Circuit of Rutland Water – Sunday 17th February

Phil Letts is leading this ride and writes:


Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 25 miles off road circuit of Rutland Water
Refreshment stop: Various coffee stops


Members wishing to attend this ride/circuit of Rutland Water will need access to bike carrying transport to/from Rutland Water, a journey which takes about 50mins.
I’m proposing to meet at the car park opposite the Windhover/BVW at 9.30am then drive in convoy through to Uppingham and the start point at Manton where there is limited free parking (to avoid the £6 fees at Normanton!)
The off road ride surface is a mixture of tarmac, roughish gravel and cobbles so either an MTB or Gravel bike is required, definitely not a road bike.
It would be useful to know who intends to do this ride.
I can offer bike rack space for one or two more.
I’m on 07867388592


Ride to Upper Stowe – Saturday 9th February

Tim is leading these rides and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 29 miles for the Moderate ride, 37 miles for the Brisk ride
Refreshment stop: The Barn Café Restaurant, Upper Stowe
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 (9th February).
Both rides head out from East Hunsbury through Rothersthorpe, Gayton Marina & Tiffield before crossing the A5 at Fosters Booth.

They then continue along Banbury Lane before diverging at the Blakesley / Maidford cross roads. From here the Moderate group heads north via Maidford & Farthingstone and then up the hill to the southern edge of Everdon Stubbs before arriving for refreshments at the Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe.

Meanwhile the Brisk group take a longer loop via Adstone, Preston Capes & Everdon before climbing the somewhat steeper hill up through Everdon Stubbs where they join the Moderate route to Upper Stowe.

Suitably refreshed, both groups follow the same route home to East Hunsbury via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke & Rothersthorpe.

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

Tim will be leading the Moderate ride, but the Brisk ride will be self led (so please ensure you download the route to your bike computer if you are planning on attending the Brisk ride).

Any questions please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Ride report – Sunday 3rd February

Peter Bayles went on this ride and writes:

Ten riders set off from Brampton Valley Way on Sunday morning for a moderate ride in wonderful winter sunshine, although the temperature started off at a bracing -4 degrees.

Phil’s route (shown below) was perfect for the conditions though, being mostly off-road on smaller tracks and pathways that circled Northampton. This meant that any ice that we encountered was not much of an issue, in fact the grip was improved on some stretches where the ground was frozen and rough.



All riders came well prepared with suitable bikes and warm clothing. Brian was sporting his usual antique Proflex full suspension bike, and James entertained us with his automatic saddle that moved up or down at the touch of a button – just the job for slippy conditions.

We rode via Boughton and Moulton Park to the café stop at Billing Aquadrome, a pleasant and cost effective venue. John, however, shot off ahead, missing the turn for the café and somehow ending up at Billing Garden Centre before realising what had happened and joining the group again after 15 minutes.

As is often the case, Hartley’s healthy eating regime meant that he immediately ordered a bacon butty, and what a bacon butty it was; thick bread and loads of bacon at a bargain price. Stupidly, Hartley decided to visit the little boy’s room before he started eating which, predictably, gave Viki the chance to tuck in and devour half of his breakfast before he returned.

We were just setting off when Phil, our bold and fearless ride leader, discovered that his front tyre had a slow puncture. It was so cold that Phil really wasn’t keen on getting his hands numbed by changing the tube, so opted instead to keep the tyre topped up by stopping every 30 minutes or so.

The return route went through Brackmills and up the steep footpath to Hardingstone. Half way up the hill, there is always a patch of sheet ice when it’s cold enough, which is difficult for both pedestrians and cyclists. Our bold and fearless leader, followed closely by Chris and James, stormed up the hill and over the ice, finding grip and looking impressive. John, however, was not so lucky and preceded to do the classic sideways fall with shoes still clipped into his pedals, impressively managing to soften the impact by falling onto the verge. The rest of the group immediately dismounted and walked up!

If anything good came from John’s acrobatic display, it was that his previously idolised bike was no longer perfect, and we had to stop at the top of the hill to re-align his saddle. But we’re still jealous of it John.

A few miles from home, Phil finally decided to change his tube and discovered that Schwalbe tyres on a Boardman gravel bike clincher wheel are tight and next to impossible to remove at the side of the road in the cold. Eventually Phil, with a little help and muscle from fellow riders, managed to get the tyre seated again and started to re-inflate it.

Perhaps it was the cold or perhaps the less than impressive pump, but whatever the reason, Phil only managed to half inflate the tyre and limped carefully home, not quite beaten by the Boardman, but severely slapped.

A great ride, so many thanks to Phil for organising and the other riders who joined.