Ride to Naseby – Sunday 6th October

Phil Johnson is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Distance:  Steady 45 miles
Refreshment Stop: Old Vicarage café, Naseby
Average Pace:   13mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm

This Sunday’s ride over to the village of Naseby will require a bit of a head for heights and plenty of mettle for fast descending from all who dare to take part.

It’s quite an undulating ride to say the least. From Sixfields we’re heading up through Church Brampton and on towards Sedgebrook Hall at Chapel Brampton. A short stretch on the Market Harborough road brings us to the dip at Pitsford and into Brixworth village once we’ve hauled ourselves out.

What has been described as ‘one of the fastest descents in Northampton’ by our very own Milton Cadman comes next as we plunge down the back of Brixworth at lightning speed towards another climb at Spratton.

A blistering drop towards Teeton then follows and we’re on our way to Guilsborough and Cold Ashby where we can at last get our heart rates back to some normality. Naseby won’t be far off by then and All Saints church will be visible in the distance.

Our tea stop will be facing it at the Old Vicarage café and with any luck we’ll be in the grand dining room with stunning views out into the Northamptonshire countryside. Tea and cakes will be exquisite.

For the return journey, Haselbech leads us back towards the Cottesbrooke estate with more heartstoppers to enjoy before we enter the village. A brief respite along the gated road and a familiar climb back into Brixworth will have me for one cursing my own route.

Retracing the ride out a little puts us back at Pitsford where we can ride the dip in the opposite direction up Spring Hill! Then, it’s all the same route back to Harlestone but once there we’ll take a diversion from our ride out and head for St Crispin’s and home.

Hope you’re up for the challenge.



Ride report – Sunday 29th September

Chris Duff led this ride and writes:

The weather report was grim, windy and certain rain all day.

Our esteemed ride leader (me) was resolved but uncertain of the day ahead not having ridden in the rain for about a year and having ‘gone soft’ generally.

However, ‘Fortune favours the brave’ and four riders set off from the library at East Hunsbury: Milton, Pete S, Darryl and me.

The route was chosen to avoid traffic, to be scenic and because they are some of my favourite roads.

Out through Gayton, over to Flore and up the hill to the Brinton’s,

Then over to Long Buckby and West Haddon, fast to Guilsborough and up to Thornby.

All generally aided by the wind.

The service and coffee at the atmospheric and welcoming Buddhist centre was top notch, as ever, and good cake too.

We sat outside in the Sun and pretended cleverness, identifying the trees and shrubs in the lovely garden.

Milton gave us the history of the Manor House and why locking up our bikes was necessary before the calmness and peace of the current ownership.

We were reluctant to leave such nice surroundings but soon making a good pace on the way home.

A brief spell with rain jackets made certain that the rain stayed away and the sun shone again.

Faster home through, Coton, Ravensthorpe, Althorp and then Kislingbury.

A capable group, we managed to talk and complete the 45 miles at 15.5 miles per hour, getting back around 1.15pm.

What luck with the weather?

My new CTC cycling top gained full exposure and heat was a bigger problem than cold.

Thank you to the foolhardy souls that ‘cocked a snook’ at the adverse forecast and had a fine day out.

Ride to Thornby – Sunday 29th September

Chris Duff is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  Steady 44 mls,
Refreshment Stop: The Buddhist Centre, Thornby
Average Pace:   13mph,

Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm

The route out is: East Hunsbury, then through Gayton out to Bugbrooke and then Flore, the Bringtons, Buckby and West Haddon then to Thornby.

The café has great coffee and good food with storage for the bikes in the garden outside the café.

From the Buddhist Centre the route back is, Guilsborough, Coton, Ravensthorpe, East Haddon, Great Brington, Althorp, Nobottle, Kislingbury, Rothersthorpe, Hunsbury.

New riders would be very welcome.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Chris Duff on 07770 976291 

Ride to Preston Capes – Saturday 21st September

Peter Bayles 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 mls (Brisk) or 31 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop:  Old Dairy Café, Upper Stowe
Pace:  Brisk or Moderate

Time Expected Back:  Around 1.00pm

We have two rides on Saturday starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library.

Amazingly, the weather on Saturday looks to be warm and sunny, yet again, with zero chance of rain. Who knows, this may be the last of the summer weather this season, so enjoy.

The Brisk Ride is 37 miles at a pace of around 14 to 15 mph, with the Moderate Ride probably being a self led group, 30 miles, depending on the riders turning up, and will be around 11 to 12 mph. Ride for Cynthia is on Sunday, so it could be that a number of our regular riders want to save themselves for that, so if turnout is low, we’ll probably just go as one group to suit the riders.

Cake stop is around 28 (or 21) miles at the Old Dairy Café at Upper Stowe.

We will leave East Hunsbury, riding generally West, through Milton Malsor and Gayton, then negotiate the climbs into Pattishall, where we cross the A5.  From there we will follow Banbury Lane, past Cold Higham and Foxley.

At this point, the two rides diverge, with the brisks riding down to Weedon Lois, up to Little Evedon to enjoy some extra miles and hill climbing before resting at the Café in Upper Stowe.  The Moderates can take a shorter route through Adstone and Preston Capes, and on to Upper Stowe, although there is still a nice hill to enjoy just past Farthingstone.

The ride back is a comfortable nine miles, passing through Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe, before returning to our starting point at East Hunsbury.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Brisk Ride Route:    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18083634

Moderate Ride route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18083630

Ride report – Sunday 15th September

Peter Bayles went on this ride and reports:

Philip G’s steady to Leicester on Sunday was a very pleasurable and interesting day’s riding.  It was justifiably popular, with 11 riders taking part, nine of whom started from Brampton Valley Way.

The weather was favourable for us yet again with, after the initial morning chill, a dry, warm and mostly sunny day.

The group was delighted to have Brian and Ian, both sporting Bromptons, join at the first coffee stop at Wistow, having adventurously arrived there by bus.  We gained two riders, but we also lost two others, Alex and Milton, both deciding that an early Sunday lunch was just too tempting.

Much of the route through Leicester was on good cycleways, taking us to our next stop, Leicester Cathedral, where Richard III is buried.  Always keen to give a speech, Philip treated us to a very informative historical talk about the discovery and re-burial of Richard, occasionally enhanced by Ian.

Whilst we didn’t have time to go into the visitor centre, we were able to take the opportunity to go inside the Cathedral and see Richard’s new place of rest, topped with a huge cut and polished slab of Swaledale fossil stone. I think we were all moved, not least by the photographs of Northern Ireland, taken during the troubles, which were on display as part of a temporary Bogside Mural exhibition there.

Our lunch stop at the Riverside Café at De Montford University provided welcome rest and sustenance.

We set off on a different route home, following the canal and then using a number of cycleways roads and then smaller tracks which, Philip admitted, were a little bit rougher in places than he’d expected.  Of course, this pleased Alan, with his tyres ideally suited to gravel and Peter S, a mountain biker at heart, who continually gave whoops of delight and flew down the inclines.

Eventually, to the relief of the rest of us, we emerged onto proper roads, and almost immediately Philip announced that he had a puncture. The group, suppressing thoughts of Karma, helped get Philip back on the road, only for Hartley to find that he too had succumbed to the same fate.  Hartley repaired his in record time, however, and we were quickly on our way.

We arrived back tired, but having had one of our most rewarding days riding this season.  It was especially pleasing to have Alex, Brian and Ian join us again.  Also a special well-done goes to Alan who joined us for only the second time, but rode the full 71 miles, having only started to ride again in August.  Respect !!

Many thanks Philip for organising and leading the ride, and thanks go to all who joined and made it a great day.

CTC Northampton testimonial

John H. one of our newest club riders has kindly shared his experience of CTC Northampton:

“So glad I found CTC (thanks Robert P.) a fantastic group of cyclists offering very varied and interesting routes. Combined with Northampton Social Cyclists, CTC gives me fantastic ride options.

I particularly like the fact that although it’s an extremely well run organisation it doesn’t seem to take itself too serious and manages to maintain a fun element.

May you go from strength to strength and I look forward to many more rides with you.”

Thanks John, it’s very kind of you to give such a great recommendation about our club.

I hope you’ll continue to enjoy your time with us and enhance your cycling experience.

Phil J – Chairman CTC Northampton

Ride to Leicester – Sunday 15th September

Philip Gray is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance:  71 mls
Refreshment stop:  Wistow(25 miles) & Leicester
Pace:  Steady

This Sunday CTC Northampton offers a special 71-mile ride to our historic neighbour, Leicester.

From the Brampton Valley Way, the route takes us over the Naseby hills onto gentle Leicestershire roads to a coffee stop at Wistow. A few miles later we follow Leicester’s cycle route network from Wigston to travel through suburbs, parks and the University to the heart of the city and the Richard III Centre and statue.

After a lunch stop and short historical detour, the return route uses the Soar towpath and Great Central Way to reach Blaby, where we re-join the roads through Gilmorton, Welford and the Haddons back to our start at the Brampton Crossing.

There will be stops at Wistow (25 miles) and Leicester, and an optional one at Welford on the way back.
Anyone who wants a shorter route could take the train from Market Harborough to Leicester, or drive to (say) Husbands Bosworth and join us en route (please contact me to discuss).

We start at 9.30 at the Brampton Valley Way, Welford Road. The weather forecast is currently fine (sunny, dry, 20+ degrees, light SW winds) but please check nearer the time. NB Please bring a bike lock as lunch is in a semi-urban location.

You can find the route and download a GPX file at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31069897

Please let me know if you have any questions or want to register interest. Hope some of you can join me Sunday.

Happy cycling till then,
07557 670 831

Ride report – Saturday 7th September

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

A double digit turnout for James’s second ride in as many weeks. High pressure promising a dry ride over to Sherington at the Alban Hills Nursery Café.

On hearing this I did think our refreshment stop would be compromised by pre-schoolers running around being noisy but it wasn’t that kind of nursery as it turned out. A rather pleasant café it actually turned out to be. Indoor and outdoor seating, which we used, outside a wooden cabin type café painted in sage green. A rather quaint café stop with an excellent menu of breakfast items and the usual cake choice.

James called in the numbers to the café at the start and we set off on one steady ride for everyone. The roads ahead seemed to have been soaked somewhat by localised weather but nothing too serious. Familiar villages were ticked off along the picturesque winding route which undulated nicely along with some pretty decent tarmac to boot.

Before long the church at Newport Pagnell came into view and out of view as we turned for Sherington just a couple of miles away. Straight out the other side of the village, perched on the hill, was our destination.
A handy bike rack for cyclists is always a welcome start to any stop at a café and this one was no exception. Table service was also provided from the attentive staff who supplied us with menus and served our orders promptly. Despite being a popular cyclists café we seemed to have exclusive use of the terrace.

Suitably refuelled we headed for the beautiful Tyringham estate which is currently on the market for anyone with deep enough pockets. It’s always a lovely route through that area before using the busy roads at the other side. Navigating these eventually led us to Hartwell and Roade where a tricky set of junctions split the group briefly before James confirmed we could continue on with slightly reduced numbers. Another split, albeit voluntarily this time reduced the group further and we headed for Milton Malsor and home.

Not quite the weather we were expecting today but James’s choice of café stop was more than enough to brighten our day.

Thanks for leading the ride James.

Ride to Sherington – Saturday 7th September

James C 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 38mls, Moderate 34mls
Refreshment stop:  Alban Hills Nursery Café
Pace:  Brisk and Moderate (possibly self led)
Time Expected Back:  Around 1.00pm

This Saturday’s ride takes us over to Sherington starting from Hunsbury library.

From here we take the usual route to Salcey Forest where the brisks and moderates part company, the moderates taking a left and heading for Stoke Goldington while the brisks carry on towards Hanslope, Castlethorpe and Old Haversham before climbing to Little Linford.

From here we enjoy both the downhill section and a view across to Tyringham Hall which we’ll pass on the way home.

Both groups then ride in the direction of Newport Pagnell but turn off towards Sherington, through the village and use the worlds most pointless painted cycle path up to the nursery coffee shop. This stop is quite popular with riders and they have a dedicated cycle stand just to the right as you enter site. (If the coffee shop is too busy then we can easily detour to Emberton Park just round the corner).

Leaving the nursery we use the much better cycle path to Filgrave and enjoy the view across Beds as we ride to the beautiful Tyringham estate, there’s a great spot for a group photo on the bridge and a closer view of the hall, which is for sale if anyone fancies it.


From here it’s a simple blast back through Tathall End, Hartwell, Roade and Blisworth.

This is undulating ride but there are no serious hills and should be suitable for all riders.


Ride report – Sunday 1st September

Peter Bayles led this ride and (slightly belatedly) writes:

This week, 13 riders joined the ride; Eleven riders set off from the Canoe Centre, joined by Tim and Elspeth at Wootton in order to enjoy a more leisurely breakfast.  We were especially pleased to welcome Sally and Alan, who joined us for the first time.

The weather conditions were very pleasant, being sunny and dry, but not too warm.  It did actually rain 20 minutes or so after the end of the ride, but most riders would have returned home by then.  Except me, of course!

It was great to have two riders in the group with electric bikes, and also I am pleased to again report that they were both very kind to the rest of us on the hills, and resisted the temptation to casually chat to those of us struggling to breathe, let alone talk back.

Around 20 miles into the ride we had our first and only mechanical issue, with Alan’s chain coming off.  This was quickly sorted and the group, after taking advantage of the short rest, were back in their saddles and thinking of coffee.

Our café stop at Castle Ashby took a little longer than usual because we had to order at the table, a luxury that we are not used to.  But we sat outside chatting in the warm sunshine and the food and coffee was excellent, so nobody was complaining.  Indeed, one or two of the group couldn’t resist eating more than was strictly necessary, with poached eggs on toast and cake going down nicely.

The return route from the café was a mere 10 miles, however the headwind, which of course had not really been apparent for the first half of the route when it was behind us, became quite noticeable.  Nevertheless, the group made it back to Northampton in good time, with most riders peeling off towards their respective destinations, leaving four riders to finish at the Canoe Centre.

Finally, I would like to point out that the ride leader did not, for once, lose his way and blame his Garmin.  Milton, if you are reading this, I think my mastery of technology has now matched yours, so I’m feeling pretty smug.