Ride to Thornby, Sunday 2nd January

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Venue: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 45 Miles
Pace: Steady – Around 13mph Average
Cafe Stop: Buddhist Centre Cafe, Thornby
Estimated return: Around 2.00 pm

This Sunday’s ride, our first of 2022, is from East Hunsbury to the Buddhist Centre at Thornby.

Originally devised by Chris D, this ride is a bit hilly, but follows some pleasant low-traffic roads North West of Northampton. We set out through Gayton, Bugbrooke, Flore, West Haddon to our Cafe destination at Thornby.

Hopefully, the cafe will be open …. the last time I planned a ride to the Buddhist Centre it was closed for an event. I promise I will check again before the ride ! With the latest COVID restrictions, please ensure you bring a mask.

The route back is via Guilsborough, East Haddon, Althorp, Kislingbury and back to East Hunsbury.

Weather looks to be be dry whilst we are riding, but with rain forecast before and after, I guess rain jackets will be used. On the positive side though, the temperature is a balmy 11 degs.

As Philip keeps (rightly) reminding us, 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 RWGPS: CTC Ride to Thornby

Cheers Peter


Ride report, Boxing Day

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

A rather damp and dismal welcome to the start of this festive ride for seven cyclists didn’t dampen our spirits. Overnight rain had created large pools of water all along the route to Salcey but the mood was buoyant despite the tricky conditions. Gurj was welcomed back after a long absence due to work commitments to finish off the year on this simplest of rides.

A steady pace of no great effort got us through each village along the way and in no time we found ourselves approaching the cafe at Salcey Forest. Milton and Gurj pressed on without stopping whilst we took up residence in a quiet corner of the Grounds cafe to enjoy a coffee and cake. The forest was already filling up with the usual Boxing Day clientele, out for dog walks and fresh air and a few cyclists already enjoying a welcome break in front of the fire.

With most of the ride behind us, all that remained was the long stretch towards Wootton down the Quinton road and back to Hunsbury. As we left the forest rain came down again as it had at the start. PhilG tailed off at Preston Deanery and our foursome rode on back to the start, marking the end of our 2021 rides calendar.

Thanks to those who came out on a rather uninviting day and in fact those who have come out riding at all in 2021.

Happy new year of cycling.


Boxing Day ride to Salcey Forest

PhilJ is leading this Boxing Day ride and writes:

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 20 miles
Pace: Moderate
Cafe Stop: Grounds Cafe, Salcey Forest
Estimated return: Around 12:00

Another year is nearly over and it’s time for our annual Boxing day ride to Salcey Forest. Milton has stepped aside for the second time to allow me to lead my version of the ride, albeit to the same coffee stop.

A slightly different route than Milton’s we’ll start at EH heading for Rothersthorpe, Milton Malsor and Stoke Bruerne. Once through Ashton and Hartwell we’ll be ready for coffee at the Grounds Cafe in the forest.

The return journey is a more straightforward and quicker run down the Quinton road into Wootton and Hunsbury. You’ll be back in time for the second turkey dinner in two days so there’s no excuse not to come out and burn off those Christmas day calories.

Please use the Sign Up app or contact me on phjoh119@gmail.com if you’re coming.



Ride report, Sunday 19th December

BrianT went on this ride and writes:

Six riders met at BVW car park at 9.30am to travel in convoy to Manton, a village on Rutland Water. 

The temperature was hovering around 1-2 degrees C on the way, which was also foggy, although visibility was OK for driving.  After unpacking the bikes we eventually left at 10.45 to traverse the reservoir. The bike trail was a mix of tarmac and gravel tracks in about equal measure. There were not that many walkers or cyclist around during the morning and we more or less had the place to ourselves. The walkers we did meet caused a minor pile up which must have looked spectacular but only John W came off with a cut knee. The walkers were keen to give John the full first aid works but he declined the offer.  There was little wind so riding conditions were good. 

Shortly after this we found that the café Phil L had carefully researched. It was closed so we continued to the point where the planned route turned onto the peninsular for a quick loop into the centre of the reservoir. The debate was then do we do this or head for the second café in the next village. This was at noon so we pedalled on to Egleton where Phil knew the Anglian Water Bird Watching Centre had a café. That looked closed but we sent the indomitable JW in to see what was available. There was indeed a DIY coffee machine and the centre staff were doing toasted sandwiches or flapjacks. 

I think we were the only visitors that day as it was off the cycling route. Inside we had a panoramic view of the reservoir but due to the fog, there was no flying today, but it was pleasantly warm there.

The cars were now only a short distance away and we arrived back at just after 1pm. We had only cycled 16 miles on the flat but it was a good place to ride on a foggy day and we all felt this had been good morning out for a bit of fresh air and good company. Thanks to Phil L for leading the ride. 



Off road at Rutland Water, Sunday 19th December

PhilL is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meet: Car park opposite Wind-hover/Brampton Valley Way Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 23m
Stops: Various coffee stops
Average pace: 12mph
Time expected back: 2-3pm

Car assisted- off road circuit of Rutland Water
Members wishing to attend this ride-circuit of Rutland Water will need access to bike carrying transport to/from Rutland Water a journey which takes about 50mins.
I’m proposing to meet at the car park opposite the Windhover/BVW at 9.30am then drive in convoy through to Uppingham and the start point at Manton where there is limited free parking (to avoid the £6 fees at Normanton!)
The off- road ride surface is a mixture of tarmac, roughish gravel and cobbles so either an MTB or Gravel bike required, def. not road bike.

Members wishing to attend this ride can either use our SignUpGenius system
Or mail me direct on raucousdrongo@yahoo.co.uk

Phil Letts

Ride report, Saturday 11th December

Peter B led the Moderate Ride and writes:

It was a good turnout for the Brisk and Moderate rides to Woodford Halse, with 10 riders setting off from East Hunsbury (plus Phil G who joined on route) on a cold but bright day.  Chris D led the three Brisk riders, who set off first to try to get to the cafe before the moderates finished off the cake.

It was great that John W was able to join us for his last ride before leaving Northampton to be nearer his family in the Bristol area.  Special thanks go to John from the Committee for being the Club Treasurer for many years.  We’re not aware of any sharp dealings during John’s tenure, but Phil L, who has kindly volunteered to take the financial helm, will be checking the numbers very carefully. 

Of course, I’m only joking, John has been a steady hand and we will miss him and his squeaky brakes greatly.  We trust he will enjoy riding with a new club, and we wish him all the very best for the future!!

This was the first time that we had used the Harley Cafe on a club ride since the start of COVID, and we can report that the service was attentive and the cake, bacon sandwiches and home made sausage rolls were just as delicious as ever.

The weather wasn’t quite so kind to us on the return leg, with intermittent light drizzle, but this wasn’t a problem and was otherwise uneventful.

Thanks to everyone who joined the ride, and a plug for Phil L’s ride next week, which is an off-road steady around Rutland Water.  Look forward to seeing many of you then.

Cheers Peter

Ride to Woodford Halse, Saturday 11th December

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: Brisk: 39mls, Moderate: 36mls
Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph
Cafe Stop: Harley Equestrian Centre at around 22 or 18 miles.
Estimated return: Around 1.30pm

This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides take us to Woodford Halse, West of Northampton.

We start from near East Hunsbury Library, passing Milton Malsor, Gayton, Pattishall and on to Canons Ashby. From here the Moderates will take a direct route to our cafe stop at Woodford Halse, whereas the Brisks can enjoy a couple of additional miles looping around Culworth.

Both groups take the same route back to the start through Preston Capes, Maidford, Bugbrooke and Rothersthorpe.

The weather looks to be dry and cold at the moment, with a light wind – we’ve certainly endured much worse recently, so let’s hope the forecast stays like that.

We look forward to seeing you, and as Philip G keeps (rightly) reminding us, COVID is far from over, with restrictions on the increase again, so please bring a mask for the café and 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

Links to RWGPS:

Brisk  EH/Woodford/39mls

Moderate   EH/Woodford/36mls

Cheers – Peter

Ride report, Sunday 5 December

PhilG led this ride and writes:

Seven hardy riders turned up at the Brampton Valley Way on Sunday, undeterred by the wintry conditions, aiming for brunch at Foxton Locks. They included Geoff who’d already ridden from Kettering to the start. 

Not long after setting off, the 10% chance of rain was realised. Although at that point, it was more like 10% of a proper shower. But with a decent, gusty headwind. 

At Naseby, Geoff decided to head for home, understandably especially in the weather conditions. 

We continued through Clipston and East Farndon to Market Harborough and Great Bowden. Here the lure of the new coffee shop, Bowden Stores, proved too much for Brian and John Winn, although they claimed it was something to do with not warming up enough because of their electric bikes. 

The remaining four riders (Peter B, James C, Hartley and me) had a demanding ride through an increasing headwind to the Langtons, and then west up through hilly Foxton village. The picturesque Foxton Locks Inn welcomed us with coffee and baguettes. 

There followed a much more pleasant ride back with the wind behind us, and the odd break in the  cloud.

We made it back finally a bit later than planned (about 3.15), but exactly on 48 miles. 

Well done to everyone on getting out on a challenging day, and thanks for your company. 

PS Brian and John also made it home safely after a warming coffee in Great Bowden.

Hopefully Geoff did too!