Start time: 9.30am Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ Distance: 54 miles Refreshment Stop: M&S, Gateway Retail Park, Banbury Average Pace ride: Steady
Next Sunday’s ride is a steady one down to Banbury. Unfortunately my regular cafe stop at the Hillier Garden centre won’t be open due to the pandemic so we’ll have to settle for M&S on the Gateway Retail Park on the way into the town. I’m sure the cafe is just as good if not better than the Hillier. It’s not just a cafe it’s an M&S cafe!
Before we get there it’s a fairly simple run down Banbury Lane, crossing the A5 at Foster’s Booth, passing Canon’s Ashby, Moreton Pinkney and on to Thorpe Mandeville at the end of the road. Chacombe then leads us onto some useful cycle paths which conveniently brings us out at the retail park. There’s a cycle park for us to use and stunning views of all the other retail outlets.
Once we’ve had our retail therapy, we’ll continue on the same route as planned which includes passing the Hillier a short time later. The centre of Banbury can get a bit busy but on the way out we do have more cycle paths to utilise up to Little Bourton which puts us firmly back on country lanes.
Great Bourton gets us to Cropredy which has street names like ‘Cup and Saucer’. Aston le Walls and West Farndon pave the way to Woodford Halse which then becomes quite familiar to most of you I’m sure.
As usual I’ll be winging it without any navigational aids and as it’s been a while it should be an interesting ride.
Please let me know if you’d like to join me by replying to this mail or on phjoh119@…
Start time: 9.30am Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ Distance: 36/41 miles Refreshment Stop: Woodhouse Toad in Preston Capes Average Pace ride: Moderate/Brisk
Next Saturday’s CTC rides take us via South Northamptonshire’s and Daventry’s rolling terrain to a new coffee stop. They also include a (hopefully) interesting detour towards the end. There are a couple of challenges/ risks to point out as well.
The coffee stop is Woodhouse Toad in Preston Capes. Good coffee and cake in a simple outdoor setting.
After that there is an interesting hill on each of the routes. There is also a detour to the lovely village of Church Stowe to see St Michael’s Church – only from outside as currently closed, but even that is worthwhile.
The route from there goes north-west along the A5 for one mile to the Nether Heyford turn. If you are not happy with this, you are welcome to either cut out Church Stowe and return via Upper Stowe and Bugbrooke, or you can visit both villages.
Four riders gathered at Moulton Coop including a new rider to the group Brian Hill. Two Brian’s and two John W’s made introductions easy. Although it was a warm and sunny start, rain was forecast later in the morning. We made it through Holcot and Draughton to Harington before we had the first shower just as we dropped down and then up again to the first climb. John pointed out this was the first of five climbs. The next four followed on consecutively, mainly single track roads, traffic free but without much of a break on the flat. I had forgotten just how lumpy this section of the ride was and when looking at the digital maps found that the whole route had only 25% level riding (i.e. <2% gradient) . However, the rain eased and for the rest of the day we were dry although the roads were wet as if we had just missed a shower.
We arrived at The Milking Parlour Cafe at Wilbarston early, having set a brisk’ish pace. This was a new cafe to us and we had a warm welcome. Bikes were left in the courtyard where we also sat outside under an umbrella and enjoyed coffee and bacon sandwiches. The cakes looked good but we still had to ride home so we resisted although the owner kindly gave us some shortcakes just to finish off the meal and help us on our way. A cafe highly recommended.
The route back was even brisker (15+) and seemed relatively easy after the morning ride, or perhaps it was because we had spent over an hour in the cafe chatting. Anyway we made it back in the dry arriving at 2pm.
Start time: 9.30am Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB Distance: 43 miles Refreshment Stop: The Milking Parlour Cafe at Wilbarston Average Pace ride: 13mph
Option for longer route.
The ride goes out through Holcot, Draughton to Harrington. We then head due North on a very lumpy section often on single track roads (all metalled) in a series of climbs to be rewarded with long fast descents, especially in Dingley. To cross from one quiet lane to the next there are very short sections on main roads. At Weston by Welland we are in the valley for a flat respite then across to Ashley and down to Wilbarston for a coffee stop at The Milking Parlour Cafe at Wilbarston (seating and bike parking in the courtyard ).