Ride to Carlton – Sunday 4th August

Tim H is leading this ride and writes:


Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton NN4 7AA
Distance: 57 miles
Refreshment stop: Emmaus Village, Carlton (at approx. 30 miles). Optional second stop at Salcey Forest Café (at approx. 50 miles)
Pace: Steady (approx. 13 mph)
Time expected back: approx. 3:30 p.m.


This Sunday’s ride takes us through a series of villages to the east and south of Northampton. From the Canoe Centre, we head out on familiar roads through Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, Easton Maudit and Bozeat before enjoying the descent down Dungee Hill.

From here, we take a 12 mile loop around Odell, Felmersham, Pavenham, Oakley and Stevington en route to Carlton and our café stop for lunch at The Emmaus Centre (their sausage sandwich comes highly recommended).

On leaving the Emmaus Centre our route homeward takes us through Turvey, Newton Blossomville and Emberton. There follows a short section of A509 (cycle path available for those who would prefer it) after which we re-join quiet lanes through Filgrave and Tyringham before climbing up through Bunsty Wood (there has to be some pay back for the earlier descents of Cogenhoe and Dungee hills) and on to Tathall End, Hanslope, Pindon End and Hartwell.

We then have the option of a stop at Salcey Forest Café for afternoon tea before completing our journey back to the Canoe Centre via Quinton, Preston Deanery and Great Houghton.

At 57 miles, this is a longer than average route with a fair bit of up and down but nothing steep enough to be awarded a chevron by the Ordnance Survey. The ride is intended to be ridden at a steady pace (13 mph or thereabouts) and no-one will be left behind. Nonetheless, there are 30 miles to the café stop, so it may be worth packing an energy bar or two in your jersey pocket. The weather forecast seems to be somewhat variable at the moment so please also remember to bring a waterproof (unless we chance upon another heat wave).

Note that for those that would like a shorter ride, the 12 mile loop from Odell to Carlton can be cut short in a couple of places. One option skips the entire loop, continuing direct via Harrold; other options are to shorten the loop at either Felmersham or Pavenham. Such short cuts would be “self led” (unless it rains in which case we might all be keen to take advantage of them!).

The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton group on RideWithGPS:


Any questions please contact Tim – 07749 477231.



Ride report – Saturday 27th July

James C led this ride and writes:

Five members arrived at an already rainy Hunsbury library, each hoping to be the only one there, but putting on a brave face when it became apparent there would be a ride in the wet.

Braving the rain and headwind on the climb to Gayton, we were soon rewarded with a quick breather as Darryl suffered an early puncture. Inner tubes were traded and soon installed, inflated in 0.2 seconds with an icy blast of C02 and we were on our way.

A small detour meant the rest of the route to Daventry was completed on time and a very bored looking café owner was waiting to greet us at the country park. Our plan to retain dry saddles were soon thwarted as she insisted we move our bikes from under cover into the bike racks, but service was quick and the food welcome.

Upon leaving it seemed like the roads were holding a lot more standing water and any attempt to avoid the puddles was now futile. We now took the more direct route home via Roman Road and a tailwind helped us take Little Brington and Nobottle in quick succession, the occasional splash from passing cars providing welcome refreshment.

On through Harpole and we had another puncture, this time Pete S giving us a short break to admire his oily legs. Soon changed, we were on our way back to Hunsbury via the smooth cycle paths through the Pineham industrial estate and on to home.

A wet morning but the warm weather and company meant this was still an enjoyable ride, see you next time!

Ride report – Guy Barber Memorial Ride

2019 CTC Northampton annual Charity ride in memory of Guy Barber.
There were the options of the full 110m route from the Canoe Centre or a car assisted start from St Neots. (42m)

Peter S writes on this challenging ride:

Five guys set off from the canoe club at 8am on an extraordinarily long ride led by John W. He set a very fast pace. It was suggested we could do the London, Edinburgh, London Audax instead (ref John Weller’s previous exploits on a bike) but we had people to meet.

The usual route east was taken through Little Houghton, Easton Maudit and Bozeat through the Nene Valley. There were some fancy cars to be seen on the way to a show at Santa Pod.
We crossed the A6 and then we were reliant on Arthur’s directions. Terrain was fairly flat all the way to St. Neots.
We arrived at The Market Square by 10am much earlier than expected so we drank lots of coffee and had some breakfast while we were deafened by the Hells Angels revving their Harley’s.

Over the horizon appeared Rob H. He’d had a puncture just after leaving home and chased us to St. Neots. This guy must have ridden even quicker than us. We were now six guys joined shortly by three riders starting at St Neots.
Brian led us out of St. Neots on a Brompton. After leaving the town the group then split in two for the section to Cambridge. Chris H had to help us with his Garmin for directions as all of us were in unfamiliar territory.
We briefly caught the slipstream of the peloton of the London to Cambridge cycle race before joining  Cambridge’s hazardous cycle paths. Very crowded paths but a beautiful city nevertheless.


Good lunch at Tatties café, sitting outside in the shade of a quiet side street.
For the return leg, we were all very fresh still.
Ian set an even faster pace than the outward journey.

2019-GB ride

Another quick stop off in the historic market town of St Neots to drink more coffee.
A few wrong turns meant we almost completely retraced our steps. We got back on the route by taking a detour through Riseley and onwards to Sharnbrook.
At about the 100 mile mark it got very hard for me and I ran out of water. Here there was talk of which beers and wines will be drunk after the ride. It was agreed ‘all of them‘.

After climbing the hill to Cogenhoe I had to go begging to use someone’s tap to fill my bottle. Some great guys who are friends of the rowing club filled our bottles in Little Houghton.  Now we were re-hydrated for the final stretch into Hunsbury climbing the Great Houghton hill.
I couldn’t carry on to Oxford. (Which Guy Barber had done on one occasion !)

Excellent day out and an incredible effort all round.


Ride to Daventry Park – Saturday 27th July

James Cairncross is leading this ride and writes:


Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  Brisk 42 mls, Moderate 38 mls
Refreshment Stop: Reservoir Café
Average Pace:   Brisk ~14mph, Moderate ~12mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm


Leaving East Hunsbury library, we head for Milton Malsor and begin the steady climb to Gayton, following the ridge to Dalscote and over Banbury Lane.

We then head to Bugbrooke, dumping all that hard-won elevation in the descent to the canal bridge (did you check your brakes?). Then it’s Nether Heyford, Flore and across the Roman Road to the Bringtons.

Here the moderate group take a direct route to Welton via Whilton and Norton, while the brisks take an extra loop via Long Buckby.
From Welton, both groups enter Daventry Country Park from the cycle path and head straight to the café. The food here is not sophisticated but they serve the typical bacon rolls, toasted teacakes etc and do accept cards.


Once we’re done here, it’s back across to Great Brington via Norton and Whilton and on through the Althorp estate and Upper Harlestone. From here we wend our own way home but if you’re returning to the start, the GPS route will take you via Sandy Lane, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe.


The weather forecast is currently for rain, if we’re a small group there is an option to head for the café at Leisure Lakes where you can also browse for something you might later buy on Wiggle.


As always, any new riders would be very welcome.
For any further questions, please feel free to contact James Cairncross on 07980144704

Brisk Route:   https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30370190


Guy Barber Memorial Charity Ride – Sunday 21st July

CTC Northampton Annual Guy Barber Memorial Charity Ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation.  Sunday 21st July 2019

Guy Barber was a member of CTC Northampton and frequently did charity events using either a butcher’s bike or an Ordinary (penny farthing).  Using his road bike, he had two favourite rides from Northampton; one to Cambridge and one to Oxford.  On one occasion he rode both routes on the same day! 


In Guy’s memory, the club has ridden one of these routes each year for the past few years and donated money to charity. This year we are riding to Cambridge via St Neots.
A donation of £5 on registration is requested for us to donate to the British Heart Foundation.


To enable everyone to lunch together in Cambridge we have two start points:


The longer ride (110mls) starts at the Nene Whitewater Centre (Canoe Centre), Bedford Road, NN4 7AA, with registration at 7.45.  We will leave at 8.00, arriving at St Neots before 10.30am to join those starting at St Neots, and allowing a rest and a café stop at the Market Café in the Market Square.


The shorter ride (44mls) will start from the Market Square in St Neots (PE19 2AA), with registration at 10.45am..  The two groups will leave together at 11.00.
Lunch in Cambridge is at Tatties Café (11 Hobson St, Cambridge, CB1 1PA) and we expect to arrive there around 12.45.


On the return leg, those riders taking the longer route have the opportunity to stop again at St Neots for coffee if desired. Depending on timing, a coffee stop is also possible between St Neots and Northampton, perhaps at Thurleigh if early enough.  Of course, if all else fails, there are a number of friendly looking pubs along the way that could provide refreshment.


Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads, with cycle paths around Cambridge. The route is fairly flat between St Neots and Cambridge, with only a few moderate hills to enjoy between Northampton and St Neots.


See the routes on the RidewithGPS links below:




Timing is difficult to judge, as it depends on the riders joining us, but the groups are likely to arrive back to St Neots at 3.30pm, and Northampton at around 6.30pm.


Parking at Northampton is easily possible on the road leading to the Canoe Centre, but not in the Car Park, as this is now restricted.


Parking at St Neots is possible in the Market Square but, if preferred, the Riverside Car Park (The Paddock, PE19 7SA) is just to the west, and over the river, from the Market Square and has ample parking.  Both are free on Sundays.


Carrying water and energy snacks is vital, especially on the longer route.  The weather forecast at the moment is suggesting a hot, dry day (like last year), making hydration even more important, so please ensure that you carry plenty.

Also, please ensure that your bike is in good order and free from known issues from the start, and that basic puncture repairs can be dealt with en-route.

We look forward to welcoming anyone who wishes to join.

For more details please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096


Ride to Oxendon – Saturday 13th July

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:  35 mls
Refreshment stop:  Canvas Café, Oxendon
Average Pace:   Steady 13mph average
Time Expected Back:  Around 1.30pm


Dear All,


Below is ride brief for Saturday. I’ve not done a separate route for slower riders – mainly because there aren’t any shortcuts they can take to get to the café. I figure we’ll cycle as one group with someone just keeping with the steady bunch. Obviously if I’m the only one who turns up then this was won’t be an issue 🙂

Saturday’s ride sees us visiting a new coffee stop – The Canvas Café out at Great Oxendon. I’ve visited it a few times over the last couple months with ‘Conker’ Barringham and they’ve yet to bar us. There’s a wide range of food/drink and they’re very welcoming to cyclists – happily offering to top up water bottles and so on.

The route itself is perfect for what’s expected to be a typically warmish summer’s day. We leave from Moulton, cross the causeway at Pitsford and pedal on through Brixworth, Cottesbrooke, Haselbech until we reach Clipston where we divert off to the Harborough Road and then coffee. The journey back isn’t especially demanding, either – Harrington, Old and Walgrave, undulating rather than hilly – so it should all be very pleasant and relaxing.

The route works out at around 34/35 miles. The forecast is good and we’ll be back early afternoon.

See you Sat.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact James on 07841 933046

Ride to Woodford Halse – Sunday 7th July

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  43 miles
Refreshment stop:  Harley Equestrian Centre in Woodford Halse
Average Pace:   Steady (13mph average)
Time Expected Back:  About 1.30/2.00pm at Barbecue Centre

These 43 miles should see us reach Peter’s gaff in plenty of time to eat and drink him out of house and home.

Starting at the Canoe Centre we climb up through Great Houghton to Quinton from where we head to Hartwell, Roade, Blisworth and  Gayton before we find ourselves, finally  –  I know, it is a bit of a squiggly way  –  on Banbury Lane heading through Pattishall and eventually, after many beautiful rural lanes, enjoying cake and coffee at The Equestrian Centre in Woodford Halse.

It’s about 28 miles from the start to coffee, so you might feel it advisable to have something to nibble on the way. Cakes and coffee are a tad expensive but fine quality and worth your shilling. We may not want to consume too much here lest Peter takes that as his cue to reduce quantities back at the BBQ!

It’s a nice trip back via Maidford and Farthingstone to Bugbrooke from where we take the obvious route through Rothersthorpe until arriving at BBQ Centre Hunsbury.

Any riders who are not stopping for the barbecue will be accompanied back to the start point at the Canoe Centre if needed.

As you would expect I have arranged for the route to be entirely flat. No ascending at all, although there’s about 2,000 feet of descent just for our pleasure.

Ride report – Sunday 30th June

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:
A change to the usual weekend ride found CTC Northampton on tour in Norfolk. A circular ride from Wisbech to Hunstanton through vast expanses of flatlands was the reward for anyone who joined us on this annual ride. Six riders were led out of Wisbech by Philip Gray including two riders who had cycled over the night before.
A total of around 77 miles would get us back to Wisbech having sampled fish and chips on Hunstanton beach first. Three refreshment stops, a visit to the Sandringham estate and photo opportunities galore all part of this seaside spin on a much cooler day than the one before.
The Walton and Walpole highways got us on our way but very soon we were in lovely villages like Tilney All Saints and heading for Kings Lynn. The Unique Tea Room & Gardens at Castle Rising was a perfect location for our first refreshment stop. Tea and cakes in the front garden of the farmhouse was followed by a short diversion to the medieval ruins of the 1138 castle for a brief look at the grounds.
Further along the Sandringham estate was busy with day-trippers. Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen and we were privileged to be allowed through.
Snettisham followed and we dropped down to the coast where Ian T. took several photos of the caravan park at Heacham where his parents had owned a caravan and often stayed. A nostalgic trip for him no doubt. This brought us up to the sea wall where more photo opportunities beckoned with a sea view backdrop.
Hunstanton was now in view and before long we were all eating those fish and chips on the grass at the top of the hill overlooking The Wash.
Regrettably after a while we had to move on and continue with much of the ride still to do. Another stretch through the Sandringham estate left us with a good third of the ride still to do and the wind was now noticeably stronger than on the way out, aided by the open terrain. A third stop was a good idea and we pulled in at a pub that Philip had used before and relaxed for a while.
The final leg was possibly the hardest of a very flat route. The wind continuing to slow us down and take our energy through lots of exposed countryside. But finally we made it back to Wisbech.
This is probably an easier ride than most of our weekend rides around Northamptonshire. There’s no real hills to speak of and plenty of easy riding over the flatlands of Norfolk. The average speed was a little short of 13.5mph. What’s not to like!
Thanks to Philip for organising the ride and the riders who took part.