Ride to Banbury – Sunday 2nd June

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:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Hillier Garden Centre, Banbury
Pace:  Steady

The historic market town of Banbury in North Oxfordshire is our destination for this Sunday’s steady ride. Follow your nose down Banbury lane and you won’t go far wrong in finding the café stop at the Hillier Garden Centre.

There’s a minor diversion along the way but Banbury lane is pretty much our guide through Cold Higham, Moreton Pinkney and Thorpe Mandeville at the end of the lane. Is there a simpler ride out on the CTC calendar?

Once through Chacombe on the outskirts of Banbury, there’s one or two cycle paths we’ll be using before the run in to Spiceball Park and our tea stop.

Situated close to the centre of Banbury, we’ll find a charming Hillier restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating which is often a bit of a sun trap. Our bikes can be parked right there too.

In contrast the ride back has plenty of twists and turns through a number of villages including Cropredy which hosts the annual Fairport Cropredy music festival. Appletree, West Farndon and Woodford Halse will also be on route and from there it should all be quite a familiar ride back to the start.

It’s undulating and despite the simple route out, is quite a scenic ride nonetheless.

Hope to see you there in the predicted fine weather.

Ride report – Saturday 25th May

Brian led this ride and writes:

Spring like temperatures and the sun brought 13 riders to the start at East Hunsbury for the circular ride to Whittlebury Bakery. We welcomed new riders Peter, Andy and Darryl. In true race fashion we had a neutralised roll out of the whole group off Hunsbury Hill and down to the small cycle path which led us onto Banbury Lane.
As the lights on the bridge changed the Brisk group of six took off under the leadership of Philip G whilst the seven moderate riders set off behind to enjoy the sun and the countryside.
The route was out in the direction of Bugbrooke where the two rides split, the moderate group heading for Litchborough and Maidford . They then headed SE in almost a straight line down to Silverstone which was a welcome stones throw from Whittlebury. The café is at the top of a short steep climb so the stop for coffee and cake was appreciated.
The Brisk group had a couple of the new riders and started slightly fast, but found its rhythm by Weedon. Here a leg-stretching extra six mile loop began, including climbs through Weedon Bec, and the steep hill from Everdon towards Fawsley and its dappled woods.

After several more hills they reached the café just as the Moderate group was queuing up for the coffee. The ride must have been somewhat of a challenge as most of the brisk group ordered double cakes (well it was a bakery!).

The arrival of such a large group overwhelmed them at first but reinforcements were called in and everything was first rate.
Re-fuelled the group returned the 10 miles to EH aided by a tail wind. Thanks to Philip Gray for leading the Brisk group.



Ride to Whittlebury – Saturday 25th May

Brian is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance:  37 miles / 32 miles
Refreshment stop:  Whittlebury Bakery
Pace:  Brisk / Moderate
Choice of two rides at either a Brisk (14mph+ average) 37miles
or Moderate pace (12-13mph ) 32 miles.

Both groups meeting up at the Whittlebury Bakery Café for coffee.

The ride is mainly on quiet roads in rolling countryside. From East Hunsbury the route is out through Gayton, Nether Heyford, Everdon, Preston Capes. From there we loop back through Blakesley and Silverstone to Whittlebury and the café (through Litchborough for the Moderate pace group). After that it is a short ride home via Stoke Bruerne and Blisworth.

More details from Brian on 01604 622073 or text 07722 055149

Do join us.


Ride report – Sunday 19th May

Milton led this ride and writes

Ten cyclists waited nearly an hour for the last of the six bacon butties we had ordered from Grant at the Bikebus to arrive, and none of us seemed to mind. The sun was shining and the route had been pretty quiet and car free and Spring gleamed fresh in every hedgerow. What need was there to rush, and anyway, Grant had lots of troubles with his new oven and was doing his best. We all have lives to live, homes to work on, children to care for, and sometimes, just sometimes, it’s good to be away and on the road!

We’d set off from the Canoe Centre at 9.30 with two new riders in tow, Darryl and Ron, which was cheering. By the time we’d hauled ourselves up to Grendon via Little Houghton and Cogenhoe and then set off to Easton Maudit and towards Dungee Hill we had lost one, who was tired and set off to a coffee at the garden centre at Poddington, but gained another, John We….   so we were still ten. Jackets and arm warmers were stripped off by the time we had reached Newton Blossomville in the increasing heat of the sun and the remaining four or five  miles to the cafe were a delight.

It would seem unkind to mention that Brian and Peter went off piste at a point when they were attending to neither the ride leader nor their Garmins and got lost for about ten minutes and took half the group with them… so I won’t.
Clouds followed us home but kept from bursting until nearly the last, so, we were indeed blessed.

A lovely day and home by 2.30, so nothing not to like, and that included a second stop at Salcey forest for most of us to top up the caffeine levels.

Thanks all for coming out .

Ride to Bourne End – Sunday 19th May

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  The Bikebus,  Bourne End,   Beds.
Pace:  Steady
Return: by 2:30

The weather will be, as ever, perfect and should stay like that all day as we head south into what is surely bandit country – by which I mean Bedford.

We set off through Little Houghton to Cogenhoe and Grendon before Easton Maudit and then, for once, we go down the endless Bungee Hill to Turvey. Then it’s Harrold and Carlton before we reach the gorgeously named Newton Blossomville. We’re now on some lovely quiet lanes where we are much more likely to meet a bike than a car, that will eventually lead us to the charming Bikebus at Bourne End which is a double decker bus sited in the grounds of a farm. There, Grant makes fine bacon butties as well as selling excellent cakes and fine coffee at a reas ….. Ok cheap!

The return is through Little and North Crawley, Chicheley and Sherrington before we find ourselves in the better known surroundings of Filgrave, Tyringham and Stoke Goldington. Ever onwards we pass Salcey, although a stop for a quickie at the cafe is definitely a possibility; and then home via Quinton and Preston Deanery. It’s not too lumpy and I think it will make an ideal Spring trip.
If you download the attached file, and I wish you would, you’ll find a daft little loop as we leave the bus on our return home. Something entered my Garmin at dead of night and stuck that in to annoy me, and very successful it was too. We shall ignore that loop! Whilst we are on Garmins there might also be a bit of a loop taking the ride past my address at the beginning. Something else that’s been loaded whilst my back was turned. Another thing to ignore as we set off directly from the Canoe Centre.
We ought to be back by about 2.30pm give or take.

Sunday, on the saddle, in the warmth  –  why wouldn’t you be there?

Ride to Barby – Saturday 11th May

James Holden is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance:  38 miles / 31 miles
Refreshment stop:  The Willows Café, Barby
Pace:  Brisk/Moderate
This Saturday’s brisk ride comes in at around 38 miles. Leaving from Brampton Valley Way, we’ll climb across the Althorp estate and wind our way on towards Whilton Lock. Once across the A5 we’ll we head up Station Road and after a few more undulating miles, we’ll stop for coffee at The Willows Café (located at Barby Nurseries – 17 miles).

Suitably refreshed, we’ll wind our way back via Clifton Dunsmore, Yelvertoft, West Haddon, Guilsborough and Holdenby. A shorter option (totalling 31 miles) is also on offer, which follows the same route out but returns home in a more direct fashion through Watford, Long Buckby, East Haddon, etc.

Neither ride is particularly demanding and there are ample points along the route(s) where people can stop for a breather/refreshments should they feel the need to do so.

See you Saturday – 9.30 sharp.

Ride to Geddington – Sunday 5th May

James Holden is leading this ride and writes:
Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Dovecot Farm
Pace:  Steady (13mph)

Starting from Moulton, Sunday’s steady takes a rather circuitous route to Dovecote Farm and Buttery at Geddington. Heading out via Walgrave and Old we climb the hill at Harrington, skirt Desborough and proceed towards Pipewell.

Once we’ve crossed Uppingham Road it’s on to Great Oakley and, finally, Geddington and coffee. The Buttery serves a tasty range of cakes, cream teas and other such delights. It’s also available for wedding receptions so if you are thinking of signing your happiness away then here’s an opportunity to scout a possible location.

On an unrelated note, the farm shop sells a variety of free range pork products as well as their own branded jams and preserves.

Our return journey brings us back via Rushton, Rothwell and Loddington. After Great Cransley and Boughton we wind our way out towards Pytchley. It’s then full steam ahead to Little Harrowden, Sywell, Overstone and, at last, Moulton.

The route is neither arduous or hilly, whilst the forecast is for sunny spells and a gentle breeze. Unlike certain other rider leaders my Garmin holds a full charge so no one need worry about missing turns or ending up in the outer reaches of Corby. Additional entertainment lies in coming along to see if I can lead a ride in 2019 that doesn’t end up in an extended hospital visit 🙂

See you there.