Ride report, Sunday 31st October

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Quite frankly I don’t know where to start on this one. We were wet, windswept, and cold, and that was just at the start at EH. JohnW, BrianH (the elder of the two) and I joined PeteB for this long ride to Stowe in what was shaping up to be unpredictable riding conditions from the beginning and all of us unaware of the drama to unfold later. Setting off, Pete mis-read his Garmin in record time and almost took us into Yeoman Meadow at the top of Hunsbury Hill. Not surprising really given the rainy conditions we set off in and the difficulty he was having reading the small screen. It is a quaint cul-de-sac but not on the route.

Soon back on track we headed towards Milton Malsor where we cycled through a deluge of water and quickly got soaked even more. Climbing Gayton hill, rainwater came cascading down quicker than we were going up! A large reservoir at the top proving tricky to cross. Heading out to Dalscote we commenced our battle with the forces of nature. The sun popped out briefly just as the wind and rain threw all its fury at us as if to say, ‘take that’. Still upright we crossed the A5 for Cold Higham still reeling from our surprise wind slammer. I have never seen so much debris from trees on the roads but incredibly none of us had any punctures or mishaps. Many roads were covered in leaves and broken branches for most of our journey, not to mention being hit with them occasionally as the wind swirled around our heads. Downhills were precarious and if anyone has any brake pads left then I’ll be surprised. Further flooding at the bottom of many dips made us cautious of traversing the water. Covered potholes became our main concern.

The Nevillery Café at the National Trust in Stowe became increasingly more inviting during the journey for our battle-weary riders. As we entered the grounds however, a friendly official unwittingly crushed our spirits by informing us that the cafe wasn’t open due to power issues. We were stunned and speechless. Power lines had come down in the windy conditions. Nor was there any other option to get food he concluded. It was a devastating blow, just when we needed coffee and cake to lift those flagging spirits. After a sharp intake of breath and suitably resigned to our fate, we decided to continue the ride hoping to call in at the Whittlebury Bakery instead, just a few miles further on. That hope came in the form of several signs at the side of the road indicating it was ‘Now Open’. Once inside the entrance we were dealt another hammer blow as we realised the doors were well and truly bolted. Our group was now getting desperate for food to keep us going. With around ten miles to go, at least the end was in sight.

But more dramas came our way on the approach to Shutlanger, adding to our misery. A Road Closed sign. Fortunately, this type of situation does not usually prevent us from getting through and despite friendly advice from a passing local about a fallen tree, we ignored it. Further on, as it became clear that the road had taken a battering from the winds, we continued, despite more advice from a fellow cyclist coming from the tree’s direction. Furthermore, and even further on I was shown pictures by another friendly local who assured me that we would not be able to get through and we ignored that advice too! We would not be defeated.

At the sight of the fallen tree, some head scratching eschewed. But with some swift pruning of branches by Pete and BrianH we were soon viewing the devastation from the other side. The second and third fallen trees further up the road obviously proving less of an obstacle to our green fingered tree experts and we swept them aside with some ease.

The rest of the ride home now provided us with a sense of victory. Man had braved the elements, overcome the forces of nature and moved immovable objects.

Chapeau to everyone who took part in this eventful ride today.

PhilJ

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Ride to Stowe, Sunday 31st October

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time 9.30am
Distance 46 Miles
Pace Steady – Around 13mph Average
Cafe Stop: Nevillery NT Cafe, Stowe
Estimated return Around 2.00 pm

This Sunday’s ride is from East Hunsbury to Stowe near Buckingham.

We will ride out past Milton Malsor, Pattishall, Helmdon and Syresham. Our cafe stop is the NT cafe at Stowe Gardens, which is around the 28 mile mark.

The return route will take us through Wittlebury and Stoke Bruerne. The link to the route is below.

The bad news is that the weather forecast is not brilliant at the moment, with rain in the morning. Still, the BBC can never get the weather right, so my prediction is that it will be warm, sunny and dry !!

As Philip keeps (rightly) reminding us, COVID is not yet over, so please consider the usual precautions.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

Link to route on Ridewithgps:

EH/Stowe/46mls

Cheers Peter

Ride report, Saturday 23rd October

Brian T went on this ride and writes:

Sixteen riders turned out today to take advantage of a reasonable weather forecast, dry with low wind and temperatures typical for an autumn day. Philip Gray managed to make it and led the brisk group of five riders leaving Peter to help lead the remaining 11 riders (two met on the way) for the moderate pace group.
Both groups were doing roughly the same route which left the CC, out through Gt Houghton and on to Salcey Forest. The roads were quite busy for a Saturday and with a potential busy Newport road the Moderate group changed to a quieter route through Hanslope, Tyringham and on to Emberton.
As as we crossed over the M1 we could see that the north bound carriageway was closed for major road works which perhaps accounted for extra traffic in the area. At Emberton the Mods joined the Brisk route through Newton Blossomville and Turvey, which was not too far from the welcome stop at the Emmaus centre. The brisks had gone a few miles, and extra hills, to the east via Sherington arriving just ahead of the other group at the cafe.

We had seen lots of cyclist out that day and from the depletion of the cake counter at the cafe, many of them may well have passed through Emmaus. However, there was plenty left and we sat outside at the garden tables to enjoy the coffee etc. With no wind it was just ok to sit outside but after a lengthy stop we were glad to get warmed up again as we hit the long climb out of Harold up Dungee hill to Bozeat. Not quite all downhill from here (one of the highest points on the route) but there was still the challenge of Cogenhoe hill before we could finish back at the Whitewater centre.


It was good to see three ladies out today as well as Dennis from Oundle. Extra brownie points must go to Bob Tomalin who cycled 11 miles to the start from Creaton. (and back again !).
It was a very sociable ride and we were glad to get a ride in with good weather despite November being only a week away.

Brian T

Ride to Carlton, Saturday 23rd October

PhilG is leading this ride and writes:

Start Time: 9.30am
Meeting Point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 44 miles, 37 miles
Pace: Brisk / Moderate
Cafe Stop: Emmaus Centre, Carlton

We’ll be riding from the Whitewater Centre NN4 7AA to the Emmaus Centre, Carlton, with a choice of a 44-mile Brisk ride or 37-mile Moderate ride. Links to GPS routes below.

Please sign up at Signup Genius.

GPS routes:

Moderate: 2021-CC-Emmaus-37mi

Brisk: 2021-CC-Emmaus-44mi

Finally, just a reminder that the pandemic sadly is not over, and it is still worth bringing a mask and observing some degree of social distancing.

Hope to see you there,

Philip

Ride Report, Saturday 9th October

Giles led this ride and writes:

Unseasonally good weather greeted the 11 riders who met at Moulton Co-op on Saturday for the trip to Woodford Marina. Two groups formed, six in the brisk and five in the moderates On the outward journey through Holcot, Hannington, Orlingbury, Isham, Burton Latimer, Cranford, Slipton and Great Addington, the briskers route took on a few extra miles but criss-crossed the moderate`s route and both groups briefly came together on a couple of occasions before finally meeting up at the Water Mill Tearooms. Despite arriving at the same time as a number of other cycling groups we managed to grab two tables outside in the sunshine for coffee and cake. 

The groups rode together for the start of the return journey and some wayward route planning soon resulted in our own unintentional taster of last week`s Paris-Roubaix as we gravel tracked it through the countryside for a mile or two between Little Addington and the A510- Thrapston Road where we re-joined the recognised road network. The brisk group pushed on through the back roads of Finedon, then on to Great Harrowden, Mears Ashby, Sywell, Overstone and back to Moulton with the moderates arriving shortly afterwards.

The weather stayed fine throughout and there were no technical issues despite the off-road section. 

Cheers

Giles

Ride to Willen, Sunday 17th October

PhilL is leading this write and writes:

Start Time: 9.30am
Meeting Point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 38mls
Pace: Steady-off road
Cafe Stop: One4Six cafe, Willen
Estimated time back: Around 1pm

The ride planned for Sunday 17th is a mix of off and on road with a fair bit of gravel path and fairly lumpy red-ways along the MK canal. So a gravel or MTB bike required.
The route takes us along roads from EH through to Salcey then Long Street, Hanslope and Castlethorpe before turning off onto a recognised gravelled cycle path into Cosgrove C.PK. From there we follow the river and Grand Union canal via Red-ways to Willen for our coffee stop at One 4Six cafe after 19miles.
Our return follows the Red-ways out from Willen but then we cross the eastern end of the C.Pk park to Haversham regaining the tarmac for the return via Hanslope, Long Street, Salcey and EH making a total of 38m.

GPS of route as below.
Willen mixed on/off road

Ride to Ringstead, Saturday 9th October

Giles is leading this ride and writes:

Start Time: 9.30am
Meeting Point: Moulton Co-Op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: Brisk: 39mls, Moderate: 36mls
Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph
Cafe Stop: Water Mill Tea Rooms
Estimated time back: Around 1.30pm

This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides take us to the Watermill Tea Rooms in the Willy Watt Marina, Woodford, near Ringstead.
Weather is looking good at the moment, so I look forward to seeing you at the Co-Op in Moulton, meeting at 9.30am as usual, and we should be back before 1.30pm.

Please follow this link to book a place on Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DA5AE23A3FDC61-group

Links to RWGPS:

Brisk Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37657747

Moderate Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37657709

Cheers Giles

Ride report, Sunday 3rd October

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Winds, what winds? I didn’t see anything on the forecast for today. We obviously dodged the weather from yesterday and a reasonable day’s riding was in store.

A keen group of riders joined me at the start including Ken from Lancashire, returning rider Alan and new boy Chris Brown who advised me that Eloise would be riding with us but also mentioned that she would be fashionably late. Chris gallantly waited for her arrival whilst we set off towards the Brampton’s for the first climb of the day.

Once we crested it, BrianT and PhilL decided to ride on at their own pace but we gained Viki and Hartley just before the dip at Pitsford and proceeded to climb another rise together. The drop at the other side of Brixworth over the Spratton crossing is a blindingly fast descent with the payback being the long haul up to Spratton. Pete did say something like ‘you’ve only got yourself to blame’ as I joined the group at the summit. A brief respite at the Welford Road crossing followed before another rapid drop in altitude took us towards Teeton then Guilsborough.

That was about it for the hard climbing until we finally reached Naseby in glorious sunshine. Strangely, two bikes were already parked up. BrianT and PhilL being the owners. They’d seemingly taken the reverse route in from Pitsford and arrived ahead of our group. Geoff from the Kettering group had also arrived giving us around ten at the Vicarage.

Without ordering anything, tea, coffee and cakes were delivered to our outside tables, with more to come later on. Fabulous service from the lady who was running it today. Sadly no sign of Chris and Eloise who it transpired had got to Spratton and stopped for coffee before returning home.

As we left the Vicarage the clock at the church chimed 12 and the wind picked up. All the way home in fact. Another two climbs followed at Cottesbrooke and Brixworth. Not before we parted company with BrianT and PhilL again. Viki and Hartley said their goodbyes soon after, leaving four of us upping the pace back towards the Brampton’s where the wind was now making riding difficult. Three of us arrived back at Sixfields after a decent days riding and a lovely cafe stop at the Old Vicarage.

Great riding from everyone on a quite hilly and windy ride out today.

PhilJ