James C is leading this mostly Off-Road ride and writes:
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 32 mls
Refreshment Stop: Delapre Abbey (Courtyard) at 23 mls
Average Pace: To suit riders, but not especially quick
Time Expected Back: Around 12.30pm
Please confirm if you wish to join the ride by contacting James, or replying to this email.
“This Saturday’s ride will be a mixed on-and-off road route suitable for gravel bikes or similar. We’ll start at East Hunsbury Library and go straight off-road into the Penn Valley, only emerging on road again at the Toby Carvery roundabout. A short section of road and we’re back into Wootton County Park, Grange Park SuDS and Foxfield Country Park. Another couple of hundred yards of road and we make use of the Courteenhall estate’s bridleways which take us to the Quinton Green and from there it’s a short hop on road to Salcey. Here we do 2/3rds of the cycle path around the forest and end up in Pidington where we join the main road to take us to Great Houghton. Then it’s up to the surprisingly nice Brackmills Country Park, through Hardingstone and into Delapre Wood. We follow the woodland track alongside the main road and pop out at the entrance to Delapre Abbey, our food stop.
Delapre Abbey have closed their main Orangery café but are now operating a takeaway in the coachyard and there’s also a concession offering hot food. Once we’re finished here we can either head home or finish the loop by following the Nene to Upton Country Park, taking the new cycle paths through the floodplain to Kislingbury and returning on the gravel road back to Pineham, the Canal and Hunbury Hill to get back to the start.
This isn’t a technical route but a lot of it’s on rough surfaces with a mixture of loose gravel, compact gravel, grass, dirt and tarmac. The ideal bike would be a gravel or cyclocross bike but a mountain bike would also work (a bell is handy too if you have one). The route won’t be suitable for road bikes. We should be at the café at around 11:30 and won’t be going especially quickly”