Ride report – Sunday 29th December

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

A record turnout for the Draycote ride brought seven riders to the start of this ‘end of the decade’ outing. Eight actually rode it but we lost JohnW, a regular of this ride at Brington due to illness but soon picked up BrianT at Whilton for the rest of the ride.

The dip in the gated road at Norton was my only concern due to the build-up of gravel and mud during the recent wet weather but it took no casualties and we made our way to the second part of the gated road and the fast descent towards Welton.

Nearing Welton the group seemed to split, almost like a brisk/moderate on a Saturday morning and BrianT agreed that we should continue in two groups until we reached Draycote. RobH was riding well as was JamesC. Both in fine form despite the Christmas festivities.

James led us along the National Cycle Route cycle paths into Dunchurch and all that remained was the fast run in to Draycote Water on the Southam road.

A bustling venue greeted us, but we bagged a table without problems. Despite championing the excellent jam and cream scones beforehand, several of my group chose not to opt for them instead going for flapjacks or even sandwiches. To be fair Rob did have a scone after that too, so he’s excused!SconeSeveral lattes later we were on our way again. The ride home is longer and harder from Draycote due to the extra mileage and hills, so a chilly wind didn’t help. The hint of sunshine didn’t raise the temperature either. Turning into the flatlands of Grandborough the group stayed together at a steady pace. Willoughby passed before a climb to the church at Braunston. Another climb at Bragborough Hall soon followed as did the one back up the gated road towards Norton.

Across the second part Rob encountered a puncture and at least four of us were involved in getting Rob roadworthy again. The tyre proving almost impossible to reseat. Rob resorted to using tyre levers to get it on and surprisingly suffered no further pinch punctures.

The sun was making things more pleasant at this point as it would do all the way back home. With enough hands to spare, BrianT made his way back to Whilton accompanied by PhilL leaving five to follow the original route home.

Towards Flore Rob encountered another mechanical. Nothing serious. Onwards!

At the back of Flore the last real climb up to the canal and weary legs starting to flag.

Further on a regroup at Bugbrooke caused ChrisD to topple over at the junction as he lost concentration. A bent mudguard the result. Much to Chris’s frustration. Both our bikes now making irritating noises.

With all the remaining riders being Hunsbury based we headed back there rather than the Sixfields start point. The undulating Rothersthorpe road proving to be the final test for our fatigued group.


Thanks to everyone who came out today.

Superb riding.


Ride report – Boxing day

Milton led this ride and writes:

With the rain falling and the thermometer fallen, it was an excellent day for not riding a bike, and yet at this time of year there is always someone who has eaten so much, and drunk even more, who has to pay penance on the saddle.

There were four of us  –  and a splendid time we had of it too. The rain eased by the time we reached Little Houghton, nicely in time for Peter’s chain to snap. That would be a cataclysmic event for some people, (me for instance!) but for Peter, the matter was dealt with in about ten minutes and we were off again and enjoying the road to Salcey via, it being Boxing Day, the big hunt of the year at Castle Ashby – more Landrovers and Barbour jackets than you could shake a stick at!

By the time we left the café the rain really was pelting down, and so it was a dash for home. We got back by around 12.30 and the four of us, surely, took much pleasure in having payed our penances so pleasurably.

Ride to Draycote Water – Sunday 29th December

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
(There is free parking at Upton Country Park nearby)
Distance:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Waterside Restaurant at Draycote Water
Pace: Steady 13mph
Time Expected Back: 2pm

If you’ve overindulged this Christmas and didn’t manage to burn off the calories on Milton’s Boxing Day ride, then a steady ride to Draycote Water may be just what you need. It’s the last club ride of the year. Of the decade even!

Draycote Water is a reservoir and country park near the village of Dunchurch, 3.75 miles south of Rugby in Warwickshire, owned and operated by Severn Trent Water.
Starting at Sixfields, the ride heads over to Whilton Locks, Welton and Barby. Dunchurch is only a few more miles from there and once through the town it’s just another few miles until we reach destination Draycote.

The Waterside Restaurant boasts the best jam and cream scones anywhere. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor balcony seating overlooking the reservoir with secure bike parking below.
Leaving Kites Hardwick after our tea stop puts us on course for Grandborough followed by Willoughby and Braunston. There’s a climb towards Bragborough Hall before we retrace a bit through Welton and the gated road back to Norton which also includes a climb towards the village.

Heading to Brockhall after a short run along the A5 brings us to Flore which leads us home on familiar roads.
Why not enjoy a steady ride with us for your final outing of the year and make it a December to remember.

Boxing day ride to Salcey Forest

Milton is leading this Boxing day ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  28 miles
Refreshment stop:  Forest Café, Salcey
Pace: Hangover slow
Time Expected Back: Lunchtime


This is not an especially challenging route given the unhealthy post-prandial state of most participants, but it does include the hill up to Castle Ashby via Whiston and there is a short clamber up to Ravenstone after by-passing Olney  ….   so, not without its little obstacles!
Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, Yardley Hastings, Olney (by-passed), Stoke Goldington, Café and back.  28 miles in all, 20 of them to the café, so a simple totter home in time to start the whole she-bang again!
It is optional to come along wearing Santa outfits or reindeer horns etc, but please note that those making these sartorial choices will be expected to ride at least 2 miles behind the rest of us.

See you on Boxing Day

Ride report – Saturday 21st December

Peter Bayles led the Brisk group and writes:

Nine riders turned out on Saturday, with four riders choosing to go on the Brisk and five on the Moderate, which Brian kindly led.  Amazingly, the weather was kind to us – cold, but staying dry, with sunshine all morning.  The day before had been very wet, and it was evident that there was still quite a bit of mud and water on some of the more quiet roads.

The two groups split up early on, with the Brisks keen to get the miles in and get to the NT café at Canons Ashby within a reasonable time after the arrival of the Moderates.  Milton had failed to load the route on his Garmin (you can lead a horse …..), so the Brisks did not have to put up with his constant satnav-like commentary, but fortunately James had the route, and was able to provide directional back-up to keep me right.

As it happens, the Moderates were at the café long before the Brisks, who, of course, blamed the slow progress on the extra hills (and my hill climbing abilities), rather than the performance of the Moderates. No problem though, as there was still cake and coffee left by the time the Brisks arrived, and Phil had time for a second coffee.

Just when the group was feeling relaxed and rested, Elena, a professional yoga instructor, announced that we had an impromptu yoga class to attend outside the café, and it was expected that we all take part to tone the muscles for the return leg.  Milton was keen to demonstrate his downward dog, until Elena confirmed that he had to keep his lycra leggings on.  Surprisingly, we all enjoyed the short session; well done Elena, although tomorrow, I think our legs may regret the stretching.

The groups split up again on the return, with the groups returning to Northampton around 1.00 as planned after an enjoyable morning.

Cheers – Peter

(I’m sure Elena won’t mind me unashamedly plugging her yoga website:



Ride to Byfield – Saturday 21st December

Peter Bayles is leading this ride to Byfield:
Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance:  38 mls (Brisk) or 32 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop:  Canons Ashby NE Café
Pace: Brisk or Moderate

Time Expected Back: Around 1.00pm

We have two rides on Saturday, depending on the cyclists joining on the day, starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library.
The weather on Saturday looks to be reasonable at the moment, with even a possibility of some sunshine during the ride.
The Brisk Ride is 38 miles at a pace of around 15 mph, with the Moderate Ride, 32 miles will be around 12 mph. The cake stop will be at Canons Ashby, at around 24 (or 18) miles.  There is quite a difference in distance and number of hills between the two groups, so we may choose to adjust the rides slightly to avoid the Moderates being forced to drink extra coffee.  This can be decided on Saturday, depending on the riders turning up on Saturday.
Both routes essentially follow a similar route to the West of Northampton, riding through Rothersthorpe, and Bugbrooke, with the two groups diverging around Litchborough.  After this point, the Moderates can ride a short distance to the Café, and the Brisks can enjoy a hill or two and a few more miles.
The return leg is around 14 miles, via Pattishall and Gayton.
We look forward to welcoming all riders, as always, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter on 07979850096.

GPS Routes attached:



Ride to Salcey Forest – Sunday 15th December

Phil Letts is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
(There is free parking opposite the Windhover)
Distance: Steady 40 miles
Refreshment stop: Forest Café, Salcey
Pace: 13mph

Starts BVW  to Salcey Forest stopping at Forest Café.

This boundary ‘circuit’ of Northampton keeps the Express Lift Tower as our hub all day taking in Boughton, Moulton, Overstone, the Houghtons and Salcey for brunch/coffee. Then completes the circuit through Roade, Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe and Kislingbury.

All the route is on road so road bike required.


Ride report – Saturday 7th December

Brian led this ride and writes:
Ten riders were out today split evenly between Brisk and Moderate pace. Milton kept the brisk group’s nose to the grindstone so we all met on the road just before the café stop at Wythmails in Orlingbury.  A long first leg to the ride, but this was followed by a short ride (into the breeze!) back to Moulton.

Anybody who had looked at the ride profile on RWGPS would have noted the “lumpiness” of riding in and out of the many river valleys on the very rural route. The many single track roads were surprisingly clear of mud.

I had no sympathy for the brisk group who complained that it was a very hilly ride and that they would have to eat more cake at the café as a result. Just an excuse really.
The morning warmed up to a heady 10deg C with sunny spells. Excellent coffee and cake and a good atmosphere at Wythmails where we had a warm welcome. A very sociable ride all round. Good to see Mike Dempster out with us, a regular rider of a few years ago.
Brian T

Ride to Orlingbury – Saturday 7th December

Brian Tunbridge is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
(There is free parking at Moulton. Access is via the lane opposite the Co-op alongside the pub.)
Distance: Brisk 42 miles, moderate 32 miles
Refreshment stop: Cafe Wythmails at Orlingbury
Pace: Brisk 14mph, Moderate 12mph

Choice of two groups, riding at a slightly different pace.
Brisk (42 miles) 14+ mph and moderate (32miles) at 12+ mph average speeds. The route is all on roads.

The ride starts at Moulton Co-op (MCP) and heads out to Holcot, Old, and then single track to Mawsley. At Harrington we turn off to Kelmarsh and on to Clipston and Gt Oxendon on quiet undulating roads. Then east to Braybrooke and down to Thorpe Underwood before crossing over the A14 to Orton and Loddington. Not too far then to Broughton and the Wythmails cafe for coffee where both groups will meet up. The café is in the attractive village of Orlingbury just off the main green.

The Moderate pace group will turn off to Arthingworth just before Kelmarsh and head off across narrow roads to join the route above at Thorpe Underwood. After the cafe stop it is only a short ride back to Moulton via Hannington.


The sun should be out by Saturday so do join us.
For more information or to discus the ride please ring me on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149

Brisk Pace Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31495258
Moderate Pace Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31495307