About Phil Johnson

I am the current secretary of CTC Northampton - part of Cycling UK.

Ride to Carlton – Saturday 21st March

Tim is leading these rides and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:   42 miles for the Moderate ride, 47 miles for the Brisk ride
Refreshment stop:  Emmaus Village Carlton
Pace:  Moderate (11 – 12 mph), Brisk (14+ mph)
Time expected back:  2:30 p.m.

We have a pair of rides this Saturday to the café at Emmaus Village Carlton – one at a Moderate pace (approx. 11 – 12 mph) and another at a more Brisk pace (14+ mph).

The routes have something for everyone – the odd hill for the mountain goats amongst you, some fast rolling terrain for the speedsters and the delights of an Emmaus sausage sandwich plus a generous selection of cakes on arrival at the café.

Both routes go via Easton Maudit, Bozeat & Harrold but differ in their approach to Easton Maudit. The Brisk group having the challenge of covering an extra 5 miles to this point, so it will remain to be seen who arrives first at Emmaus and bags the comfy sofas.

There is a common route home from the café via Turvey, Stoke Goldington and Quinton. This is generally undulating with a bit of a climb round the outskirts of Olney and a final downhill section along the Quinton Road after passing through Salcey Forest (where the temptation of a second coffee stop will need to be resisted).

The routes are a tad longer than usual so I’m hoping that our request for glorious spring sunshine will not go awry. The sensible amongst you will doubtless bring a waterproof just in case though.

Meet at Overslade Close, East Hunsbury to depart at 9:30.

The routes may be viewed / downloaded from RideWithGPS. Please load these routes on to your bike computer if you have one.

 

Moderate route (42 miles):  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31881156

 

Any questions please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Ride report – Sunday 15th March

Milton led this ride and writes:

On a day of forecast heavy rain and blustery wind it would make no sense at all for anyone to go on a bike ride. Nine of us met up to do just that  –  and a cold wet day of it we had too!

We decided that the scheduled 50 mile trip to Ringstead was pushing it a bit and changed it to a 30 miler stopping for a coffee at The Courtyard Brasserie in Olney, an attractive café, but often a bit too busy for us on a Sunday. We were the only customers for most of the time we spent there – is there something in the air?

From the Canoe Centre we climbed up to Quinton via Great Houghton and Preston Deanery and set off through Hartwell and Hanslope before descending to Weston Underwood and thus to Olney.

The rain kept falling for us as we began the home journey through Yardley Hastings, and Castle Ashby then up the hill to Cogenhoe. We made our individual ways home from there, having had a better ride than we might have predicted.
Good to have three relative ‘newbies’ with us in the shape of Richard, Gavin and Alan.

Let us hope we can offer them a less bracing outing in the near future.

Ride_Olney_150320

Ride to Ringstead – Sunday 15th March

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Water Mill Tea Rooms, Ringstead
Pace:  Around 12/13 mph
Time Expected Back:  Between 2-3 PM

The cafe alone is worth the trip having been considerably extended of late, and so it will be able to accomodate us all with ease. If the weather is warm and sunny  –  and why wouldn’t it be?  –  we can sit outside watching the river.


It’s a trip with a few lumps to get over, inevitably, but in the main it’s a flat route that won’t over challenge us. We head through Little Houghton and Cogenhoe before climbing one of those little lumps to Grendon and set off towards Bozeat via Easton Maudit. From there it’s Poddington and then Wymington and on to Newton Bromswold.  There is a short section on a shared foot/cycle path along the side of the A6 after Wymington which has recently been weed cleared and generally tidied up for us, so no problems! 

We go through Chelveston and skirt the Western suburbs of Raunds before the main attraction of the day  ….  the crossing of the A 45.  It’s a simple way over and, if everyone sticks to a tight peloton following me closely, I would guess that all but the last two or three riders will emerge unscathed. The odds are in your favour. Through Ringstead and to the cafe at 25 miles.

Home takes us across the A14 (twice), and, again, the tight peloton system should keep all but the laggards safe. We go through Cranford St Andrew and Burton Latimer before heading on the lovely road The Slips leading to Great Harrowden and Little Harrowden. Then it’s a simple trip through Mears Ashby, past Sywell Country Park (another lump to climb I’m afraid) and Ecton village and so back to the start via Little Houghton.

There are quite a lot of nice quiet roads to enjoy and the ride takes us to a part we don’t often visit. It’ll be good to have you along.


As always, the file is available on the Rides Calendar.

Ride report – Saturday 7th March

James Cairncross led this ride and writes:

Eight riders braved what felt like day 180 of winter storms, with 20mph winds forecast yet again for our ride to Turweston. Sod’s law dictated I’d devised a route going near-perfectly against the prevailing wind, so the first half was a slog but at least the roads were dry. Breaking into two groups at Gayton, I took the Brisks on an extra loop through the villages while Pete B took the Moderates more directly to the A5, where we briefly joined up again before splitting for the run south towards the café stop.

My Brisk group were delighted when we spotted the Moderates making the final turn towards Turweston (which autocorrect keeps changing to Turkestan) and we managed to catch them just before the entrance to the airfield. Thoughts turned to cake as we rode in formation for the final mile to the control tower, Chris and I recreating a classic scene from Topgun as we rode alongside an aircraft taking off. It Took Our Breath Away but not the wind, which was at its fiercest with no cover for miles. Arriving at the café we obeyed the signs and took our shoes off, thoroughly enjoying an unexpected heated-floor, and headed upstairs to enjoy the view and some well earned cake, although everyone was jealous of Pete B’s soup and Pete S’ bread and butter pudding (and Brian’s spotted-dick/ cake hybrid?) This café gets very busy at lunchtime but little in the way of passing trade, so at 11:30 we mostly had the place to ourselves apart from another group of riders from the Treads club, who I noticed got a telling-off for entering fully-shod.

Heading off south towards Stowe, we passed the magnificent entrance gateway and then turned towards Silverstone in anticipation of a tailwind, which would soon come our way as we took the little-used road parallel with the A43 to the outskirts of Towcester . Here we took Bessie’s lane up to the A5, this ancient track grudging retained by the developers of the sprawling new Grange estate, but popping us out with more great views of gates, this time the old Easton Neston entranceway. From here it was a simple wind-assisted blast back to Northampton.

Ride to Turweston – Saturday 7th March

James Cairncross is leading this ride to Turweston:


Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance:  47 mls (Brisk) or 43 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop:  Turweston Airfield
Pace:  Brisk or Moderate
Time Expected Back:  Around 1.30pm

Saturday’s ride takes us from East Hunsbury to the Control Tower café at Turweston Airfield.

Leaving the library, both groups head for Banbury Lane before the Brisketeers take an extra loop south through Gayton. Both groups share the A5 crossing at Pattishall with the Brisks then taking another loop to Maidford while the Moderates enjoy pure Banbury Lane to Blakesley.

From Blakesley both groups turn south and follow more or less the same route to Biddlesden where we turn off towards the airfield. At this point we have to resist the urge to cycle on the mirror-smooth runway and use access road to the Control Tower café, which is well sign-posted. Keep to the road as small planes are taxiing around here.

This café is quite well used by cyclists, as evidenced by the signage requesting cleated shoes to be removed before going inside. The floor is lovely shiny marble, so this is probably a good thing but do remember to wear decent socks! The café does coffee, cake and cooked meals and does take card.

Both groups share the home leg which takes us slightly further south followed by a turn north past Stowe and through Silverstone and on to the outskirts of Towcester, exiting opposite the racecourse gates. From here we take the familiar route to Shutlanger, Blisworth and home.

This is the only ride where there’s a chance of a close pass from a light aircraft – over your head – so keep together as we cross the end of the runway and be prepared to stop if someone’s taking off!

GPS routes here:

 

Ride report – Sunday 1st March

Peter Bayles led Sunday’s ride to Stowe Gardens and writes:

Seven riders set off from East Hunsbury on Sunday for the 44 mile steady ride to Stowe gardens.

Amazingly, given the latest scary weather warnings about Storm Jorge, the weather was predominantly dry and sunny, although it was still windy.

The first casualty of the day was Chris D who, apparently, wandered sleepy eyed to his bike on the morning of the ride to find his steering seized, so he didn’t attempt the ride.  No doubt he went back to bed after the feeble excuse to miss it  ….

Second casualty was John W, who set off with the group, but had to retire with excessive play in a wheel bearing.  This, it turned out, was due to his expertly applied DIY maintenance skills the day before.

They say things come in threes, so, true to superstition, our third casualty was also early on, when Phil L was caught with a side wind and ended up on the tarmac.   Actually, we found out that Phil was putting his gloves on whilst riding when the wind hit him, so perhaps it was not all the weather’s fault.  Anyway, Phil is hard as nails, so after Brian expertly patched up a grazed elbow, we were soon on our way again.

The group battled a headwind almost all the way to the NT café at Stowe Gardens, with only the last two miles giving the group some relief; the cake and coffee were, however, very welcome.

On the return leg, the wind was in our favour and we made much better progress in mostly sunny conditions.

Thanks to all who turned up for an enjoyable day – next week James C will be leading the rides to the café at Turweston Airport, which sounds very interesting, so I hope to see you again then.

Cheers – Peter

Ride to Stowe Gardens – Sunday 1st March

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
There is parking in the close or near the library
Distance:  44 mls
Refreshment stop:  The Nevillery Café at Stowe, 26 mls
Average Pace:   Steady ~13 to 14 mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm


The ride this Sunday is from East Hunsbury to Stowe Gardens, with a refreshment stop at the National Trust Nevillery Cafe there.

This is a second attempt at the ride that I cancelled a couple of weeks ago – this time the weather is actually looking OK – no high winds or torrential rain is forecast. Yet.

We will leave East Hunsbury, riding past Milton Malsor, turning right down Gayton Road, past Gayton Marina, and on to Tiffield.  Almost through Tiffield, we hang a right and ride through Caldecote and on to the A5.  Crossing the A5 a few hundred metres North (there is a path along side the busy road), we will ride West through Duncote, Greens Norton, Bradden, Wappenham to Helmdon.

After Helmdon we change direction, passing through Syresham, following Welsh Lane into Stowe Gardens to our refreshment stop at the National Trust cafe there.

The return route is through Chackmore and Whittlebury, crossing the A5 again at Heathencote before riding through Blisworth and back through Milton Malsor.

As always, any new riders would be very welcome.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Route: EH/Stowe/44mls (avoids Silverstone)