Ride Report – Cranford St Andrews – Sunday 2nd August

Regular rider PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

Five riders gathered at the Canoe Centre on the same morning that six of the club were taking part in the annual Ride London event. So not a bad turnout on a promising day weather-wise.

First stop was Little Houghton and an early climb to get the heart pumping. Towards Billing we spotted the campsite of the annual Land Rover show along the way. A plethora of Land Rover vehicles on the road was evident as we headed through Billing for the tricky right turn up ahead. The village of Ecton came next which had new tarmac laid up most of the main street helping us up the slight gradient. A little further on BBQ smells emanated from the World’s End pub as we passed the junction according to Milton but we couldn’t stop – we had a ride to complete!

A fast downhill past Sywell Country Park got the heart going again as did the long haul back up the other side to the main road towards Mears Ashby.

Before long though we were cruising at decent speed with nothing but golden fields as far as the eye could see until we finally hit civilisation again in the form of Little Harrowden. Quickly out and climbing, more remote lanes provided a pleasant experience for the group with just the odd vehicle to be aware of.

The landscape then changed through Finedon and Burton Latimer as we weaved our way through the urban streets and alongside the majestic wind turbines in full flow nearby. Over the A14 we soon entered Cranford and Cranford St Andrews a little way beyond.

At the vibrant cafe (The Old Forge) we met Eleanor who was already enjoying food and drink and we duly joined her.

Once refreshed we all retraced our steps back to Burton Latimer and right into a head wind.

Turning towards Isham was no benefit to us whatsoever and clearly it intended to follow us all the way home.

As it continued to hamper the riders with some resistance through Orlingbury, Eleanor and Iain parted

company and went their separate ways leaving a group of four to head back.

Towards Hannington the foursome needed to push a little harder but once out the other side things seemed

to get easier on the legs.

Holcot approached with our leader looking for a way to Sywell and the roads duly obliged with a sign or two.

The wind seemed to have picked up speed again at this point as did most of the drivers on the busy roads we were now on but we battled on regardless.

The anticipated route back through Ecton didn’t disappoint. It was swift and smooth and propelled us towards Billing again.

Land Rover mania was still on-going making the route on to the cycle paths a little more precarious than usual. At Riverside four became one as I rode back alone to the Canoe Centre whilst everyone else made their own way home.

Sterling work from Milton at the head of the pack and for providing a beautiful ride.

A Celebration of the life of Max Scott (1936-2015)

Today we said farewell to Max Scott – Mr Cycle Tourist.  Here is the cover of, and some photographs from, the Order of Service.Max's Order of Service

Max's Order of Service-1


Max's Order of Service-2

Max's Order of Service-3a

Max's Order of Service-3b

Max's Order of Service-3c

There are some other photographs of Max in an earlier post.

Ride Report – Beaumanor Rally – Bank Holiday weekend

While some members had a local ride on Saturday afternoon, others attended the Beaumanor Rally organised by CTC East Midlands.  David – a regular at the rally over the past few years – writes:

For the Bank Holiday Weekend – the annual camping rally at Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire – I travelled by train on Friday from Market Harborough to Loughborough.  After the thirty-minute journey, I negotiated the one way system through the town to be able to cycle to the camp site.  I was the first to set up my tent up in the dry.

Milton Keynes group putting up their tents

Milton Keynes group putting up their tents

Others arrived while I went to Tesco to pick up provisions using the track that goes through woods to Loughborough.  In the evening I joined the CTC Milton Keynes cyclists on a ride out to Rothley Fish and Chip Restaurant. They had done 82 miles that day.

On Saturday I went on the fifty-mile ride.  Just before we left the rain came down and was with us all day.

On the 50-mile ride

On the 50-mile ride

In the evening we enjoyed a slide show on rides around the country from Ian, a CTC Nottingham rider.

Sunday also started of wet but by 10.00 a.m. it had stopped and we had sunshine all day. I went to Bradgate Park and saw the deer and the ruins of Bradgate House and then pushed my bike up a hill to Old John Tower, which looked nice and gave a good view of the area.

Bradgate House

Bradgate House

Old John Tower

Old John Tower

I returned to the campsite and walked around Beamanor taking pictures.

Beaumanor Hall looking imposing. The campsite is in the beautiful grounds.

Beaumanor Hall looking imposing. The campsite is in the beautiful grounds.

Later on we gathered to watch three short films “Jour de Fete”, “A Ride across Cheshire” and “A Day Out”.

On Monday I cycled back to Northampton passing the train on the Brampton Valley Way, just setting off with a plume of smoke from its chimney.

Steam on the Brampton Valley Way on Bank Holiday Monday

Steam on the Brampton Valley Way on Bank Holiday Monday

Re-introducing cars to Abington Street in Northampton Town Centre

John Cutler, our Right To Ride Officer, alerted me to the way in which it is proposed that cars be re-introduced to Abington Street.

The majority political party on Northampton Borough Council included this proposal in its manifesto for the 2013 Council elections.

St Giles Terrace is to become one-way (northerly); Abington Street will be re-opened to cars one-way (westerly); and then Wellington Street will be accessible one-way (northerly).

The main problem with the Road Traffic Order is that it is, unthinkingly, to apply to ALL vehicles – so that cyclists will be affected by it.  It is as if the use of bicycles has been forgotten by the planners.

It would be perfectly possible to design the road markings and infrastructure to allow cycling in both directions.  (Indeed, other East Midlands towns and cities – Leicester, Derby, Nottingham – allow cycling in their pedestrianised areas.  This was forgotten in Northampton when Abington Street was originally pedestrianised in the late 1980s.)

Could I urge you, therefore, if you live in Northampton and the surrounding area to e-mail your objections and suggestions to abingtonstreet@mgwsp.co.uk and to copy your e-mail to your borough councillor and to your county councillor?

Report – 10th CTC East Midlands Camping Rally, Beaumanor Hall

David went to this camping rally from Friday 24th to Monday 27th May in Leicestershire and writes:

We started on Friday around 10.30 a.m. from Chapel Brampton. Three of us set off just as the rain started to come down as a light shower on and off, with an ever increasing wind.  As we approached the Leicestershire border we had the worst of it for the day with rain, hail and gale force winds attacking us as we climbed the hill to Theddingworth. The roads were littered with twigs and foliage.
Ian phones for a lift home

Ian phones for a lift home

At The Queen’s Head in Saddington Ian phoned for a lift home as he was wet and miserable – see his account here.  So that left two!  John and I continued north then east, cycling around Leicester City, stopping at Mr Pick’s Farm Café for an hour or so to dry out a bit and let the Friday rush-hour traffic go by.  We had tea and cake in a newly built wooden café. Hens were in the fields and a farm shop opposite.
Cafeé in hailstorm

Café in hailstorm

Before reaching Beaumanor there was one more patch of hail and heavy wind but when we arrived at 8.00 p.m. the weather had settled.  In fact there was no more rain or severe wind for the rest of the weekend.
The CTC Milton Keynes group used Route 6 and said they came across two fallen trees on the paths and had to lift their bicycles over to continue.
I took part in the 30 mile ride led by John Catt (Notts CTC Webmaster) which took us south to a nursery café and then on to a pub for lunch by a canal.

Start of Saturday's ride

Start of Saturday’s ride

A happy cyclist at the Plough Inn

A happy cyclist at the Plough Inn

The evening slideshow was presented by Jeff Burton (Notts CTC) on his two-week tour of the Hebrides in Scotland.

John and I went on Max Scott’s 30-mile led ride which went north towards Nottingham stopping at the Six Acre Garden Centre. Max turned right instead of left at Costock, going up the A60 until he realised his mistake and had to return up a steep hill.  Some of the local riders had stopped and informed me that Max had gone the wrong way.  We returned to the café.  Ten minutes later Max and John joined us for bacon buttes and tea.  The two families in the group were glad not to have descended then ascended  the same hill.  We then headed to Old Dolby Brewery for lunch and a pint.

Max leads the Sunday ride

Max leads the Sunday ride

John enjoys a pint of Old Dolby bitter

John enjoys a pint of Old Dolby bitter

The evening entertainment was a selection of four films on cycling. The first was a B&W film taken in 1903, of racing championships held at the time.  The second was a 1967 film on the French courier service, a humorous ten-minute film in which a cycle-courier gets into difficulty delivering his regular round.  The third showed the First Bicycle Carnival held in Manchester Football Stadium in 1900. People were dressed up as clowns, roundheads and cavaliers as they walked passed the camera.
Then we had two power cuts and a search for the fuse box. The hot water had just boiled so tea and coffee was served. The power came back and the last film was on the 1965 TDF with  a car horn blowing sound track as the riders were shown enduring the heat and tension of the race with crashes, injuries, crowds and the media following in cars and motorbikes.
We returned home stopping at The Old Greyhound in Great Glen for dinner.  The sun shone all weekend, Saturday night’s temperature fell to -2 degrees but otherwise it was well worth going.

The Old Greyhound at Great Glen

The Old Greyhound at Great Glen

John struggles up a hill on the way home

John struggles up a hill on the way home

Beaumanor Rally, 24th – 28th May 2013

Ray Clay, the rally secretary, has kindly sent me an information sheet and an entry form  for this year’s CTC East Midlands regional rally at Beaumanor Hall near Loughborough.
There is a full programme of guided rides on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday and a morning ride on Tuesday.

You can attend for as many or as few days as you wish.

The entry form should be returned to Ray by 21st May.