Ride report – Sunday 31st March

Phil Johnson led this ride and writes:

Just a trio of riders joined me on this Mothers day ride to Draycote Water. Frankly that was three more than I was expecting. John Winn, Hartley and Pete Sexton, who I would like to officially welcome to our club, turned out on a chillier day than we had on Saturday. Pete will be a great addition to CTC Northampton I’m sure.

We pretty much ambled across to Whilton Locks through Pineham and St Crispin’s at no great speed – in fact your mother could have done it!
Pete was introduced to our favourite gated road at Norton complete with a gravel downhill and several cattle grids but coped admirably. John managed to avoid the catastrophe of last time when he went over a grid so quickly his tyre blew out.

Safely down we cruised through Welton and Barby with the wind noticeably stronger than when we had set out. The cycle paths on the Southam road were clear for our group and we made swift progress into Dunchurch and out the other side for the last stretch in to Draycote Water.

Mother’s day celebrations were in full swing but we managed to bag a table for the four of us. Hartley tried to eat the legendary jam and cream scones like a burger and soon realised that this wasn’t possible. Cream everywhere! Respect from Pete though for sheer effort.

Straight out of the reservoir we hit a headwind and it accompanied us all the way home making it a real battle in the saddle.
We slowed for the llamas/alpacas that were crossing in Willoughby – not a sight you see every day and headed for Braunston. A climb or two later for the embattled foursome found us back in Norton and the road to Brockhall although I almost missed it looking at the Fish and Chip shop nearby.

Wind continued to slow our progress towards Bugbrooke but we finally made it to Kislingbury where we said farewell to John whilst three continued on the scheduled route home.

A ride of two halves today really but thanks to the trio for sticking it out. Chapeau!



Ride to Draycote – Sunday 31st March

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: 57 miles
Refreshment stop: Waterside Restaurant, Draycote
Pace: Steady
Time Expected Back: Around 3pm
For those of you without any Mother’s Day commitments this Sunday, we have a pleasant ride over the border into Warwickshire and Draycote Water. It’s a reservoir and country park near the village of Dunchurch, 3.75 miles south of Rugby owned and operated by Severn Trent Water. It is named after the nearby hamlet of Draycote.
Once through Whilton Locks there’s a familiar gated road at Norton taking us over to Welton and on to Barby. Dunchurch won’t be far off by then and the cycle paths alongside the busy Southam road will keep us safe for a while. A last stretch out of Dunchurch gets us to Draycote Water and those great jam and cream scones you’ve no doubt heard of from the Waterside restaurant which has lovely elevated views over the water.
The return journey takes us through Grandborough, Willoughby and Braunston. Then it’s back to Welton and Norton before a different route home through Brockhall, Flore and Bugbrooke.
There’s nothing too testing on this ride else I wouldn’t be leading it! There’s a variety of different surfaces along the way – all road bike friendly. Cycle paths, gated roads and some smooth tarmac once we go over the border. Worth a look if you haven’t been out that way before and you’ll still be back in time for afternoon tea with your mother in law!
I’m on 07927377191 for any further information.

Ride report – Saturday 23rd March

Milton went on this ride and writes:

We were thirteen strong at the start in East Hunsbury on a cool and breezy but sunny Saturday morning. Good to have Chris and Ian along and to see Peter again as well as Justin who I don’t think has been out with us for a while.
Most of the riders decided they were up for a bit of a clatter in the brisk group and, in fact, by the time we got home I saw that the average had been 15.9 mph which is going some for us.
At the front of the peloton after Helmdon I distracted myself by chatting to another rider, (this will come as a big surprise to most!) and by not seeing a turn on my Garmin I cut off a couple of miles of Peter’s route including the horrid hill at Eydon. A bit of a result was the general verdict, but Peter, when he did finally arrive at the café having done the horrid hill, seemed to feel that we had emasculated his ride somewhat! Or was he just annoyed that he had had to climb the horrid hill whilst we were sunning ourselves over a coffee? Ah Peter, bitterness is so unattractive!
It was only a little over ten miles home which we mostly did in one large group and we were back home by not much later than 1pm

A lovely ride in bright Spring weather along a beautiful rural route. Good ride Peter, thanks.


Ride to Sulgrave – Saturday 23rd March

Peter Bayles is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 39 mls (Brisk) or 33 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop: NT Café at Canons Ashby
Pace: Brisk or Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1.30pm

We have two shortish rides on Saturday starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library.

Hopefully the weather will be slightly better than of late, without the high wind gusts that we have endured over the past couple of weeks.

The Brisk Ride is 39 miles at a pace of around 15 mph, with the Moderate Ride 33 miles, depending on the riders turning up, and will be around 11 to 12 mph. Cake stop will be at the National Trust Café at Canons Ashby, and is around 25 miles for the Brisk Riders, and 19 miles for the Moderates.

We will leave East Hunsbury, riding generally West, through Milton Malsor, Tiffield and Caldecote, crossing the A5 at Duncote.

From there we ride through the villages of Greens Norton, Bradden and Wappenham, where the two groups’ routes split. The Brisk Riders will continue on to Sulgrave, enjoying the climbs before Eydon before hitting the café at Canons Ashby. The Moderate Riders take the more direct route to the café via Weedon Lois and Moreton Pinkney, and should be ensconced in time to secure the seating and check out the cake prior to the Brisks’ arrival.

The ride back is a mere 13 miles, passing through Maidford, Caswell, Pattishall and Rothersthorpe, before returning to our starting point at East Hunsbury.

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 Peter Bayles.

Brisk Ride Route:

Moderate Ride route:


James Cairncross has kindly planned this ride and will be our guide, with Peter Bayles as Leader.
James Writes:
Start time:  9.30 am at Hunsbury for the 50 mile ride.  10.45 am at Linford for the 20 mile ride.
Meeting point:  
     – Long Ride (50 miles), Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury
             NN4 0RZ
     – Shorter Ride (20 miles), Black Horse Pub at Linford.  
            Parking for pub at Stonepit Field Park (off Wolverton Road) MK14 5AT
Distance:  50 or 20 miles for just the MK parks.
Refreshment stop:  Howe Park Wood Cafe
Pace:  Steady
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.30pm
Riders can choose between starting at Northampton and riding to and around the MK Parks, or picking up the Northampton riders at Great Linford and just riding the MK Parks. 
The ride uses roads or surfaced paths throughout.
Starting at Hunsbury library, those riding the 50 mile route will take the familiar route to Salcey Forest via Quinton and on to Stoke Goldington and Gayhurst, where we take the turning up the hill to Little Linford and then back down again to Newport Pagnell.  From here we join any riders wanting to just ride around the parks, and say goodbye to the roads for 20 or so miles as we join Railway Walk, one of MK’s ‘redway’ cycle routes. 
We then join the leisure route system (another MK term, this time a shared cycle/pedestrian pathway) to follow Loughton Valley Park past the famous Concrete Cows and the less famous Roman villa at Bancroft to Lodge Lake, Teardrops Lakes and finally Furzton Lake, where we join Tattenhoe Valley Park to travel to our café stop at Howe Park Wood. 
Fully refreshed we then take a slightly different route back through Tattenhoe Valley to the National Bowl. At this point we briefly leave the parks to use the Pear Tree Lane redway to skirt an industrial grid square and into Woughton on the Green – a medieval village that you won’t believe is in the centre of the city.. 
We then turn north and travel through Ouzel Valley Park to Willen Lake, the Canal Broadwalk, 
Linford Manor Park and say goodbye to the 20 milers.  Then we continue past Stanton Low Park to join the Swans Way to Haversham. Back on the roads, we head to Hanslope via the safer roads through Castlethorpe and on to Hartwell and Salcey Forest, where we head back to the start point in Hunsbury.
This is a fairly flat route on surfaced paths throughout. Normal road bikes will be fine but 23mm tyres might give a rough ride on the leisure routes. If you have a gravel bike then that would be perfect for this ride. One or two bells in the group would be handy as we share some of the route with pedestrians!
As usual 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 Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Ride to Thornby – Saturday 9th March

Brian is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: Brisk 42 miles / Moderate 32 miles
Refreshment stop: Buddhist centre café
Pace: Brisk 14mph / Moderate 12mph
Time Expected Back: By 1:30pm


From MCP we head up to Walgrave and then on to Harrington. From there it is Gt Oxendon, Sibbertoft, Welford and Cold Ashby (Brisk group) or Kelmarsh and Naseby (mod group), to join up at Thornby for coffee at the Buddhist centre.

Return via Guilsborough, Creaton, Brixworth, Holcot to Moulton. Should be back by 1.30pm or before.

Free car park opposite the Co-op. (see www.ctc-northampton.org.uk )

Do join us.

Brisk https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29429252

Moderate https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29429185

More details from Brian on 01604 622073 ( 07722 055149 )

Ride report – Sunday 3rd March

Brian Tunbridge went on this ride and writes:

Who would venture out on a morning starting in light rain which was forecast to last all morning followed by high winds later, for an off-road ride to Lamport ?  Well four riders did meet up at the Canoe Centre to join Phil Letts as ride leader.

We welcomed Peter for his second ride with the group, now known as the ‘hard-man’ as he rode in shorts and no gloves !!

The ride took us along the Nene embankment and beyond Upton where we encountered our first mud section. The award for bike handling skills went to John Weller who was on a road bike with slick tyres ! Given the gloopy conditions mountain bikes were the best option today.

We then continued on a mix of roads , cycle tracks , forest paths to the Brampton Valley way and along a very wet track to Lamport. No coffee stop yet as we turned for Scaldwell, and into the wind for Brixworth Country Park and welcome hot drinks and food. Peter thoughtfully asked for kitchen towel so that we did not deposit half of the Brampton Valley Way on the plastic seats. (what no mudguards !!)

The wind was gathering pace by this time and we finished off the ride via Pitsford and Moulton where we disbanded.

Despite the damp conditions, spirits were high and we all enjoyed the ride. Thanks to Phil for planning the route which is shown below.