About Phil Johnson

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

Ride Report, Saturday 9th October

Giles led this ride and writes:

Unseasonally good weather greeted the 11 riders who met at Moulton Co-op on Saturday for the trip to Woodford Marina. Two groups formed, six in the brisk and five in the moderates On the outward journey through Holcot, Hannington, Orlingbury, Isham, Burton Latimer, Cranford, Slipton and Great Addington, the briskers route took on a few extra miles but criss-crossed the moderate`s route and both groups briefly came together on a couple of occasions before finally meeting up at the Water Mill Tearooms. Despite arriving at the same time as a number of other cycling groups we managed to grab two tables outside in the sunshine for coffee and cake. 

The groups rode together for the start of the return journey and some wayward route planning soon resulted in our own unintentional taster of last week`s Paris-Roubaix as we gravel tracked it through the countryside for a mile or two between Little Addington and the A510- Thrapston Road where we re-joined the recognised road network. The brisk group pushed on through the back roads of Finedon, then on to Great Harrowden, Mears Ashby, Sywell, Overstone and back to Moulton with the moderates arriving shortly afterwards.

The weather stayed fine throughout and there were no technical issues despite the off-road section. 



Ride to Willen, Sunday 17th October

PhilL is leading this write and writes:

Start Time: 9.30am
Meeting Point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 38mls
Pace: Steady-off road
Cafe Stop: One4Six cafe, Willen
Estimated time back: Around 1pm

The ride planned for Sunday 17th is a mix of off and on road with a fair bit of gravel path and fairly lumpy red-ways along the MK canal. So a gravel or MTB bike required.
The route takes us along roads from EH through to Salcey then Long Street, Hanslope and Castlethorpe before turning off onto a recognised gravelled cycle path into Cosgrove C.PK. From there we follow the river and Grand Union canal via Red-ways to Willen for our coffee stop at One 4Six cafe after 19miles.
Our return follows the Red-ways out from Willen but then we cross the eastern end of the C.Pk park to Haversham regaining the tarmac for the return via Hanslope, Long Street, Salcey and EH making a total of 38m.

GPS of route as below.
Willen mixed on/off road

Ride to Ringstead, Saturday 9th October

Giles is leading this ride and writes:

Start Time: 9.30am
Meeting Point: Moulton Co-Op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: Brisk: 39mls, Moderate: 36mls
Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph
Cafe Stop: Water Mill Tea Rooms
Estimated time back: Around 1.30pm

This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides take us to the Watermill Tea Rooms in the Willy Watt Marina, Woodford, near Ringstead.
Weather is looking good at the moment, so I look forward to seeing you at the Co-Op in Moulton, meeting at 9.30am as usual, and we should be back before 1.30pm.

Please follow this link to book a place on Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DA5AE23A3FDC61-group

Links to RWGPS:

Brisk Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37657747

Moderate Route https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37657709

Cheers Giles

Ride report, Sunday 3rd October

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Winds, what winds? I didn’t see anything on the forecast for today. We obviously dodged the weather from yesterday and a reasonable day’s riding was in store.

A keen group of riders joined me at the start including Ken from Lancashire, returning rider Alan and new boy Chris Brown who advised me that Eloise would be riding with us but also mentioned that she would be fashionably late. Chris gallantly waited for her arrival whilst we set off towards the Brampton’s for the first climb of the day.

Once we crested it, BrianT and PhilL decided to ride on at their own pace but we gained Viki and Hartley just before the dip at Pitsford and proceeded to climb another rise together. The drop at the other side of Brixworth over the Spratton crossing is a blindingly fast descent with the payback being the long haul up to Spratton. Pete did say something like ‘you’ve only got yourself to blame’ as I joined the group at the summit. A brief respite at the Welford Road crossing followed before another rapid drop in altitude took us towards Teeton then Guilsborough.

That was about it for the hard climbing until we finally reached Naseby in glorious sunshine. Strangely, two bikes were already parked up. BrianT and PhilL being the owners. They’d seemingly taken the reverse route in from Pitsford and arrived ahead of our group. Geoff from the Kettering group had also arrived giving us around ten at the Vicarage.

Without ordering anything, tea, coffee and cakes were delivered to our outside tables, with more to come later on. Fabulous service from the lady who was running it today. Sadly no sign of Chris and Eloise who it transpired had got to Spratton and stopped for coffee before returning home.

As we left the Vicarage the clock at the church chimed 12 and the wind picked up. All the way home in fact. Another two climbs followed at Cottesbrooke and Brixworth. Not before we parted company with BrianT and PhilL again. Viki and Hartley said their goodbyes soon after, leaving four of us upping the pace back towards the Brampton’s where the wind was now making riding difficult. Three of us arrived back at Sixfields after a decent days riding and a lovely cafe stop at the Old Vicarage.

Great riding from everyone on a quite hilly and windy ride out today.


Ride to Naseby, Sunday October 3rd

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meeting point: TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Distance: 37 miles
Refreshment Stop: The Old Vicarage Cafe
Pace: Steady

Next Sunday’s ride is over to one of the highest points in Northamptonshire.

For those of you who came on this ride last time, you’ll no doubt recall that I didn’t even make it up the first real climb at The Brampton’s before I fell ill and we returned to my place for tea and cakes. Well it’s about time I put that Demon to rest and tried again. This is quite an ‘up and down’ ride with some long climbs and fast descents as reward.

From Sixfields, The Brampton’s is the first test of our legs followed by the dip at Pitsford, the long haul to Spratton and then Teeton along the way. Cold Ashby settles us down before the run in to Naseby and the Old Vicarage Cafe opposite All Saints Church. Most of you will have been here once or twice and know how great the food and service is from the ladies who run it so well.

The loop continues through Haselbech and the Cottesbrooke estate comprising of more elevation. With just enough time to get your breath back, the inevitable climb back into Brixworth awaits before our arrival back at Pitsford puts us on the route out which continues through the Brampton’s again. A different route at Harlestone for the last couple of miles home completes our ride into Sixfields.

This route is short of 40 miles so not on par with most of our Sunday rides but there’s enough to contend with and whatever happens you’ll be enjoying tea and cakes somewhere next Sunday.

Hope some of you can join me.

Sign Up Genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DA5AE23A3FDC61-group

GPX: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31254436

Ride report, Saturday 25th September

Peter Bayles went on the ride and writes:

Saturday’s ride was popular, with 18 cyclists meeting at Moulton for Brian T’s routes to Wilbarston. It was great to welcome a couple of new riders, Graham and Anne (taking a break from a tandem), and Terry, who hasn’t been out with us for a few years. Dennis, Bob H, Bob T, Otavio and Dave had also not been out for a while, so it was very nice to see them.

The riders split into two groups from the start, with Brian leading the Moderates, and Milton leading the four Brisks, plus John W, who joined further into the route.

The moderate route had a few hills, with Harrington Hill being a notably slow slog to the top. The Brisks then had a much harder series of hills to enjoy, which I heard Milton complaining that Brian’s write-up significantly understated the severity of.

Unfortunately, one of the Moderate riders felt light headed after Harrington Hill, and so Peter B stayed with him whilst he rested for while, and until Brian returned to accompany him back to the start.

This meant that Ian expertly took the Leader duties from Brian and guided the Moderate group to the outskirts of Wilbarston. I say “expertly” loosely, as Ian didn’t actually know where the cafe was, and so stopped the group and pondered how to find it. Fortunately, Viki quickly came to the rescue and did what many of us can’t ever do …… asked someone where it was.

The Milking Parlour in Wilbarston was excellent, with friendly staff, great coffee, cake and bacon sandwiches. The cafe first opened in 2019, but COVID forced it to temporarily close, and so we are especially pleased to see it re-open, and wish it every success.

The route back for the Moderates was fairly uneventful apart from a bit of an off-road scramble navigating the crossing under the A14 past Glendon. We followed a farm track instead of a footpath, which ended up with the group having to lift bikes and climb over a steel gate. Peter B had taken over the Lead from Ian at the Cafe, so was unable to blame him, but it did provide some fun and a photograph.

Thanks Brian for two great routes, and to all who joined.

Cheers – Peter

Ride to Wilbarston / Stoke Albany

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: Brisk 43 miles and hilly. Moderate 37 miles not too hilly.
Refreshment Stop: The Milking Parlour Cafe at Wilbarston
Pace: Brisk 14+ mph Moderate 12+ mph

The ride goes out through Holcot, Walgrave, Mawsley to Harrington. After Harrington hill the groups split with the Brisk continuing north on a very lumpy section often on single track roads (all metalled) in a series of climbs to be rewarded with long fast descents, especially in Dingley. To cross from one quiet lane to the next there are very short sections on main roads. At Weston by Welland there is a flat respite then across to Ashley and down to Wilbarston for a coffee stop at Wilbarston.

The Moderate pace group split after Harrington hill and skirts Desborough on a flatish section all the way to Stoke Albany and the cafe at Wilbarston.
The Milking Parlour Cafe at Wilbarston (seating and bike parking in the courtyard ).

Suitably refreshed we return via the quiet lanes of Pipewell and Rushton crossing under the A14 on the old road to Thorpe Malsor. Then it is Loddington, Walgrave and Moulton.
Back by 1.30pm at latest.
More details from Brian on 07722 055149

You are welcome to sign up on CTC Northampton: Group rides (signupgenius.com)

This will help planning.

Ride with GPS routes:

Moderate MCP-37m Wilbarston

Brisk MCP-43m Wilbarston


Sunday’s ride 19th September

Dear All,

Our original planned route (Milton’s Bike Bus) clashed with Cycle4Cynthia, so we decided to not have a formal ride to encourage those wanting to join Cynthia to do so.  
Normally we do put this ride in our calendar, but it seems that this year it is even more appropriate as I understand fund raising and rider numbers are very much down.

Link to the Cycle4Cynthia web page:  https://www.cynthiaspencer.org.uk/event/C4C2021

Please support the ride if you can, the routes and indeed the day are very enjoyable, and the £20 entry fee is for a great cause.  I understand that you can call their office to pre-register, or you can register on the day, which Milton assures me is easy and efficient.

Cheers – Peter
(Obviously no need to book anything on our Signup app, Philip updated it just for information).

Ride to Preston Capes, Sunday 5th September

John W is leading this ride and writes:

Start Time: 9.30 am
Meeting Point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 36 miles
Pace: Steady
Refreshment stop: Preston Capes
Time expected back: Around 1:30pm

Riding out via Gayton, Pattishall and Maidford to Cafe stop at Preston Capes

Coming back via Woodford Halse, Canons Ashby, Caldecote, Tiffield and Milton Malsor.

Please follow this link to book a place on Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4DA5AE23A3FDC61-group

Feel free to contact me if you would like further information.

John W

Link to Ridewithgps:

EH/Preston Capes/34mls/JW

Ride report Sunday 29th August

Phil L led this ride and writes:

Here is a brief report on the off-road ride held today as is our custom. However, today’s ride didn’t end well with one our riders Peter Neve suffering a bad fall.

As ride leader I was pleased to lead out seven riders from the start at EH library, navigating across Hunsbury Hill, down the green lane to the canal path and onto the start of Upton Park. Once across the busy A4500, Geoff from Kettering CTC, who we were delighted to see, left us for Kislingbury.

We continued via mostly cycle tracks through Harlestone Firs, over the golf course, Merry Tom lane, Pitsford causeway and onto Spectacle Lane.

Peter, who was on a small wheel electric bike, was expected to take this last gravel section a bit slower than the main group. However, when he did not appear at the end of the lane Brian volunteered to go back to find him thinking he may have had a mechanical problem and suggesting the rest press on to the coffee stop as one or two riders had limited time that morning.

Then around 12o/c I received a call from Brian to say that Peter Neve had hit a pothole on the short stretch of Booth Lane, fetching him off in a serious way and causing a nasty cut to his head but no concussion. Brian took charge of the situation, called the ambulance and Peter’s wife Margaret.

When I arrived at the scene a few minutes later Peter was still on the deck and could not be moved until closer examination. A number of people had stopped who had first aid experience including, an off duty paramedic, and Brian was able to hand over Peter to their care. By the time the ambulance arrived Peter was sitting up and eventually with the help of the ambulance crew he was able to walk into the ambulance. It was encouraging just how many people had stopped to offer assistance. The police also arrived to direct the traffic.

Peter was was taken to Northampton General where at the time of writing he is said to be OK but awaiting scans and stitches to the cut on his head.

Obviously, I’m very despondent this has happened to one our riding group and on my ride! I’m sure I speak for all you in sending our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Brian did a great job and will liaise on our behalf with Peter’s wife to see how he is so suggest we hang fire a bit before ringing/texting messages of good will.

I’ll keep you posted.

Phil Letts