Ride report – Easter Monday 22nd April

James Holden went on this ride and writes:

For once,  Milton’s promise of a ride under warm sunny skies was kept. Soaked in factor fifty – or chip fat – seven of us congregated at Moulton for a bank holiday jaunt out to Café Ventoux at Tugby. Anyone who’s done this ride before knows that this is one of the more ‘undulating’ CTC routes – particularly when we cross the border into Leicestershire. With this in mind, special kudos has to be awarded to Geoff who rode it on one of his ‘fixies’
– no mean achievement given the 17% inclines that cropped up from time to time.

Heading out through Walgrave, Old, Harrington and skirting Desborough, Milton’s routing exposed us to a variety of terrain ranging from the smoothest tarmac to the kind of pitted surfaces usually associated with heavy bouts of aerial bombing. After Stoke Albany the swooping descents and thigh-burning short punchy climbs came thick and fast – as did the desire to stop for an ice cool beer in one of the many pub gardens that seemed to appear with increasing frequency. Arriving at Ventoux – popular as ever with the cycling community – we eagerly consumed a variety of cakes, baguettes and drinks. Of particular interest to everyone was Chris D’s choice of beverage (milk), which led to various confessions of dairy allergies and the unpleasant side effects that even looking at a glass of the white stuff can have for some of us.

The other topic of conversation was, of course, the ongoing saga of Milton’s battle with the 21st century in the form of his attempts to master the fine art of using a Garmin without thereby depleting 70% of its battery life within 45 minutes. Various solutions were considered – ranging from checking to see if he had the wifi enabled to making sure that the signal wasn’t being drained by interference from his pacemaker. Sadly none of this seemed to help, with the result that we left Ventoux with our ride leader’s GPS unit displaying low battery status, which, predictably, led to the inevitable missed turn and a nice little bit of extra mileage through exposed fields and a delightful headwind.

Aside from such minor mishaps, our route back was almost car free in places and took us through some lovely villages, none of whose names I can recall, and evermore enticing beer gardens. After passing through Braybrook it was back to Harrington, Old, Walgrave and, finally, Moulton once again. Many thanks to Milton for organising and leading what was a fine ride and the perfect ending to a bank holiday weekend.

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