Ride to Woodford Halse, Saturday 30th July

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, Near the Library, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 45 miles (Brisk) or 36 miles (Moderate)
Refreshment stop: Woodford Halse Equestrian Centre at 26mls (Brisk) and 17mls (Moderate)
Chance to join either the Brisk group (14+ mph average) or the Moderate group (12+mph average)
Time Expected Back: 1.30pm

The ride takes us out through Rothersthorpe, Bugbrooke, Litchborough, Adstone. Here the route splits with the Mods going direct to Woodford Halse and then the Equestrian Centre just beyond. The Brisk take a turn to Preston Capes and Charwelton then near Priors Marston turns south to Byfield and the Cafe with a nice little TdF style kick up finishing hill, close to the cafe where they might be ready for a coffee and cake.!!

Return is via Eydon, Canons Ashby, Blakesley, Greens Norton and Tiffield all on relatively quiet roads.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Brian Tunbridge on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149 on the day.

To help planning please sign up for the rides on CTC Northampton: Group rides (signupgenius.com)

Ride with GPS routes:
Moderate ride 36m


Brisk 45m


See the route links as well on www.ctc-northampton.org.uk


Guy Barber ride report, Sunday 24th July

Peter B went on the Guy Barber Memorial ride to Cambridge, 24th July 2022 and writes:

A total of nine riders took part in this year’s Guy Barber memorial charity ride to Cambridge.  The weather was dry and warm with some sunshine, almost perfect, except for the wind.

Five of the riders met at the Canoe Centre in Northampton at 8.00am for the start of the first leg to St Neots, setting off at a steady pace.  

Unfortunately, after a few miles, just past Cogenhoe, Phil J hit an unseen defect in the road, resulting in a pinch puncture.  As Phil laboured to remove his exceptionally tight fitting tyre, and battle with a non-cooperating pump, Phil G, Chris H and Peter S, displaying the expected camaraderie, decided to leave Phil and me for dead, and continue to St Neots at a brisk pace.

On our way again, Geoff joined us at Newton Bromswold, some 10 minutes later than planned, continuing to St Neots to join everyone for coffee before returning home.  On arrival at St Neots, at around 10.30, the Brisk trio were found lounging outside the café, clearly enjoying life, and well into their coffees.  

Brian T and Dennis H were also waiting for us at the adjacent café, where Dennis surprised us by buying our coffees as we sat in the morning sun, a very welcome act of kindness (not even marred by the admission that it was actually at his wife’s insistence).  John C, who used to ride regularly with us a few years back, also joined us.

The now five steady riders set off from St Neots at 11.00, making good time to Cambridge thanks to some modest help from the wind, and we settled down in the sunshine at our lunch stop, Tatties, at around 12.45 on a table specially laid out for us (thanks Gino).  The Brisks, who had stayed in St Neots for extra coffee, joined us shortly afterwards.

All the riders decided to follow Brian’s slightly longer route back to St Neots, which used the Cambridge Guided Busway for almost 11 miles.  John, having ridden around Cambridge often, expertly led the group through parks and quiet roads to the start of the busway at Cambridge North.  We made good pace along the smooth, flat busway to our exit at Fen Drayton Lakes, where we parted company with John, and onto rough roads for a mile or so before emerging at Fenstanton.

The group stayed together until St Neots, the wind making the ride after the Busway quite hard going, especially going over A14 bridge hump before Hilton.  Having got to the outskirts of St Neots, everyone ready for a cafe stop, Philip G, in a momentary lack of concentration, hit the kerb of a traffic calming build-out.  Philip was thrown into a bollard, which was, very fortunately, cyclist friendly – bendy and soft, and he was not seriously hurt, just a grazed knee and dented pride.  He later blamed the peak of his cycling cap for obscuring his vision. The cafe stop at St Neots was especially welcome after that, although Philip, who was probably still distracted somewhat, left his water bottles on the table.

The original five riders set off from St Neots for the final slog, battling the strengthening wind, back to Northampton.  The Brisk trio pushed ahead slightly, and both groups arrived back at the start in CC around 6.45. Peter S was a gentleman, and shared his water with Philip without replenishing until the finish, which must have been a challenge.  The last time we did the Cambridge ride, Peter ran out of water before the finish and, in desperation, politely asked a chap sitting in his garden if he would refill his bidon, to be rudely told, with a smirk, no!

Phil J and I rested for a few minutes at the Canoe Centre, then set off on the four miles home, pleased with our accomplishment.  The three Brisk riders, not content with a mere 113 miles, decided to add another 12 miles to take their distance above 200k.  Chapeau!!!!

Many thanks to all who took part – it was a wonderful day with great company, and we raised £50 for the British Heart Foundation.

Cheers – Peter B

Guy Barber memorial charity ride, Sunday 24th July

PeteB is leading this ride and writes:

CTC Northampton Annual Guy Barber Memorial Charity Ride to Cambridge in aid of the British Heart Foundation.  Sunday 24th July 2022

Dear All

Guy Barber was a member of CTC Northampton and did charity events using either a butcher’s bike or an Ordinary (penny farthing).  Using his road bike, he had two favourite rides from Northampton; one to Cambridge and one to Oxford.  On one occasion he rode both routes on the same day!

In Guy’s memory, the club has ridden one of these routes each year for the past few years and donated money to charity. This year we are (only) riding to Cambridge via St Neots, which we last did in 2019. There will also be the option of riding a shorter distance, starting from St Neots, which is 48 miles return. 

A donation of £5 on registration is requested for us to donate to the British Heart Foundation.

For planning purposes we would be grateful if our regular Northampton CTC riders would register on Signup as we usually do.  Other riders, whether CTC Members or not, are also very welcome, and I would request that you email me directly to pre-register.

To enable everyone to lunch together in Cambridge we have two start points, starting at different times. 

The longer ride (110mls) starts at the Nene Whitewater Centre (Canoe Centre), Bedford Road, NN4 7AA, with registration at 7.45.  We will leave at 8.00, riding 33 miles to St Neots, arriving before 10.30am to join those starting at St Neots, and allowing time for a rest and a cafe stop at the Market Cafe in the Market Square.

The shorter ride (48mls) will start from the Market Square in St Neots (PE19 2AA), with registration at 10.45am.  The two groups will leave together at 11.00.

Lunch in Cambridge is at Tatties Cafe (11 Hobson St, Cambridge, CB1 1PA) and we expect to arrive there around 12.45.

On the return leg, those riders taking the the longer route have the opportunity to stop again at St Neots for coffee if desired. Depending on timing, a coffee stop is also possible between St Neots and Northampton, perhaps at Thurleigh if early enough.  Of course, if all else fails, there are a number of friendly looking pubs along the way that could provide refreshment.

Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads, with cycle paths around Cambridge. The route is fairly flat between St Neots and Cambridge, with only a few moderate hills to enjoy between Northampton and St Neots.

See the routes on the RidewithGPS links below:

Northampton to Cambridge


St Neots to Cambridge


Timing is difficult to judge, as it depends on the riders joining us, but the groups are likely to arrive back to St Neots at 3.30pm, and Northampton at around 6.30pm.

Parking at Northampton is easily possible on the road leading to the Canoe Centre, but not in the Car Park, as this is restricted.

Parking at St Neots is possible in the Market Square but, if preferred, the Riverside Car Park (The Paddock, PE19 7SA) is just to the west, and over the river, from the Market Square and has ample parking.  Both are free on Sundays.

Carrying water and energy snacks is vital, especially on the longer route.  The weather forecast at the moment is suggesting a hot, dry day, making hydration even more important, so please ensure that you carry plenty. 

Also, please ensure that your bike is in good order and free from known issues from the start, and that basic puncture repairs can be dealt with en-route.

We look forward to welcoming anyone who wishes to join, although for planning purposes, we would be grateful for a reply to me by email if you intend to ride and are not a regular CTC Northampton rider.  The regulars should use Signup as usual.

For more details please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Ride report, Sunday 17th July

Philip led this ride and writes:

Five riders met at Moulton on Sunday at the unusually early time of 8.30 am, an attempt to outwit the forecasted heat. Or so I’m told. Meanwhile, despite being leader, I was at last week’s start – Brampton Valley Way. Finally realising my error, I raced over to Moulton, luckily ringing Peter on the way, just in time to prevent the group departing without me in head-shaking puzzlement. 

Everyone was very decent and we set off, picking up John W on the way, on what proved a memorable cycling day weatherwise – basically, the South of France imported to GB. Also with us was Alan J, another distance cyclist, warming up for his massive upcoming Audax (the one that starts and finishes in London…). 

A couple of incidents made the morning more interesting than we’d have liked. First Brian had a close call with a car – not strictly anyone’s fault (be careful crossing the Braybrooke Road from Harrington, the bend is blinder than you think…); then Milton’s rear gear lever entirely lost its sense of purpose. John W’s repair kit came in handy yet again to at least ensure Milton had two gears, as he headed for home. His review: “I had two gears, but they were both crackers! Sometimes you wonder why we have so many of the things!”

Things settled down as we headed north over the lumpy Dingley road into the Welland Valley at Welham and over the multiple climbs of Rutland around Hallaton, which Chris enjoyed on his first visit to the smallest county, the hidden gem on our doorstep.

At Stockerston, the team was sensing the coffee and cake ahead, so no-one volunteered to join Philip (me) on a solo ascent of the south side of Stockerston Hill (without oxygen). Half an hour later, as Philip came into Cottingham/ Middleton, there was a sense of bees circling the honey pot as cyclists from various clubs descended on the Rockingham Forest Wheelers’ Open Day at their charming limestone clubhouse.

The Wheelers had laid on barista coffee, excellent cake and warm food and we just managed to find a table outside, after ordering from a new worker behind the bar, one Giles B! It was good to see various old friends. The Tour was on TV inside, there was a cycling art exhibition by Maxine Dodds and cycling memorabilia on display upstairs. All perfect!

Eventually we departed for the road home, into a welcome southerly breeze. Heading gently down towards Rushton, we ignored the “road closed” sign, only to find that it really meant “closed”, at the bridge over the railway line, which is currently being electrified. After a 1.5 mile detour we were back on track. 

Philip left the group at Moulton and, despite a ride of about 57 miles as a group, got home relatively early thanks to the early start.

Thanks everyone for great company and not teasing me too much about my wrong start! Also to Brian for the group photos and Peter for the view of the clubhouse. 


Ride to Middleton, Sunday 17th July

Philip is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9:30am
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: 55mls
Café Stop: Rockingham Forest Wheelers Clubhouse
Average Pace: average speed 13-14mph

This Sunday we ride north to join our friends at Rockingham Forest Wheelers, who are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their fine clubhouse in Middleton with an open day. This is a 55-mile route from Moulton, plus the optional extra of Stockerston Hill (2 miles up and down) for any energetic climbers.

It’s a steady ride with moderate hills, but forecast to be rather warm (32 degrees late afternoon). However, most of our miles (34) will be before the coffee stop, where we are promised great coffee and a range of hot food and cakes. Fully refuelled, we’ll only have 20 miles back to base, hopefully ahead of the peak heat.   

Please remember your sun cream and plenty to drink.

Please sign up at Signup Genius (very simple – no account required) and let me know if you have any questions.

The route is available here



07557 670 831

Ride report, Saturday 9th July

Philip led this ride and writes:

On Saturday, nine riders joined our rides to Houlton near Rugby on one of the finest (and warmest) riding days of the year so far, to discover a new urban development with an interesting historical background (and some rather good cycle paths). 

Regular riders were happy to be joined by Karen (new) and Terry (a returnee).  

The two groups took largely independent routes. The six Moderate riders, led by Brian,  went out fairly straight via Althorp, Norton, Welton and Barby, while the three Brisks (Alex, Gary and Philip) took a curving route to the north through Long Buckby, Yelvertoft, Lilbourne and Clifton upon Dunsmore. From there it was downhill to Houlton, which is essentially an extension of Rugby to the east. 

The Brisks entered the impressive development by a nostalgic sign including two cyclists – a good photo opportunity – and a rather superior cycle path, then negotiated unfinished paths and roads to emerge at our destination, The Tuning Fork. 

Welcome to Houlton

The Moderate group arrived shortly afterwards, having enjoyed a quiet route after initial traffic. The green road from Norton with its cattle grids was skilfully negotiated and everybody was awarded their bike handling certificates!!

Although not the cheapest coffee stop, most people seemed to think the Tuning Fork’s quality at least matched its prices, with some rather memorable mounds of cream and cake and excellent coffee.      

Any why The Tuning Fork? Why Houlton? Why the many references to radio? The entire development is being built on land formerly occupied by the radio masts and buildings of Rugby Radio Station from 1926 to 2003. It was from here that the first transatlantic radio message was sent in January 1927.

And a tuning fork was apparently used to tune transmission frequencies, until more modern methods arrived. (Thanks to Alex and Ian MacSporran for links and info).

Gary had to leave early for a personal engagement but Phil J took his place with the Brisks on the return journey via an attractive “back lane” to Barby and Welton (initially with the Moderates), then Watford, Long Buckby and Althorp.     

The Moderates’ way back through Ashby St Ledgers was particularly nice in the warm but fresh early afternoon with a tail wind and the sun. 

Thanks to everyone who came out, and well done to Karen on one of her longer rides to date.

Happy cycling 


Lunch at the Tuning Fork

Ride to Houlton, Saturday 9th July

Philip is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9:30am
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: Brisk 43mls, Moderate 38.5mls
Café Stop: Tuning Fork, Houlton
Average Pace: Brisk 15mph, Moderate 12mph

This Saturday’s ride features a place that doesn’t (fully) exist yet, an attractive new coffee stop, and unusually, two largely separate routes to get there.

We are riding to Houlton, a new ‘village’ or urban extension between Rugby and DIRFT, the “Daventry” International Rail Freight Terminal (which isn’t especially near Daventry).

Starting at the Brampton Valley Way (where we can witness the impact of the works for the Northern “Relief” Road), the Brisk group goes out via East Haddon, Long Buckby, Yelvertoft, Lilbourne and Clifton upon Dunsmore. The Moderates take a more southerly route via Norton, Welton and Barby.

All being well we will meet at the Tuning Fork in Houlton, where there is ample outdoor seating, in view of the bikes (though a café lock does no harm). Please note: if you want to eat something hot, please look at the menu and let me know so I can give them advance warning, as everything is prepared freshly on the premises.

Maybe we will also find out why it’s called the Tuning Fork!

Both groups will go back the same way initially through Barby, diverging after Welton, with the Brisks tackling Mount Long Buckby from a different side .

The routes are available here:

Brisk route 43 miles

Moderate route 38.5 miles

As usual please sign up at Signup Genius and let me know if any questions.

I hope to see some of you there