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.
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.