Guy Barber Memorial Charity Ride to Oxford Sunday 1st August 2021

CTC Northampton Annual Guy Barber Memorial Charity Ride in aid of British Heart Foundation
Sunday 1st August 2021

Please Pre-Register for this ride by replying to this email to minimise administration time at the start and to help with the planning.  I already have some names, so no need to repeat, thank you. If you are not a regular rider with Northampton CTC, we will require: – Your name – Route – An emergency phone number – Your mobile number during the ride, if you have one  – Whether you are a member of CyclingUK, but non-members are very welcome.

Last year, unsurprisingly, we were not able to hold the event, so we are very pleased to be riding the Oxford route this year.  A donation of £5 to the British Heart Foundation is requested – we would be happy accept a donation on the day and we will make the donation, or donate directly.

To enable everyone to lunch close to each other in Oxford we have two start points. 

The long ride (99m) starts at East Hunsbury Library,Northampton, with registration at 8.15am.  The other two options, 58m and 35m, start in Buckingham at 9.45am, with the registration at 9.30am, and join the group from Northampton to ride on to the first coffee stop at Green Dragon Eco Farm café, Claydon Rd,Hogshaw, MK18 3LA. 
Lunch is in Oxford at a choice of eating places in the area around the intersection of London Road and Windmill Road.  Our previous cafe has unfortunately closed down, and it may be difficult to have one single place this year, but there are several other good options.  Further guidance will be sent later this week when we have a better idea of rider numbers.
From the outskirts of the city there are good cycle paths into the centre, some separated from the main road. Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads and is undulating rather than hilly. See the routes on the RidewithGPS links below.
For more details please contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096.

The Route Options:

Route 1, 99 miles Registration at 8.15am for an 8.30 start from East Hunsbury Library. 99 miles.Route is EH, Stoke Bruerne, Lekhampstead, Buckingham (20m). Meet others. Gawcott, East Claydon,Green Dragon Farm, Hogshaw (Coffee 31m), Boarstal, Oxford (Lunch 51m)Return. Islip, Kirtlington, Upper Heyford, Somerton, Croughton, Brackley (tea 78m) Helmdon, Greens Norton, Tiffield, Northampton.(98m). (Farthingstone Café 77m)

Routes 2 and 3 below start at Buckingham Market square (parking at Cornwalls Meadow Car Park-free on Sundays-situated on road from A508 near the centre of Buckingham, CP signed) 

Route 2, 58 miles
 Meet 9.45am. 58m (follows 1st half of Route1 to lunch stop)Route is Buckingham, Gawcott, East Claydon,Green Dragon Farm, Hogshaw (Coffee 10m), Boarstal, Oxford (30m) Return.  Beckley, Horton-cum-Studley, Boarstall, Piddington, Twyford, Gawcott, Buckingham (58m). This is a very flat route, easy going. 

Route 3, 35 miles Meet 9.35am. 35m ( Follows routes 2 & 3 to the coffee stop at Hogshaw ).Route is Buckingham, Gawcott, East Claydon,Green DragonFarm, Hogshaw (Coffee 10m),Return Ludgershall, Piddington, Twyford (café opportunity at 27m) Gawcott, Buckingham. (café 33m)


Ride report, Saturday 24th July

BrianT went on this morning’s ride and writes:

Ten riders assembled at EH at 9.30am on a cool cloudy morning. Quite a contrast to the high temperatures earlier in the week. We split into two groups, brisk and moderate pace (which soon morphed into a steady pace by mutual consent), five in each.

We went out through Tiffield, Greens Norton and Blakesley on some very quiet pleasant country lanes before the final climb from Farthingstone up to Everdon wood and then Stowe and the Barn cafe. A few drops of rain on the last section did not deter us from sitting outside but it was not too long before the sun was out.

The brisk group arrived shortly after having ridden a few extra hills where they had encountered an unexpected ‘loose gravel’ section on the Preston Capes single track road. Shaken not stirred and all in one piece, they were ready for the last 12% climb to Stowe.

The friendly café brought out a menu with a list of tempting pancakes (sweet and savoury) which turned out to be even better than expected (see the photos) , and quite substantial enough to get us home, combined with some good coffee.

A further comfortable nine miles and 40 mins saw us all ride back together to EH.

A very sociable morning ride in great cycling weather. Many thanks to Peter B for setting up the routes, booking the café and leading the ride.

Brian T

Ride to Adstone, Saturday 24th July

Pete 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: 38 / 33 miles
Refreshment Stop: Barn Cafe, Upper Stowe
Pace: 14 -16mph Brisk / 12mph Moderate
Time Expected Back: 1:30 – 2pm

This weekend’s ride will take us around the pleasant (and familiar) roads to the West of Northampton.

We will start at East Hunsbury and ride out to Adstone via Tiffield, Caldecote, Greens Norton and Blakesley.

From there the Brisks take a longer route, riding past Canons Ashby, Eydon and Preston Capes, then on to our Cafe stop at Upper Stowe at 29mls. The Moderates ride to Little Preston and on to the cafe, around five miles less and missing a hill or two.

Return is a comfortable nine miles through Bugbrooke and Rothersthorpe, back to our start in EH.

As usual, please confirm that you wish to join the ride by emailing me on or contacting me directly.

RideGPS routes:



Ride to Wistow, Sunday 18th July

Philip is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 56 miles
Refreshment Stop: Wistow Cafe Bistro
Pace: Steady

On Sunday we are offering a steady ride of 56 miles to the Wistow rural centre in Leicestershire. This is an attractive, largely very quiet route, with some rolling hills and about 1000m of climbing, but nothing very steep.

For this ride we are trying out a new booking system. Please follow this link to the Event Brite page and click “Register”. You don’t need to contact me unless there are any problems or other feedback. We may try out other booking systems in the next few weeks so feedback (perhaps on the ride) is welcome. Most ride leaders would like to retain some kind of booking system into the future.

We meet at 9.30 at the Brampton Valley Way NN6 8AA near the Windhover as usual. You can access the route on RideWIthGPS here. For climbing fans, there is the option of a gratuitous extra hilly mile around the village of Foxton if they wish!

Just a reminder that, sadly, the Covid emergency is not yet over. Please observe social distancing on and off the bike, and bring a mask in case you need to order food indoors. Hand sanitiser may also be an idea.

Look forward to seeing you there


Ride report, Saturday 10th July

Milton led this ride to Yardley Hastings and writes:

The rain, which had been promised by the more pessimistic forecasters, never did arrive and thirteen of us enjoyed an almost perfect day as far as weather was concerned, as we headed to the delightful Pastures Farm Cafe in Yardley Hastings.

There were five Brisks and eight Moderates led by Milton and Brian respectively through Salcey Forest and Harpole and up through Tyringham and Olney to the cafe. The Brisks suffered an extra five miles through Castlethorpe in an attempt to reach the cafe at the same time. In fact, they arrived about ten minutes early. 

The return to the Canoe Centre was made via Castle Ashby and Cogenhoe and most of us would have made it back to our homes by about 1pm keeping it a short day and allowing those who wished to, to enjoy the Wimbledon Ladies final. 

It was good to see Peter N for the first time in quite a while and perhaps some of the photos he took will be appended to this  –  by someone, (not me!) with some internet skills!

The next ride is a 56 mile Steady to Wistow led by Phil Gray next Sunday the 18th and it would be great to have another fine turnout.

Ride to Yardley Hastings, Saturday 10th July

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 39 / 34 miles
Refreshment Stop: Pastures Farm
Pace: Brisk / Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1.30 – 2.00 pm

Brian devised this attractive ride but is unable to lead it so I am standing in.
From the canoe centre we climb up through Great Houghton and, passing through Preston Deanery and Quinton, we soon reach Hanslope. The Brisks take a loop through Castlethorpe before turning north and heading to Yardley via Tyringham and Olney whilst the Moderates avoid the Castlethorpe loop. Those five extra miles ought to motivate the Brisks to keep the pedals turning if they’re not to be late for cake.

The cafe is an attractive spot about 300 metres off the main road. The track is quite rough, but nobody has yet punctured on it. There is a new indoor seating area if it’s a tad wet, but, that’s most unlikely, this being England and it being the height of Summer!

The route home is an attractive ride past Castle Ashby (good photo op) Whiston and Cogenhoe and is the same for both groups. It’s about 27 miles to the cafe for the Brisks and five less for the Moderates. I shall be leading the brisk ride and I am sure we will appoint a Moderates leader nearer the day.

Should be a nice ride and I look forward to your company.

If you want to book a place on the ride, please contact Milton on 07845 967537

Brisk ride GPS:

Moderate ride GPS:

Ride report, Sunday 4th July

Giles led this ride and writes:

Despite the ominous weather forecasts eight riders took part in today`s ride and their lack of faith in our meteorologists paid dividends as we were treated with good weather throughout with the exception of a brief thundery shower storm at about 40 miles (Brigstock).

Unfortunately, not long after we set off Ian experienced a technical with his tubeless set up and was forced to head home.

Only a mile or two later, John Wr, clad in his British Champions jersey caught up with the group having arrived at the start uncharacteristically late. With this, the seven of us headed north (ish) through Walgrave, Old and Harrington to Rothwell. Here, Viki parted company with us, as planned.

We continued through Rushton, Pipewell and East Carlton and in anticipation of the Cottingham and Gretton climbs not too far away we whizzed down Middleton Hill. Milton and Hartley nearly overshooting the sharp right hander at the bottom unaware of its existence. Cottingham & Gretton hills didn’t fail to challenge us but as Hartley later summed up the real challenge lay ahead at the café stop.

Once in Priors Hall, Brian headed off to a family dinner and the remaining five took a table outside at the Good Bean Café, each ordering pancakes. The three stack pancakes arrived loaded with bacon, maple syrup, nuts, sweetened butter and approximately half a pint of cream. Man v Food challenges completed, some successfully, some not, we headed back

The weather and tired legs just about held out through Brigstock, Grafton, Cranford and Orlingbury where we split up heading home in smaller groups.

Today`s rain-dodgers were Milton, Brian H, John Wn, John Wr, Hartley, Viki, Ian and Giles.

Thanks to all who joined this week`s ride.