About ianmac55

A blogging cyclist.

Saturday 7th October – Morning rides to Loddington & Wellingborough

Phil L has planned these rides and writes:

Start time 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point Canoe Centre
Length 44 miles (brisk); 40 miles (moderate)

Riding out via Sywell, Old, Loddington, Orlingbury and Irthlingborough to Wellingborough Pumphouse for coffee.

Returning via Wollaston, Grendon and Cogenhoe. Brian will be leading the shorter moderate ride.

Any questions? Phil is on 07867388592

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Sunday 3rd September – Naseby Figure-of-8

Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / A5099 crossing – near the Windhover.  There is a BVW car park a little way up Brampton Lane.
Meeting time: 9.30 a.m.
Distance: 40 miles
Speed: Tourist speed – with time to stop and stare!
Refreshments: Elevenses, if required, at Kelmarsh Buddhist Centre (18 miles).  Main stop at Naseby Vicarage where we are booked in at 12.30 p.m. / 1.00 p.m. (28 miles)

This Sunday’s ride is a little different in that we will be visiting well-known places but pausing from time to time and trying to appreciate them as if we were seeing them for the first time.
From BVW we will ride via the Harlestones (viewing the Dovecot), Althorp (gazing at the House over the ha-ha), Great Brington (contemplating dead Spencers), East Haddon (the old water pump), Holdenby (considering the fate of kings), Cottesbrooke (the wealth of turkeys) and possibly stopping at Kelmarsh (as described by James in the last ride report).
Then a tour of Clipston, Sibbertoft and Naseby takes us around the viewpoints of the Battle of 1645 before arriving at the Vicarage where we have booked the large and grand table for lunch.
On the return, which is only twelve more miles, we shall inspect “probably the most impressive seventh-century building north of the Alps” at Brixworth before emerging from the country park at Pitsford and returning to our start point via Chapel Brampton.
We should be back by 2.30 p.m.
The reason for this ride’s different pace and approach is that we will have a visitor from Aachen in Germany with us.  Back in 2013, Philip G organised a twinning visit there for CTC Northampton members where we were hosted by ADFC Aachen members.  (The ADFC is the German equivalent of the CTC.)  Eight of us went – and Alex and I were hosted by Sabine Neitzel.  Alex and I stayed with Sabine again last year and now she is visiting Northampton for a long weekend.
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Ian
Questions? 07960 302095

Ride report: Saturday 26th August

James went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes:

Twelve of us departed from Moulton under conditions very reflective of the ride organiser’s temperament: grey, sullen and slightly damp.  At the same time, his the choice of destination – the World Peace Café at the Nagarjuna Buddhist centre in Kelmarsh – typified his more positive qualities, e.g., his lifelong commitment to the enlightened one’s emphasis on equanimity and loving-kindness as the core values of daily existence.

In order to encourage more people to come out and ride, Milton – in a familiar display of thoughtfulness – had devised faster and slower route options.  The ‘proper’ brisk route followed a slightly more circuitous path to Kelmarsh – going via Orton – than did the moderate one, which was shorter by something like five miles. Of course, the division also gave some of the slightly faster and, err, more competitive riders the challenge of trying to catch up and overtake the second group before they reached Kelmarsh.  It was childish, but I did it …

As we progressed through Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old, the sun started making increasingly frequent appearances and by the time the brisk set diverted off to Orton it was warming up nicely.  A couple of the quicker riders caught up with the “moderates” just outside of Harrington and sped on to bag some good seats in the café‘s serene back garden.  The remainder of the two groups all arrived within fifteen minutes or so, and it wasn’t long before we were all enjoying the high quality fayre we’ve come to associate with the caféand its delightful staff.  Some of us attempted to respect the Buddha’s emphasis on frugality by just taking green tea and a few biscuits.  Unfortunately, one rider, i.e., Giles ‘Bake Off’ Barringham, was less sensitive to this precept and keen to declare he was eating his fifth (large) piece of cake in five days.

By the time we departed the sun was in its full glory and this continued to be the case as we came back en masse via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke, Brixworth and Holcot.  Once back at Moulton it was blazingly hot and bright, both which served to top off a most enjoyable little jaunt.

As ever, sincere thanks must go to Milton for his patience and beautifully devised routing.

Rides to Kelmarsh – Saturday 26th August

Milton is organising two rides (moderate & brisk) from Moulton Co-op and writes:

Both rides will leave from the Co-op at 9.30 heading to Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old. From Old we take the lovely single track road towards Mawsley and then head towards Harrington. The moderate ride will then cross the A14 and turn left on the outskirts of Harrington and go to Kelmarsh. The brisk group will take an additional 5 mile loop that takes us east through Orton before turning west again and returning almost to the start of the loop before following the other group to Kelmarsh.

After coffee and cake at the Buddhist Centre it’s an attractive trip home via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth.  It’ll make a change going down the steep hill at Haselbech for once, rather than climbing it!

It’s quite a short flat ride for both groups so I hope that one or two people who might normally be nervous of their ability to stay with the riders might venture out on the moderate ride. And for the brisk ride, I’m expecting it to be fairly quick. The loop is put in as a bit of a test for us all to see if we can reach coffee at the same time, or before, the others.

We can expect to be back at Moulton by around 1pm. I hope to see you at the start.

Ride Report – Sunday 20th August

Milton went on this ride led by Tim and writes:

Not only did the sun shine, but nothing more than a light breeze caressed us all day as 8 cyclists took the quiet and beautiful roads to Hogwash on Tim’s 63 mile steady. Tim had a plan that it would be a one stop ride but made the mistake of suggesting that we could stop for coffee and cake at Boycott Farm after 20 miIes if we were unable to control our greed. 7 out of 8 of us proved unable to control our greed. Ah Tim … the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay!

Mark, who had stuff to do at home,  left us to go go back after Boycott Farm and so we were seven as we rolled into Green Dragon Eco Centre Farm where we came upon Geoff  on his fixie and James who had been late to the start. James had, of course, put his foot down and beaten us to the lunch stop by a sizeable margin overtaking us as we guzzled at Boycott Farm.

Geoff soon left for a solo run home and we were 8 once more, and, just after we set off on the return trip, James found the urge to test out his new wheels too great, and disappeared up the road never to be seen again …… so we were 7 once more.

The weather stayed warm and dry and, much to Tim’s amazement, the group eschewed another stop at Salcey as we passed, having stayed in a close knit peleton throughout the return journey, keeping up an average speed of over 14mph.

A fine day in the saddle much helped by a beautifully devised route and 2 excellent stops.

STEADY ride to Hogshaw – Sunday 20th August

Tim is leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30am, Sunday 20th August
Meeting point: East Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 63 miles
Anticipated Speed: 13-14mph
Refreshments: Green Dragon Eco Centre Cafe

This Sunday’s ride heads south via Gayton Marina and the villages of Tiffield and Caldecote before a short section of A5 lets us gain the village of Duncote from where generally quiet country roads take us on our journey to the west of Buckingham and on to our lunch stop at the most southerly point of the ride at The Green Dragon Farm at Hogshaw.

Our return journey heads north east to Winslow and then on to Stony Stratford (complete with a nice downhill section for a couple of miles just after crossing the A421 south of Nash). Familiar roads then lead us to Hanslope and Salcey Forest before the final homeward leg along the Quinton Road and suburbs of East Hunsbury.

The ride is planned with a single stop at approx 33 miles, so it may be a good idea to bring an energy bar or two for any impromptu roadside stops. However if the urge for morning coffee or afternoon tea (or indeed both!) proves too strong there are options in the guise of Boycott Farm (at 20 miles) and Salcey Forest (at 57 miles).

We should be back at East Hunsbury library mid to late afternoon, depending on the number of stops we choose to make on the day.

The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton group on RideWithGPS:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23647762

Any questions please contact Tim – 07749 477231.

Saturday 12th August – London Ride 2017 – *Two* Olympic Velodromes

Ian M will be leading this ride and writes (with photos from the recce last Saturday):

Everyone is very welcome on this ride which will take us from Euston Station to the 2012 Velodrome in the Olympic Park at Stratford, then on to the Herne Hill Velodrome, the last site still standing from the 1948 Olympics, and back to Euston.  In between, we will see much of “hidden London”.  I am very grateful to Brian who came with me on the recce for this ride last Saturday.  We checked the route thoroughly, paying particular attention to junctions, to the suitability of river-side and canal-side paths for a group, and to the cycle super-highway network.  More importantly, we checked the proposed lunch stop.  Even more importantly, we sampled several pubs before deciding on the afternoon refreshment stop – it was a hard job but someone had to do it!
The route is 29 miles long of which
  • River-side & canal-side paths = 10 miles
  • Parks & cemeteries = 6 miles
  • Cycle super-highway = 2 miles (1 mile blue paint, 1 mile fully segregated)
  • Quiet streets (defined by Transport for London – TfL) = 7 miles
  • Roads with traffic = 4 miles.
We will leave Euston Station (meeting outside on the picnic benches in front of the cafés) at 10.00 a.m.  (Trains departing from Northampton at 0825 and 0850 are very suitable and you can carry any type of bicycle.)   Rather than give distances in miles, the following description of the ride gives distance length in time, and allows for photograph stops.

We’ll take about 1 h 10 m to get to the 2012 Olympic Velodrome (now named the Lea Valley Velopark), via the Regent Canal and Victoria Park, and with a good view of the Olympic Stadium, now the London Stadium.

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View of the Olympic (London) Stadium. The building work appears to be running late.

Entry to the velodrome is free, there is bike parking inside next to the reception desk and there are toilets and a café on the viewing level.  We can spend upto twenty minutes having a look inside.

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Brian outside the Velodrome

We’ll circumnavigate the outside of the Velodrome and return to the London Stadium.  There we will join the path alongside the River Lea and then the towpath alongside Limehouse Cut, the oldest canal in London (1766), taking us to the western side of the Isle of Dogs  where we’ll follow the Thames Path.
We’ll then find a single-track path lined with countryside bushes which emerges above Mudchute Farm, a large urban farm with educational aims where we’ll have lunch.  Olympic Velodrome to Mudchute Farm will take about 1 h 20 m.  The Farm has a kitchen with a range of food from coffee & cake to daily specials.  The prices are good value and the profits are going to a good cause.  Bikes can be taken to the tables.
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Mudchute Kitchen

It’s a stone’s throw to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel (which we’ll walk – there are lifts at each end), emerging at the Cutty Sark.  We’ll cycle through Deptford and behind New Cross, with the only climb of the day, to Nunhead Cemetery.  Allowing for photos in Greenwich, that’s about 1 hour.
We’ll enter the Cemetery through the North Gate, follow the looping East Path, and exit via the South Gate.  The path surface is a little like the Brampton Valley Way.  There aren’t any famous Victorians buried here really – but it’s such a different environment in which to cycle.
Stuart Road with its allotments, which links Nunhead Cemetery to Peckham Rye Park, is where we’ll find The Ivy House, London’s first community-owned pub.  Orignally a Truman’s house, it was owned and neglected for decades by the Enterprise chain.  They tried to sell it four years ago for the development of apartments.  The local community had it declared a listed building and raised enough money to buy it.  They have thoroughly cleaned it with the bonus, as far as we could tell, that having had no money spent on it by the previous owners, the original fixtures and fittings are in place.  And the pub has bike stands on the street outside.  We enjoyed a glass of very local beer: Peckham Pale!
We’ll then pedal on through Dulwich Park and into a suburban street behind which lies Herne Hill Velodrome.  Brian and I watched some local amateur club racing; I can’t guarentee that we’ll see racing this Saturday but it will be busy!  There’s a good café and modern toilets.  From leaving Nunhead Cemetery to leaving the Velodrome took us two hours (but we had to investigate more than one pub as well as watch the racing!).  The modern grandstand is supported by the pillars of the Victorian grandstand!
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Victorian support for the modern grandstand

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Track racing at Herne Hill last Saturday

We’ll go half-way down Denmark Hill (busy but we’ll use the bus lane) before turning into quiet residential streets to reach the Oval cricket ground.  Then it’s onto a very impressive stretch of infrastructure, a new cycle super-highway giving cyclists separation from and priority over motor traffic, under Vauxhall Station and over Vauxhall Bridge.  Then we turn east along the next super-highway (blue paint at this point) past Tate Britain and up to the Houses of Parliament.  After navigating Parliament  Square, we’re on the separated cycle lane along the Embankment, pulling off to cycle under the Savoy Hotel to the spot where Bob Dylan recorded probably the first pop video – for “Subterranean Homesick Blues”.
From the Savoy Steps we’ll walk over the Strand and cycle up Bow Street, past the Royal Opera House, and Drury Lane (both busy with pedestrians).  We’ll go around the British Museum and through parts of London University (the School of Oriental & African Studies and the Institute of Education) to find ourselves at Euston Station – and possibly a well-deserved pint at the Bree Louise.  From Herne Hill Velodrome to Euston will take us a little under an hour, with time allowed for photographs.
We’ll be back at Euston before 6.00 p.m.
If you would like to come on the ride, then just turn up!  If you would like to let me know you’re coming, then send me an e-mail to ianmac63@icloud.com or text 07960302095.  That will mean I won’t leave without you.  But it’s not necesary – the velodrome cafés are large, and the staff at Mudchute Farm and The Ivy House, when we enquired, will be very happy to see us without any definite booking of numbers.
The IAAF World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium won’t affect any of our route in the Olympic Park.  I subsribe to TfL’s weekly e-mail about weekend road closures and will use this to check all the other areas.
I’m really looking forward to seeing you – and am hoping to post a .gpx file of the route in the next couple of days onto our RideWithGPS page.
Any questions?  Phone me on 07960302095.  That’s also my contact number on the day.