Anyway, after that, Phil’s leading skills started to deteriorate and worry the group, and were clearly not up to navigating the route through Willen Park to our coffee stop.  James, however, came to the rescue, with an incredible knowledge of Milton Keynes and the Parks and led us around stone circles and spontaneous gatherings and on to the Willen Café.

Coffee and cake consumed, the group noticed that Brian had taken his bike into the toilet before setting off, which was met with reactions ranging from surprise to genuine concern as to the nature of the relationship between him and his bike.  Still, it provided a fun photo opportunity as the pair emerged from the toilet.


James led us skilfully back through the park on the return journey before handing the navigation back to Phil who brought us home.
The group had a very enjoyable day’s cycling, and it made a change to be riding past friendly pedestrians on the trials, as opposed to (occasionally) less friendly motorists on the roads.  Thank you Phil (and James).

Ride to Willen Lake – Sunday 21st October

Phil Letts is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 40 miles
Refreshment stop: Willen Lake
Pace: Steady Ride/Semi-off road

We follow Route 6 much of the time via Salcey Forest, Hanslope & Castlethorpe. A byeway through to Cosgrove Leisure park and on to the canal path of the Grand Union to Willen Lake, MK . After brunch/lunch at Willen Lake the return is via Little Linford, Gayhurst, Hanslope, Long Street & Salcey. Although the whole route is good surface for the 12 miles to the Cosgrove Park, from then on it’s gravelly aka BVW and some of the Redways are probably too ridged for best bikes so better to use an MTB or Gravel bike.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact PhilL on 07867388592.




Ride report – Saturday 13th October

Phil Letts went on this ride and writes:

It was without too much trepidation that the three of us set off to ride Elspeth’s Moderate ride yesterday -Saturday- because after all, the weather forecast was telling us the wind was ‘dying away’ and there would only be scattered light showers up to 10 am. Hah!

After an hour and a half slogging away against a tough head-wind and soaked to the skin, we followed our leader into the Salcey Forest Café for an early coffee and a decision-time debate.

By the time we’d had that, the skies had brightened up to match our spirits. So off again on a very pleasant back route via Ashton, Long Street and Hanslope. Once we turned at Castlethorpe, it was ‘spinnakers’ up and running before the wind.

Five minutes later, or so it seemed, we were back at the ‘caf’ to join Tim’s brisk group, who we thought would be long gone (turned out they’d had a ‘brisk’ shelter from the rain too!) so we FORCED ourselves to have another coffee and cake.

Enjoyable ride, ‘turned out nice again’ as George Formby used to say. Our thanks to Elspeth who it seems knows EVERY pothole between here and MK and where MK’s tarmac road-surfacing ends and Northampton’s DOESN’T EVEN START!

Ride to Castlethorpe – Saturday 13th October

Elspeth & Tim are leading these rides and write:
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 30 miles for the Moderate ride, 37 miles for the Brisk ride
Refreshment stop: Grounds Café, Salcey Forest
Pace: Moderate (11 – 12 mph), Brisk (14+ mph)
Time expected back: 1.30 p.m.


We have a pair of rides with a shared tea stop this Saturday.

Both rides head out from East Hunsbury on the Newport Pagnell road before heading through Salcey Forest and on to Hartwell and Ashton. From here we take the lane to Pindon End where we may get to see the pair of Owls currently occupying the old barn.

Then it’s on to Hanslope & Castlethorpe after which the two rides diverge. The Moderate group head straight back to Hanslope & Salcey Forest whereas the Brisk group head in the opposite direction towards Haversham, Little Linford & Gayhurst before returning to Hanslope & Salcey Forest where they should meet up with the Moderate group at Grounds Café.

After refreshment it’s a short ride back on the Quinton road.

The weather forecast for this weekend looks like it might rain at some point, so it will be a good idea to bring a waterproof and maybe fit mudguards if you have them.

The proposed routes can be viewed (and downloaded as gpx files) from the CTC Northampton account on RideWithGPS:


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28439647  (Moderate route)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28439645  (Brisk route)


Any questions please contact Elspeth (07889 606274) or Tim (07749 477231).