About Phil Johnson

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

Ride to Adstone, Saturday 24th July

Pete 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: 38 / 33 miles
Refreshment Stop: Barn Cafe, Upper Stowe
Pace: 14 -16mph Brisk / 12mph Moderate
Time Expected Back: 1:30 – 2pm

This weekend’s ride will take us around the pleasant (and familiar) roads to the West of Northampton.

We will start at East Hunsbury and ride out to Adstone via Tiffield, Caldecote, Greens Norton and Blakesley.

From there the Brisks take a longer route, riding past Canons Ashby, Eydon and Preston Capes, then on to our Cafe stop at Upper Stowe at 29mls. The Moderates ride to Little Preston and on to the cafe, around five miles less and missing a hill or two.

Return is a comfortable nine miles through Bugbrooke and Rothersthorpe, back to our start in EH.

As usual, please confirm that you wish to join the ride by emailing me on Fatgadgi@yahoo.com or contacting me directly.

RideGPS routes:

Moderate: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36686571

Brisk: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36686435

Ride to Wistow, Sunday 18th July

Philip is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 56 miles
Refreshment Stop: Wistow Cafe Bistro
Pace: Steady

On Sunday we are offering a steady ride of 56 miles to the Wistow rural centre in Leicestershire. This is an attractive, largely very quiet route, with some rolling hills and about 1000m of climbing, but nothing very steep.

For this ride we are trying out a new booking system. Please follow this link to the Event Brite page and click “Register”. You don’t need to contact me unless there are any problems or other feedback. We may try out other booking systems in the next few weeks so feedback (perhaps on the ride) is welcome. Most ride leaders would like to retain some kind of booking system into the future.

We meet at 9.30 at the Brampton Valley Way NN6 8AA near the Windhover as usual. You can access the route on RideWIthGPS here. For climbing fans, there is the option of a gratuitous extra hilly mile around the village of Foxton if they wish!

Just a reminder that, sadly, the Covid emergency is not yet over. Please observe social distancing on and off the bike, and bring a mask in case you need to order food indoors. Hand sanitiser may also be an idea.

Look forward to seeing you there

Philip.

Ride report, Saturday 10th July

Milton led this ride to Yardley Hastings and writes:

The rain, which had been promised by the more pessimistic forecasters, never did arrive and thirteen of us enjoyed an almost perfect day as far as weather was concerned, as we headed to the delightful Pastures Farm Cafe in Yardley Hastings.

There were five Brisks and eight Moderates led by Milton and Brian respectively through Salcey Forest and Harpole and up through Tyringham and Olney to the cafe. The Brisks suffered an extra five miles through Castlethorpe in an attempt to reach the cafe at the same time. In fact, they arrived about ten minutes early. 

The return to the Canoe Centre was made via Castle Ashby and Cogenhoe and most of us would have made it back to our homes by about 1pm keeping it a short day and allowing those who wished to, to enjoy the Wimbledon Ladies final. 

It was good to see Peter N for the first time in quite a while and perhaps some of the photos he took will be appended to this  –  by someone, (not me!) with some internet skills!

The next ride is a 56 mile Steady to Wistow led by Phil Gray next Sunday the 18th and it would be great to have another fine turnout.

Ride to Yardley Hastings, Saturday 10th July

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 39 / 34 miles
Refreshment Stop: Pastures Farm
Pace: Brisk / Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1.30 – 2.00 pm

Brian devised this attractive ride but is unable to lead it so I am standing in.
From the canoe centre we climb up through Great Houghton and, passing through Preston Deanery and Quinton, we soon reach Hanslope. The Brisks take a loop through Castlethorpe before turning north and heading to Yardley via Tyringham and Olney whilst the Moderates avoid the Castlethorpe loop. Those five extra miles ought to motivate the Brisks to keep the pedals turning if they’re not to be late for cake.

The cafe is an attractive spot about 300 metres off the main road. The track is quite rough, but nobody has yet punctured on it. There is a new indoor seating area if it’s a tad wet, but, that’s most unlikely, this being England and it being the height of Summer!

The route home is an attractive ride past Castle Ashby (good photo op) Whiston and Cogenhoe and is the same for both groups. It’s about 27 miles to the cafe for the Brisks and five less for the Moderates. I shall be leading the brisk ride and I am sure we will appoint a Moderates leader nearer the day.

Should be a nice ride and I look forward to your company.

If you want to book a place on the ride, please contact Milton on 07845 967537

Brisk ride GPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36611725

Moderate ride GPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36611724

Ride report, Sunday 4th July

Giles led this ride and writes:

Despite the ominous weather forecasts eight riders took part in today`s ride and their lack of faith in our meteorologists paid dividends as we were treated with good weather throughout with the exception of a brief thundery shower storm at about 40 miles (Brigstock).

Unfortunately, not long after we set off Ian experienced a technical with his tubeless set up and was forced to head home.

Only a mile or two later, John Wr, clad in his British Champions jersey caught up with the group having arrived at the start uncharacteristically late. With this, the seven of us headed north (ish) through Walgrave, Old and Harrington to Rothwell. Here, Viki parted company with us, as planned.

We continued through Rushton, Pipewell and East Carlton and in anticipation of the Cottingham and Gretton climbs not too far away we whizzed down Middleton Hill. Milton and Hartley nearly overshooting the sharp right hander at the bottom unaware of its existence. Cottingham & Gretton hills didn’t fail to challenge us but as Hartley later summed up the real challenge lay ahead at the café stop.

Once in Priors Hall, Brian headed off to a family dinner and the remaining five took a table outside at the Good Bean Café, each ordering pancakes. The three stack pancakes arrived loaded with bacon, maple syrup, nuts, sweetened butter and approximately half a pint of cream. Man v Food challenges completed, some successfully, some not, we headed back

The weather and tired legs just about held out through Brigstock, Grafton, Cranford and Orlingbury where we split up heading home in smaller groups.

Today`s rain-dodgers were Milton, Brian H, John Wn, John Wr, Hartley, Viki, Ian and Giles.

Thanks to all who joined this week`s ride.

Ride to Weldon, Sunday 4th July

Giles is leading the ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance:
58 miles
Refreshment Stop: The Good Bean Café, Priors Hall Park, Weldon
Pace: Steady 13 mph, to suit riders
Time Expected Back: Around 2.45 – 3.00 pm

Please confirm if you wish to join the ride by contacting Giles or replying to this email.

This Sunday’s ride is mainly through undulating country roads with a couple of short sharp climbs through Cottingham and Gretton to test the legs shortly before a well-earned refreshment stop at around 30 miles. The Good Bean Café offers great coffee and a small brunch menu on Sundays including a choice of American style pancakes, ideal for American Independence Day.

The route back to Moulton is less testing and shorter at around 28 miles. The full route can be found on the CTC website or follow the link below.

There is free parking close to the start in Barlow Lane, behind the Cardigan Arms pub (not in the pub car-park).

As usual, please pre-book the ride with me, so that we can best organise leaders.

Cheers – Giles

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35831284?privacy_code=G1ZXAePBQtksFZjX

Rides to Sibbertoft & Thornby, Saturday 26th June

Peter B is leading the rides:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 37 or 30 mls
Refreshment Stop: World Peace Cafe at Thornby Buddhist Centre
Pace: Brisk 14 to 15 mph, Moderate around 11 to 12 mph, both to suit riders
Time Expected Back: Around 1.30pm

Please confirm if you wish to join the ride by contacting Peter, or replying to this email.

This Saturday’s ride is a little hilly, and there are quite a few potholes and broken road surfaces to navigate, but the many small (hopefully quiet) country roads and glorious countryside more than make that worthwhile.

Setting off from BVW at 9.30am, both routes ride through Long Buckby, West Haddon, Yelvertoft and Elkington.

At this point, the Moderates head directly for the coffee stop at Thornby via Cold Ashby at the 20 mile mark. The Brisk group have the pleasure of an additional seven miles and some extra hills before they reach the cafe. I’m guessing that the Moderates will be claiming the tables and enjoying the cake before the Brisk group get there this week.

Both groups take the same route back, taking the narrow lanes through Guilsborough and Teeton, back to the start.

There is free parking close to the start at Boughton Car Park, opposite the Windhover.

As usual, please pre-book the ride with me so that we can best organise leaders.

Cheers – Peter

Brisk Route Link:BVW_Naseby_37mls

Moderate Route Link:BVW_Naseby_30mls

Ride report, Sunday 20th June

PhilJ led this ride (well some of it) and writes:

An eventful day out for the group of riders who joined me on this rerouted ride to the outskirts of Banbury.
This included Brian Hill who I had the pleasure of riding with. Please make Brian feel welcome the next time you see him.  

BrianT had kindly sourced an alternative cafe as my usual stop was still closed due to the pandemic. The Barn Farm Garden Centre in Wardington just outside Banbury was our new destination and a perfect alternative it proved to be. The route down Banbury lane undulated to the A5, on to Canon’s Ashby, Moreton Pinkney and eventually Thorpe Mandeville whereupon BrianT took over navigation duties guiding us to the Barn Farm Cafe within the garden centre in the lovely village of Wardington.

Oxfordshire had welcomed us with some precipitation and then light showers so the cafe stop was most welcome. We secured some tables indoors and the delightful staff handled our considerable order with ease. 

Arriving back in Cropredy, famous for the Fairport Convention Folk Festival, put us back on the original route. IanM stopped for a photo opportunity at the road named ‘Cup and Saucer’.

Then the drama started to happen! A HS2 roadblock proved impossible to bypass so a diversion through Boddington was quickly hatched adding several miles to our original distance. IanM then got a puncture whilst the rest of us had already reached the next junction. Conveniently, the ‘Carpenters Arms’ junction. Whilst Alex and Miriam decided to self navigate their way home and I popped back to assist Ian, some of the group decided to take the opportunity to enjoy a ‘Hook Norton’ pint. 

Once refreshed we pressed on to West Farndon where the wind picked up over higher ground but the rain a distant memory. A testing hill towards Adstone had me cursing my own route but we crested it without too much trouble. Back at Eastcote more road closures easily cleared this time before the last few miles home. 

Thanks to BrianT for coming up with a great cafe stop at the last minute and all the navigators for getting us round the route.

Cheers 

PhilJ

Ride to Banbury, Sunday 20th June

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 54 miles
Refreshment Stop: M&S, Gateway Retail Park, Banbury
Average Pace ride: Steady

Next Sunday’s ride is a steady one down to Banbury. Unfortunately my regular cafe stop at the Hillier Garden centre won’t be open due to the pandemic so we’ll have to settle for M&S on the Gateway Retail Park on the way into the town. I’m sure the cafe is just as good if not better than the Hillier. It’s not just a cafe it’s an M&S cafe!

Before we get there it’s a fairly simple run down Banbury Lane, crossing the A5 at Foster’s Booth, passing Canon’s Ashby, Moreton Pinkney and on to Thorpe Mandeville at the end of the road. Chacombe then leads us onto some useful cycle paths which conveniently brings us out at the retail park. There’s a cycle park for us to use and stunning views of all the other retail outlets.

Once we’ve had our retail therapy, we’ll continue on the same route as planned which includes passing the Hillier a short time later. The centre of Banbury can get a bit busy but on the way out we do have more cycle paths to utilise up to Little Bourton which puts us firmly back on country lanes.

Great Bourton gets us to Cropredy which has street names like ‘Cup and Saucer’. Aston le Walls and West Farndon pave the way to Woodford Halse which then becomes quite familiar to most of you I’m sure.

As usual I’ll be winging it without any navigational aids and as it’s been a while it should be an interesting ride.

Please let me know if you’d like to join me by replying to this mail or on phjoh119@…

Thanks

PhilJ

Ride to Preston Capes, Saturday 12th June

PhilipG is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 36/41 miles
Refreshment Stop: Woodhouse Toad in Preston Capes
Average Pace ride: Moderate/Brisk

Next Saturday’s CTC rides take us via South Northamptonshire’s and Daventry’s rolling terrain to a new coffee stop. They also include a (hopefully) interesting detour towards the end. There are a couple of challenges/ risks to point out as well.

The coffee stop is Woodhouse Toad in Preston Capes. Good coffee and cake in a simple outdoor setting.

After that there is an interesting hill on each of the routes. There is also a detour to the lovely village of Church Stowe to see St Michael’s Church – only from outside as currently closed, but even that is worthwhile.

The route from there goes north-west along the A5 for one mile to the Nether Heyford turn. If you are not happy with this, you are welcome to either cut out Church Stowe and return via Upper Stowe and Bugbrooke, or you can visit both villages.

Routes below.

Moderate 36 miles https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36267962

Brisk 41 miles EH-Culworth-PCapes-41

Meet 9.30 am at Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ.

As usual, you need to book, so please let me know if you want to attend, or have any questions.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Philip