About ianmac55

A blogging cyclist.

Ride to Keysoe – Sunday 30th April

Tim, our webmaster, will be leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meet: Nene Whitewater Canoe Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN4 7AA. (If coming by car, don’t park within the car park barrier.  There is plenty of space on the approach road.)
Distance: 56 miles
Speed: 12-14 m.p.h.
Refreshments: Scald End Farm, Thurleigh (at approx 30 miles)

From the Canoe Centre we head out in a generally eastwards direction through the villages of Cogenhoe, Grendon, Bozeat, Odell, Sharnbrook and Riseley en route to our most easterly point at Keysoe.  From here we turn south and west to our stop for refreshment at Scald End Farm, located just outside Thurleigh.  Here you can feast on the breakfast “fit for a king” or maybe one of the several cakes on offer.  There is also the benefit of a cosy wood burning stove to warm oneself by.

Once replete, we continue south westwards through Milton Earnest, Harrold and Lavendon before heading north & west on our final homeward leg via Yardley Hastings, Castle Ashby (where a second tea stop is eminently possible) and Cogenhoe Hill before arriving back at the Canoe Centre.

The route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) at: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20043554

Any questions?  Please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Reflections on Mike Hall, the IPWR and cycling in Australia

Well worth reading – from my friend Frank

Cycling There

Mike Hall

The IPWR has been an amazing experience but everything has been overshadowed by Mike Hall’s death on the road near Canberra. Not since Tom Simpson, in a very different era and context, has British cycling lost one its heros, so suddenly and so sadly, in action.

More than anyone, Mike created the sport of unsupported ultra-endurance bike racing. In doing so, he‎ made long-distance cycling exciting and got a younger, faster crowd hooked on it‎.  Building on the achievements and ideas of others, such as Mark Beaumont and Nathan Jones, Mike, with his Transcontinental Race, created something full of fantasy and adventure which could fit into two weeks’ holiday. He made the wild, exotic and exciting accessible, not exactly to the masses, but to those of us, less extraordinary than him, who were magnetically drawn to it.

He focused on keeping it open and non-elitist. He could easily…

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Ride to Medbourne – Sunday 2nd April

 

Brian will be leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meet: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB.
Distance: 51 miles
Refreshments: Medbourne (25 miles)
Pace: A steady average of 13 mp.h.

Our route starts at Moulton and heads out to Holcot, Old and Harrington and then north to the A6.  After a few hundred yards along the A6 we turn off to Dingley and on up to Slawston and Hallaton.  There we turn south for Medbourne and the Nevill Arms Café – a café popular with Leicester cyclists – for brunch (25m).

We return via Cottingham, the Triangular Lodge at Rushton,  and then through Rothwell, Broughton and Walgrave back to Moulton.

Questions?  Contact Brian on 01604 622073  (07843 505213 on the day)

See the route at www.ridewithgps.com/routes/19628593

 

“Boundary Rides” – Two morning rides circling Northampton – Saturday 11th March

Phil L has organised these two rides and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW)/A5199 crossing near The Windhover, NN6 8AA.  There is a BVW car park just up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 40 miles (brisk), 35 miles (moderate).
Refreshments: Salcey Forest Café

This circuit of Northampton skirts/circles the Borough boundary keeping the Express Lift Tower as our “hub” all morning – taking in Boughton, Moulton, Overstone, the Houghtons and Salcey Forest for an early brunch.  Then we complete the circuit through Quinton, Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe, Kislingbury and return to BVW.

Brisk ride led by Phil L; moderate ride led by Brian.

Questions?  Phil is on 07867 388592.

Morning rides to Desborough – Saturday 25th February

James and Brian are leading two rides on Saturday morning:

Two rides – one brisk, one moderate – gathering at the same start point and meeting at the same coffee stop.

Time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, NN3 7TB
Distance: 43 miles (brisk), 37 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: West Lodge Rural Centre: at 23 miles (brisk) or 17 miles (moderate)
Leaders: James (brisk), Brian (moderate)
Return: 1.15 p.m. approx

The brisk pace (14+ m.p.h. average) group starts at Moulton and heads out to Holcot, Brixworth, Naseby and Great Oxendon; then onto Desborough and the West Lodge Farm Rural Centre for coffee.  Return via Rushton, Rothwell, Broughton, and Walgrave back to Moulton.  Route here on RideWithGPS.

The moderate pace (12+ m.p.h. average) group follows part of the above route but at Brixworth heads by a slightly shorter route to Desborough via Scaldwell and Harrington to the Rural Centre to meet the brisk group.  Route here on RideWithGPS.

Questions? James is on 07841 933046, Brian is on 01604 622073 (07722 055149).

Do join us.

Ride review – Sunday 19th February

Phil J led this ride and writes:

Seven riders gathered at the start for this undulating ride to Naseby including new rider Peter B on his first group ride.

The first descent out of the blocks had a surprising headwind which seemed to be present on a few more of our subsequent drops.  Once through the eco village of Upton, St Crispin’s provided the first unlikely climb of the day as we settled into the ride.

We levelled off towards Harlestone before we all got into the small chainring and the slow grind up Church Brampton.

Sedgebrook Hall passed by during another long haul which split the group a bit and took us up to the Market Harborough road and the route to Pitsford.  A rapid descent on the busy road was then quickly followed by another testing rise to the entrance of Pitsford Water.

Through Brixworth the group went, when Phil L and I suddenly found ourselves on our own.  We’d turned left in full view of the rest of the group but they continued over. Head scratching ensued before the group appeared from another direction much to our relief and amusement.

The fast downhill on the Spratton road came next with Milton suggesting this could be one of the fastest downhills in the area.  We all took full advantage of the opportunity and headed for Spratton.  The bridge closure wasn’t on our route and we climbed uninterrupted through the village before regrouping at the top for a well earned breather and refuelling.

Over the Welford Road another opportunity to test the descending skills.  We dropped swiftly towards Teeton and as expected we soon started to climb as the road ramped up once more.

The journey to Guilsborough was perfect “active recovery” and we enjoyed the dry country roads and comfortable speeds.  The road to Cold Ashby seemed rather more caked in dried mud but it was pleasant nonetheless as we started to see the signs for Naseby.

With another couple of miles in our legs All Saints church at Naseby came into view.  We arrived at The Old Vicarage café just as some cyclists were leaving but they insisted they had left some cakes for us.

With renovations underway outside we were lead along the corridor to possibly the grandest venue we may have ever had refreshments in.  A large dining room with a table that was almost impossible to reach over due to its huge size and a chandelier over the centre.  We almost expected a butler to start serving us but various group members took that role upon themselves.  The service was equally splendid and the food exquisite.

The loop continued through the Cottesbrooke estate and probably the most hair raising descent of the day.  Plenty of gravel and uneven tarmac at the base making it a heart in mouth situation just before entering the village.  All safely down and the gated road to Brixworth lead us to the steep climb back into the centre and onto Pitsford once again.

Four of us were lured by a second stop at the Willow Tree Café whilst the remaining three continued home.

The rest of the ride back mirrored the ride out with another mix of testing ascending and fast descending.

This was a pretty difficult ride today with over 3000ft of climbing but all riders performed superbly.