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.
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: