Ride to Upper Wardington, Sunday 4th September

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting Point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 50 miles
Pace: Steady (around 12-14 mph)
Café stop: Barn Farm Plants, Wardington, Banbury

This Sunday’s ride is another chance to visit the Barn Farm Plants Cafe in Wardington near Banbury. We were there earlier in the year and enjoyed great food and drink.

It’s a familiar route most of the way out along Banbury lane, passing Canons Ashby, Moreton Pinkney and on to Thorpe Mandeville. Upper Wardington isn’t far off at that point.

The return journey takes us along some roads less travelled including Cropredy, famous for its music festivals as well as Appletree and Aston le Walls.

The route is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36452282

Please signup at SignUp Genius if you can.

Hope to see you on Sunday.



Ride report, Sunday 21st August

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

A trio of seriously looking riders joined me at Sixfields on this rescheduled ride to Draycote Water. PeteB, PeteS and ChrisD all undeterred by the lack of the promised foie gras on the original menu. Chris was hoping for a 2pm return and as it happened we didn’t disappoint.

A steady pace out with some easy elevation quite in contrast to the return journey. Cloudy skies and breezy conditions providing the perfect temperature for the ride. The gated road at Norton was easily navigated despite the usual mix of gravel and cattle grids. The drop into Welton from the highest point on the ride is then a gentle reminder of the climb you’ll be doing on the way back! The scenic views along to Welton are always a pleasure and once through Barby, it isn’t long before the Dunchurch signs appear at the swift left hander which catapults you towards the village.

A busy Draycote greeted us with barely a seat on the balcony. But the guys were quick to put their helmets on the only free table available whilst we queued for food and drink. The jam and cream scones were being snapped up quickly but Chris had other plans anyway. With little encouragement we all doubled up with bacon or sausage rolls and scones or flapjacks. PeteS apparently eating his in reverse order. All of it ideal preparation for the extra climbs coming up. Conscious of Chris’s date with the Derry Girls at 2pm, we left Draycote and headed home.

At Grandborough PeteS and I discussed the size of the Draycote scones in detail. The conclusion being that they’re definitely smaller than they used to be. Anyway, there’s two quick climbs in and out of Braunston on the way home including one past Bragborough Hall to get the heart pumping. The return back up to the highest point follows soon after with the pace increasing to brisk steady once we conquered it.

Another short climb just approaching Nether Heyford completed the lung busters for the day. We pushed on through Bugbrooke and with all four riders resident in Hunsbury we diverted the ride off course at Kislinbury straight back to Hunsbury Meadows where we parted. All done by 2pm.

Great riding from everyone today, thanks for joining me.


A good looking bunch
View of Draycote Water

Ride to Draycote Water, Sunday 21st August

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Distance: 50 miles
Café stop: Waterside Restaurant, Draycote Water
Pace: Steady

Next Sundays ride was going to be stopping at the newly refurbished White Lion in Radford Semele which we visited three years ago on the day that it closed. Unfortunately its re-opened as a gastropub. The menu is far too high end for us. Hors d’oeuvres and fancy wines just isn’t our bag and it probably wouldn’t fuel us home very well either. You wouldn’t be getting much change out of £20 for the food alone!

Instead we’ll head in the same direction to Draycote Water just outside Dunchurch. We haven’t visited the Waterside Restaurant for some time. In fact according to the blog entry, the last ride there, we were deeply in Covid times. Added to that, we simply skirted the perimeter the last time we were in Dunchurch having used the Solstice café instead. There’s no running festival this Sunday at Draycote so we won’t be competing with any runners for the finish line as we did previously.

The route is a familiar one. Through Whilton Locks, Welton, Barby and Dunchurch. The return is through Grandborough, Willoughby, Braunston and Norton.

GPS route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34146528

It’s a rare Sixfields start and as usual please sign up at SignUp Genius if you can.



Ride report, Saturday 13th August

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

All things considered this ride seemed easy and quite breezy!

PeteB had shortened the length of both routes and included just one notable climb on our moderate route this morning. The brisks probably didn’t agree, with their extra climbs and extra mileage as the thermostat climbed ever higher. Otavio bravely joined the brisks sporting his new Italian Bottecchia aero superbike. Miriam and Philip joined at Gayton making it four riders in each group.

 The welcome breeze kept us surprisingly cool along the way along with regular drink stops roadside. Enjoying the easy pace, we got on to the subject of mindful riding. Being in the moment. Ignoring speed and distance and enjoying the ride for what it was. Miriam was right on it and could have wrote the book. We enjoyed the ride, the company and just being outdoors. 

Farthingstone hill was our only real challenge today. But the dust cloud from the tractor in the adjacent field made it a little more difficult to breathe in sufficient air for the effort up the rise. PeteB even suggesting that he was holding his breath part way up!

Once at the summit, the stunning views are the reward along the plateau to the dairy farm café. It didn’t seem too busy as we arrived but that was because most customers were inside the café enjoying the cooler temperatures. Only mad dogs and us were prepared to sit outside in what was now sweltering heat. Parasols went up immediately in an attempt to find any shade.

The brisks arrived shortly after with Otavio holding on admirably. The service at the dairy farm was up to the usual high standard as was the food and drink. Otavio then joined the moderates for the last leg home having earned an easier ride on the ride out with the brisks. The aero bike having done its job!

It’s not often we have an easier than usual ride but today was just that. Most welcome in the extreme heat we are experiencing.

Thanks to Pete for leading the ride and all who came out on this hot Summer’s day.

Ride to Upper Stowe, Saturday 13th August

Peter 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: 33 mls (Brisk) or 27 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop: Old Dairy Café, Upper Stowe
Pace: Brisk or Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1.00pm

We have two shortish rides on Saturday starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library.

Originally the rides on Saturday were to be longer, however in view of the hot weather forecast, currently expected to reach 31c by 1.00pm, I’ve shortened them.

The Brisk Ride is 33 miles at a pace of around 14 to 15 mph, with the Moderate Ride 27 miles, and is expected to be around 11 to 12 mph. Cake stop, around 24 miles for the Brisks, 18 miles for the Moderates, is at the Old Dairy Cafe at Upper Stowe. There are plenty of tables outside, and most have parasols for shade.

Both groups will leave East Hunsbury, riding generally West, through Milton Malsor, Tiffield, Pattishall and past Foxley. The Moderates will then sensibly turn towards Maidford, Farthingstone and to the Barn Café at Upper Stowe. The Brisks will continue to Adstone, Preston Capes and Everdon (and the incline at Everdon Stubbs) before reaching the Café.

The return route is the same for both groups and a comfortable nine miles via Bugbrooke and Kislingbury – probably just right as the mercury increases.

We always look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride. As usual, it’s really helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles.

Brisk Ride Route:

EH/Upper Stowe/33mls

Moderate Ride route:

EH/Upper Stowe/27mls

Ride to Ringstead, Sunday 7th August

Peter B is leading this Steady ride to Ringstead and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA)
Distance: 55 miles
Café stop: Water Mill Tea Room, Woodford Mill, Ringstead
Time Expected Back: Between 2-3pm

RWGPS link : https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38822708

Sunday’s ride is a Steady from the Canoe Centre to Woodford Mill in Ringstead and with the weather forecast currently promising excellent weather, this should be a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

This is one of Milton’s routes, so is recommended ….. although the last time we rode it, back in April, the café was closed for a wedding if I recall correctly, causing mutterings as several hungry cyclists were turned away. Not this time though, I’ve checked !

We set off from the Canoe Centre, taking a route through Little Houghton, Castle Ashby, Bozeat, Newton Bromswold, Chelveston and to our café stop at Ringstead at the 30 mile mark (so remember water and fuel). The return leg is via the Cranfords, Burton Latimer, Finedon, Mears Ashby and Ecton.

As usual, we look forward to welcoming any new riders, as well as the regulars, and, as always, it is very helpful for our planning to book a place on Signup: Group rides

The RWGPS link for the route is:

Cheers – Peter

Ride report, Saturday 30th July

BrianT led this ride and writes:

Nine riders met at EH on a cloudy morning, six chose the moderate pace and two bravely chose to follow Chris H who led the Brisk group. The route out had the odd refreshing spot of rain and a bit of a head wind although not too strong.

Both groups followed the same route to Adstone where it turned off for the road just north of Canons Ashby . The mods continued the 3.5 miles to Woodford Halse and the Equestrian Centre. The Brisks soon peeled off for an extra nine miles via Preston Capes and Priors Marston before turning back towards Byfield and West Farndon. The nine miles were a little hilly ending up in a long 8% hill up to the edge of Woodford Halse and the café.

When the mods arrived at the Equestrian Centre at about 11am we found the cafe teaming with cyclists from a number of clubs, sitting outside under the canopies. We just managed to get a table together for the six of us. Having ordered our coffee and cakes the Brisks turned up complaining about all the extra hills they had encountered not least the last 8% hill up to Woodford. They were banished to a corner table where Peter B feigned exhaustion (see the pic) whilst Chris and Peter S looked on unsympathetically having given PB a hard time on the hills. As this group had all completed nearly 200k on the Guy Barber ride the week before they should have been in good shape to soak up the hills with ease.

After the usual excellent coffee and cake and welcome rest, we headed off on the return leg via Cannon Ashby, Greens Norton and Tiffield with mostly a tail wind and a day which warmed up with almost a glimpse of the sun at times.

We welcomed a new rider Sean out with us for the first time. The roads were quiet and it was a great day to be out on a ride with good company. Thanks to Chris for leading the Brisks.