Report: Annual Guy Barber Memorial Ride, Sunday 23 July, in aid of Headway Northampton

Our Secretary Brian did much of the organising of this year’s Guy Barber Ride and he reports:

Now in its 12th year this challenging ride attracted eighteen riders from the CTC groups in Northampton, Milton Keynes and Kettering.  This was the first year of a route to Oxford with two start options of Northampton and Buckingham giving three rides of 94, 66 or 55 miles, all meeting up at Oxford for lunch.

Despite the early morning drizzle ten riders left East Hunsbury at 8.30 a.m. for the first leg to Buckingham of the 94-mile ride.  This took us on mainly quiet roads through Blisworth, Pury End and Leckhampstead.  The drizzle stopped, and the sun emerged from the cloudy skies, as the group made Buckingham at 9.45am. Perfect timing to meet the eight MK riders who had cycled out from Stony Stratford and beyond.

The Northampton group set off for the first café stop seven miles away in Twyford whilst the remaining group signed in and left a little later.  An early puncture close to the start split the second group and this was further split when the Community Café at Twyford had unexpectedly closed that morning.  The shop was open but, after a brief stop for snacks, the first group motored on to Oxford leaving a second group to pick up the punctured riders.

As we meandered through the small villages of Marsh Gibbon, Piddington, Boarstal and Stanton St John, there was little traffic on the roads.  The sun came out and we had ideal cycling weather.

Oxford “arrived” when we met the ring road, a dual-carriageway roundabout with a couple of underpasses.  Then we were through Headingley on a separate cycle path at and then onto marked tracks alongside the main road.   After a steep hill down into the centre of Oxford. it was only a short distance to Café Couscous for lunch.  Just to add to the “best laid plans” the last stretch of road before the café was closed for road works.  So much for the recent reconnoitre!

The first group arrived at noon and had just finished lunch as the second group arrived at 1.00 p.m.  This was good timing for the café.  The forecasted midday rain did not materialise and we enjoyed sun and blue skies at the café.

One rider's lunch at Café Couscous - vegetarian tagine!

One rider’s lunch at Café Couscous: vegetarian tagine!

The first group took the route back to Northampton via Islip, Kirtlington, the Heyfords and on to Aynho where Ian peeled off to Buckingham and a stop at Stowe Park for tea (the only rider to complete the 66m route) whilst the rest rode on to Farthinghoe for the last café stop.  Only twenty-two miles now, on familiar quiet roads, back to Northampton via Helmdon, Wappenham and Greens Norton. This group arrived in Northampton at around 5.00 p.m.

The second group finished a very good lunch by 2.00 p.m. and split for the return journey.  The MK riders returned via Beckley, Brill (hill !), Ludgershall and onto Buckingham, stopping at the Green Dragon Eco Centre near East Claydon for tea and possibly even cakes!

This left 4 riders to return via Islip and a detour via Brackley for tea and cookies, sitting in the late afternoon sun outside a café before returning to the original route to Northampton arriving at 6.15 p.m.

A donation of £85 has been sent to http://www.headwaynorthampton.org.uk/

Who was Guy Barber ? Please see our web site http://www.ctc-northampton.org.uk/history.html

Thanks to all who supported this event.

Three rides coming up: 27 June, 4 July & 12 July!

A reminder about three rides coming up:

1. Annual London Ride – Saturday 27th June

Time: 10.00 a.m. (The 0850 train from Northampton arrives at Euston at 0949)
Start: Euston Station (outside Caffe Nero at the Melton Street exit)
Distance: 28 miles
A sight-seeing ride, north and south of the river, with plenty of stops for refreshments and photographs. Some unusual sights guaranteed!
Finish: Back at Euston by 5.00 p.m. (but if booking a particular train home, allow for unforeseen delays).
Contact: Ian M on 01604 843894 or 07960 302095

2 Audax Event – The Reservoir Challenges – Saturday 4th July

Organised by Kettering CTC, starting and finishing at Oundle.
Options for 100km, 155km and 200km.
Registration and a fee of £5 is required in advance by post – see www.aukweb.net for entry forms and for .gpx files of the three routes.

3 Annual “Guy Barber” ride to St Neots – Sunday 12th July

Time: 9.15 a.m.
Start: The Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA)
Distance: 66miles (with the option of a shorter distance to Thurleigh)
This is an annual ride in memory of Guy Barber and a donation of £5 to the Headway Charity is requested on the day.  It is a “Bike Week” event advertised nationally and there is usually good support from Milton Keynes and Kettering CTC groups.
Contact: Brian on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149

A Ride for Max Scott – Some Photographs

Max's brother-in-law says a few words

Max’s brother-in-law says a few words

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Max's sister scatters his ashes

Max’s sister scatters his ashes

An affectionate marker

An affectionate marker

Some flowers from Max's garden

Some flowers from Max’s garden

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.

Max Scott – “Cycling is my life!”

I am very sorry to post on here sad news of the death of Max Scott.  He died on Tuesday (6th January) in Cransley Hospice, Kettering, after an illness which he fought with patience and good humour.Hallaton+Max+048

Max was a stalwart – the stalwart – of the Northamptonshire cycling scene.  He was secretary of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes (formerly the Northants & North Bucks CTC District Association); he officiated at its final AGM just two months ago.  He organised Kettering CTC; he played a major rôle in the Northampton & District Cycling Association; he publicised the Thursday Club.  And he did all those things over decades!Hallaton+Max+006

Max took to “new media” with aplomb, setting up and maintaining Kettering CTC’s website with photos, videos and downloadable calendars.  It was always a pleasure to receive one of his regular e-mails with details of rides and events.  The tourist trials!  The hilly 100ks!Trivelo

And he was a grand cycle tourist.  He’d been bitten by that bug when he was a young teenager.  His first adventure was to cycle with his sister from the family home near Ipswich in Suffolk to visit relatives in Kingston-upon-Thames.  On the journey there and back the young Scotts stayed in youth hostels.  Cycling and youth-hosteling became the loves of his life.

Beaumaonor+Weekend+068During his final illness friends rallied round offering to take on part of what they saw as the burden of the many organisational roles Max worked at.  He didn’t see them as a burden.  “Don’t take them away from me,” he said.  “Cycling is my life!”

Ride Report – Sunday 16th March

Ian M went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes (with photos by Nick):

Seven of us met at Moulton Co-Op at 9.30 a.m. for Milton’s first ride as a leader.  He can certainly work his magic with the weather: it was a beautifully warm spring morning and with none of the early mist of the previous few days.

We set off at a good pace which was maintained throughout the ride.  At first we were on country roads we knew well and then, as we rode further east, onto some roads and lanes our leader had specially chosen for us.  Before we knew it, we were at the delightful Woodford Mill Café near Ringstead and able to sit outside in glorious sunshine.  (The café gets much of its energy from the working mill-race – fascinating and green!)  Service was a little slow as there were plenty of cyclists there.  We chatted to a group from CTC Kettering who were waiting for Max.  Our number jumped to eight with the appearance of our Rides Secretary (in t-shirt and shorts, obvs).  Bacon sarnies and coffee were consumed and then Milton was cracking the whip again!Ringstead Mill CaféRingstead Mill Café 2We hadn’t gone far along the route from the Mill when, with a sharp bang, Bill suffered a p*nct*re!  He elected to repair it properly and return to the Mill and to meet up with Max – and so we were down to seven again.
There was something delightful in early March in cycling through mid-day and on through one o’clock in glorious sunshine.  Before we knew it we were at Podington for a short coffee stop and further chat about all things cycling – small bike shops, tours individuals were planning for the summer, the possibility of new bikes (our Secretary fancies a titanium one) – without any other concerns in the world.
One or two final hills and we were back at Moulton before three o’clock.  A perfect ride, a perfect day, and, when I looked at the route we had taken (here on RideWithGPS) pretty much a perfect circuit around Wellingborough!  Many thanks, Milton!

 

First ride of 2014 – Sunday 5th January

Brian & Bill are leading this ride.  Brian writes:

Start at 9.30 p.m. from the Brampton Valley Way where it crosses the A5199 near The Windhover pub.  There is a car park opposite the pub on Brampton Lane.

We will ride leisurely to Waterloo Farm Café at Great Oxendon near Market Harborough where we will join Kettering CTC for coffee.  Bill and those who have booked for New Year Lunch at Sibbertoft will carry on to the village “Reading Room”.  (Last year’s lunch here.)

Brian and those who have not booked for lunch will treat Waterloo Farm Café as a brunch stop and return to our start point, with a total ride of about 40 miles.  Given the time of year, lights to be seen by would be advised, although we plan to be back before 2.00 p.m.

The Sibertoft lunch group will need full lights and will be making their own way home.

More details from Bill  07736 600858 or Brian 01604 622073 (07722 055149 on the day).

Ride to the Christmas Lunch – Sunday 15th December

You’ll have seen from Peter’s post here all about our Christmas lunch on Sunday 15th December 2013 at the Old Crown, Ashton (near Stoke Bruerne) – including menus and booking contact.  It’s a good venue!

Last year's Christmas Lunch at Stowe

Last year’s Christmas Lunch at Stowe

If you want to ride there in a group, Bill Simpson  (07736 600858) is leading a ride starting at 10.00 a.m. from East Hunsbury (Overslade Close, NN4 7AA) with an elevenses stop in Towcester.

How we got there last year!

How we got there last year!

Annual barbecue – Wednesday 26th June

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, writes:
CTC NMK’s (Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes) annual BBQ is happening on Wednesday 26th June – 7.30 p.m. – at Watery Lane, Nether Heyford. The Northampton section will be joined by Milton Keynes and Kettering sections for a friendly social gathering.
Entry is by ticket only so now that summer’s here (honest!) treat yourselves to a social evening, with food, and contact John Dunkley (01327 342588) now to get hold of your tickets.
Prices are very reasonable at £7.50 per member and the same per guest and profits from the evening get returned into our funds so it’s all in a good cause.
Don’t worry about the weather. John has plenty of gazebos and tents if it is wet. (I’ve checked the forecast and it’s scheduled to be a warm and dry evening.)  The BBQ includes the usual meats and salads including veggie options  plus not-to-be-missed delicious sweets.
Please contact secretary@ctc-northampton.org.uk if you would like to join a group cycling there from Northampton. Start 6.30 p.m. (about 10 miles, leisurely pace, lights needed).

Cyclists New Year’s Lunch – Sibbertoft – ride report

A splendid first ride of the year for CTC Northampton.  Five of us met at the Brampton Valley Way in damp but mild conditions for a ride led by Bill.  Having wished each other a Happy New Year, we went at a brisk but comfortable past north on the A5199 to Creaton and then onto country lanes through Naseby and Clipston before joining the A508 just south of Great Oxendon.  We soon entered the Waterloo Farm café and met up with Max and our friends from CTC Kettering.

After refreshment – bacon sandwiches went down a treat – there were only five more miles to Sibbertoft where an excellent welcome awaited us not only from our CTC Leicestershire friends but also from the ladies of the parish church committee!  This was the annual New Year’s Lunch in the Sibbertoft Village Reading Room.

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This room was erected before the First World War by the local lady of the manor, Elizabeth Mansel of Sulby, in memory of her brothers who were officers in the HIghland Light Infantry and the Durham Light Infantry.  (Sulby Hall was demolished over sixty years ago but the name lives on for students of the English Civil War – the parliamentary dragoons hid behind Sulby Hedges at the start of the Battle of Naseby in 1644 to emerge at a crucial point in the battle.)

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Today her reading room was set out with tables for fifty cyclists to be served lunch by the ladies who are responsible for Sunday afternoon teas in the summer. Brilliant: shepherd’s pie, apple crumble and tea/coffee.  And seconds, too!

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After a lovely lunch, it was a pleasure to cycle home.  Bill led us via Naseby and Cottesbrooke to Brixwoth (and the A508 south to Northampton) but by different lanes so that we completed a figure of eight.  Route here.

And there was a final treat of the day.  At an extensive hedge being layered at the edge of the Cottesbrooke estate we stopped and John gave us an extempore lecture on the craft of hedge layering.  The hedge we studied was typical of the “South Midlands style” and was clearly “bullock-proof”.  We could easily see its advantages over an adjacent hedge which had merely been strimmed.

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Big thanks to Bill for sorting out our route, to Max for reminding us about the event, to the Leicestershire committee for the organisation, and to the Sibbertoft parish ladies for their hospitality!  Splendid!!