Ride to Yelvertoft – Sunday 30th December

Peter Bayles is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Sixfields – TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Distance: 33 miles
Refreshment stop: Whilton Locks (Garden Village) at 25 miles
Pace: Steady
Time Expected Back: Around 1.00pm

 
Sunday’s ride is 33 miles at an average steady pace between 12 and 13 mph, riding to the Northwest of Northampton, using mostly pleasant small roads.

We will set off from Sixfields, riding up through Duston then New Duston, before breaking out onto more enjoyable roads towards Upper Harlestone.

Passing through the Althorp Estate we ride on to Long Buckby and West Haddon to our furthermost point at Yelvertoft. We change direction, continuing on mostly minor roads through Crick, Watford and Norton to our refreshment stop at Whilton Locks at 25 miles.

The return leg is short and on faster roads, so we can almost roll back the last seven  miles to our start.

Because the majority of the roads are small roads and byways, expect a higher number of potholes (if that’s possible), and several cattle grids. The route is quite hilly, although there are no stupidly steep sections.

As usual we look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join us.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Ride report – Boxing day

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Milton talked about three spirits at the start of this annual Boxing day outing but not of the ghostly kind and as such was as good as his word as he merely sauntered off towards Little Houghton with six other riders following behind at a comfortable pace. A damp, dank route lay ahead.

The fast descent at Cogenhoe was a little less intimidating than several days ago when the storm had deposited plenty of grit and gravel at the bottom of the hill. Unscathed we headed for Whiston hill next and for the second time in as many rides we chose to avoid the climb and take a more leisurely route towards Castle Ashby along less undulating roads.

The Boxing day hunt was gathering there and we cut through it on our way to Yardley Hastings.

Chocolate box houses were aplenty through Weston Underwood and Stoke Goldington before joining the road to Salcey and upping the pace briefly before our coffee and cake stop.

Salcey was bustling with families and cyclists and we were lucky to get a table in the warmth.
The service was good and choice of cakes excellent. Flapjacks a favourite.

The group then headed back to Quinton and parted towards Preston Deanery as has become customary along this road and we all headed home.

If you haven’t done this ride before then it’s well worth a look. An easy ride, great café stop and good company makes it a must do in the CTC Northampton calendar.

A classic from the Cadman handbook.

Ride report – Saturday 22nd December

Milton went on this ride and writes:

By the time we congregated at Castle Ashby café – the moderate riders got there 10 minutes before the brisks – 12 had become 13 as we were joined there by our much missed Eleanor who had cycled from home to meet us. She possibly wanted to meet her husband John too, but that seems so unlikely that I discount it.

So … 12 set off on a sunny and cool, but not cold day from EH in two groups. I was with the seven brisks and we made pretty good progress on the 27 odd miles to coffee. We skirted Olney, and then moved on to Harrold before turning up the endless bungee road towards Bozeat and then to the Castle via the low road.

Most of the inside seats had already been taken by the time we arrived, and although no sign had actually been posted on the door saying, “You arrive late, you eat outside” we got the message and stayed in the cold. Service was fabulously inept in taking orders and, from the same waitress, correspondingly efficient in serving them – so all OK there then.

We bunched up again after coffee and took the return route via Yardley Hastings, Denton and Horton before splitting up to go home our separate ways.
Most of us would have got home by 1pm leaving the rest of the day to do some more Christm ……zzzzzzz!

Excellent weather and a good route made for a lovely morning.

Thanks to Tim and also Peter who led the moderate group.

The next ride is on Boxing day from the Canoe Centre at 9.30.

Merry Christmas to everyone likely to make that ride and Bah Humbug to the rest of you!

Boxing day ride to Salcey Forest

Milton is leading this festive ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 28 miles
Refreshment stop: Salcey Forest Café
Pace: Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1pm

This is a ride for the more languid amongst us. We shall, in limpid fashion, saunter from the Canoe Centre to Little Houghton and thence to Cogenhoe, going down the steep hill there at a snail’s pace to ensure that hangovers and swelling guts are not disturbed in any way.

We then crawl up the hill to Castle Ashby and, once there, we wait for the ones who couldn’t even make the crawl and all set off together to Yardley Hastings, and then to Weston Underwood and the lovely Ravenstone having skirted the edges of Olney. The last few miles take us from Stoke Goldington round Salcey to the café in the forest.

 
It’s Christmas and we won’t have eaten for as much as two hours and so it’ll be time to get stuck into the savoury treats and cakes at the café. Only when we are certain that we have overstuffed ourselves again, will it be time to set off for the eight remaining miles, (not a climb in sight) to take us through Quinton, Preston Deanery and Great Houghton back to the Canoe Centre.

 
It’s only about 28 miles in all and I imagine we’ll be back to base not much after mid-day – certainly by 1. It’s an enjoyable ride and not too challenging and a good opportunity to drag out members of the household who have been resistant to the pleasures of the bike so far this year!

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 Milton Cadman on 01604 416315

Ride to Castle Ashby – Saturday 22nd December

Peter & Tim are leading these rides and write:

 
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 34 miles for the Moderate ride, 40 miles for the Brisk ride
Refreshment stop: The Buttery, Castle Ashby
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. What better excuse to avoid last minute Christmas shopping than a bike ride around local lanes!

Both rides head out from East Hunsbury on the Quinton Road to Salcey Forest. From here the Moderate group take an optional 5 mile loop around Hanslope & Hartwell before continuing through the forest and turning left to Horton and then on to Brafield & Cogenhoe where the hill is joyfully descended en route to the Tea Stop at Castle Ashby.

OK, having whizzed down Cogenhoe hill there is a small hill back up to the café, but the Moderate group should nonetheless be able to bag the best seats whilst waiting for the “Brisks” to arrive.

In contrast the Brisk ride eschews the loop around Hanslope & Hartwell opting instead for additional miles out beyond Olney to Harrold where the delights of Dungee Hill await. It is then back via Bozeat, Easton Maudit & Grendon to meet the Moderate group at Castle Ashby for a well deserved rest.

Both groups share the same route home via Chadstone, Denton, Horton and Hackleton.
The proposed routes can be viewed (and downloaded as gpx files) from the CTC Northampton account on RideWithGPS:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28939883 (Moderate route)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28939887 (Brisk route)

Any questions please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Ride report – Sunday 16th December

Milton went on this ride and writes:

On a chilly morning four met at BVW for James’ 50 odd miler through Barby going on to Badby before turning for home.

We decided to shorten the ride and change to larger roads as there was still a frost around. No matter, just before we passed Althorp James and Phil came off on black ice.

Phil went into the grass and was muddied but unhurt, but James sustained what looked like a shoulder injury and was unable to continue. The ride was abandoned and a car was summoned (thank you May) to take James to hospital where he is currently waiting to see a doctor.

The rest of us limped home separately keeping an eye out for the dreaded ice, which, of course, you cannot see. The accident happened at a very slow speed as we were already concerned about the road, but it serves as a reminder to us all just how vulnerable we are in slippery conditions.

We all wish James a speedy recovery and look forward to an early rise in temperatures.

 

Ride to Badby – Sunday 16th December

James Holden is leading this ride and writes:

 
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 52 miles
Refreshment stop: Willows Coffee Shop, Barby
Pace: Steady

 
Starting off from Brampton Valley Way, we’ll head out towards Norton via Great Brington and Whilton. Once in Norton we then take a delightfully ‘agricultural’ lane in the direction of The Willows Café at Barby Garden Centre (16 miles). It’s an early stop but there is a slight shortage of coffee shops on this route so it’ll probably be best to get the sustenance in whilst we can.

Suitably refreshed, we’ll continue on through Willoughby and Priors Marston. Heading on towards Badby and then Everdon, we’ll be on some very quiet lanes populated by wandering hens, lost sheep and the occasional duck pond.

For anyone fancying a pint/coffee/pink gin (Milton) and a packet of crisps there’ll be the option of an additional stop at The Plough Inn in Everdon. Unfortunately, with it being a Sunday they won’t be offering their usual array of bar snacks so we’ll be denied on that front. On the plus side, there are plenty of shops and convenience stores along the way so we can stop for sandwiches, sushi or mince pies whenever we feel the need to do so.

The final stage of our journey sees us heading us back to Northampton via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke and Harlestone. I’ve ridden the route a couple of times in the past and it is really nice – not too demanding and very picturesque in places. It’ll come in at around the 52 mile mark so given the time of year it’ll probably be best to bring out the lights/candleholders for reasons of safety.

The forecast for Sunday is dry but a bit chilly. Hope to see you there.

James (07841 933046)