Ride Report (or rather, Lunch Report) – Sunday 10th December

Brian, our Secretary, writes this report on our Christmas lunch at Stoke Bruerne:

Well, the snow came (about four inches of it) as forecast and at 9.00 a.m. the texts and phone calls were flowing with plans for the morning.  Were we riding to “The Navigation” or not?  The hard men went out on their bikes to test the snow, Peter on his knoblies and Alex with a cunning plan to ride to the lunch venue along the canal, complete with wet suit and snorkel just in case it was quicker in the canal.  However, it was the wrong kind of snow and sanity reigned and we grouped up in cars!

Unfortunately a few in the west found too many cars blocking the roads whilst those of us in the east were lucky to have the roads to ourselves.  Once onto the A45 and A508 it was plain sailing to The Navigation.  Ten of us made it from Northampton and six from Milton Keynes.  We almost had the place to ourselves as the expected 130 other customers that day did not turn up!

The meal was very good as was the company and I think we were glad to have made the effort.

Thanks to Mike Harris (CTC Milton Keynes) and Philip Gray (CTC Northampton) for organising the lunch and reminding us what food we had ordered!

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.

Ride Report – Sunday 19th July

Brian, our Rides Secretary, was on this ride led by Eleanor and writes:

Seven riders left the Canoe Centre heading for Quinton.  It was cloudy with
quite a breeze which we headed into for most of the morning.  We made our
way almost due west out through Towcester, Wappenham and Weedon Lois
before turning north to Canons Ashby and on to the café at the
equestrian centre in Woodford Halse.  Not many horses in view but popular
with cyclists.  At nearly 30 miles we were ready for the bacon butties on offer especially as the route had been quite hilly as well.

When we emerged from the café the sun came out, the day warmed up and we
had a pleasant trip back with a tail wind, through Maidford and across
to Pattishall.  Eleanor – with, no doubt, encouragement from John – managed to
find a few more challenging hills up to Gayton from where, as they say, it
was all downhill (well nearly).

On the way back Sylvia (MK) was asking where were all the cars?  The
lanes had been very quiet.

Many thanks to Eleanor for leading the ride and for getting us back in
time to watch most of the Tour.

Report – 10th Annual Guy Barber Ride to St Neots – 12th July

Brian, our Rides Secretary, was one of the organisers of this event and writes:

Eight riders gathered at the Canoe Centre for this annual event.  Numbers were down on previous years but the mix was still 50-50 members from CTC Northampton and CTC Milton Keynes. Big thanks to Colin Bishop for turning out to do the registration and collect donations for the Headway Charity.

This was not a led ride but with a small group we all set off and stayed together throughout the ride which was at a comfortable pace (we still averaged just under 14mph).  It was cloudy at the start with a tail wind and we made good progress, deciding by mutual consent to forego coffee at Thurleigh and get to lunch early.  Near St Neots the sun came out and when we arrived at the Market Square we enjoyed sitting outside the café eating various options from their cooked breakfast menu.

It was tempting to dwell longer in the sun but then there was the odd spot of rain so we hastened to set out on the return loop.  The rain did not materialize and even cycling into the headwind was not too bad on the very quiet leafy lanes.

With most of the return leg cracked we were only a few miles from Poddington, looking forward to afternoon tea when the heavens opened and we got well and truly soaked.  Fortunately Poddington let us in, where we met another CTC group from MK who had just arrived before the rain.  We watched the continuing deluge from the shelter of the café.
With signs of a break in the cloud we set off again with Tim and Sylvia joining the MK group. Just before we arrived at the Canoe Centre the rain returned but that did not dampen our spirits and we all agreed it had been a very good day in the saddle.

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 – Ninth Annual Guy Barber Ride – Sunday 13th July

Bill, our Treasurer, organised this ride and writes:

Numbers taking part = 18. We raised £90 for Headway Charity though a cheque for £100 was forwarded to them.

Though eighteen took part, sadly, this year we had no female presence. Not sure off-hand if this was a first …

Of the eighteen, there was one new CTC member: Hartley from Northampton. We had Phil from St. Andrews Hospital who worked with Guy and is a close friend of the Barber family. It was good to have him on board. Also with us was Harry from Milton Keynes, who would win the prize of the elder statesman with us. I believe he is around the 73-74 years of age so should Harry read this, well done! We raise our helmets to you. [John, another regular rider, adds: “Phil was the old rider I think. At 78 he rode from Milton Keynes and back as well!”]

The other riders were a mix of Northampton, Milton Keynes and one CTC member from Wellingborough. Most of you have supported this ride over the last 9 years and the fact that you still do is very much appreciated by the benefactors Headway.

Riders gathering early at the start

Riders gathering early at the start

As for the ride itself, it is always a ride that produces great spirit… The ride through the east side of the county as it heads for Bedfordshire through the villages of Sharnbrook and Thurleigh to name but two, just seem to fly by effortlessly, with a constant chatter of voice and the sounds of gears and wheels. As is normal on this ride the bunch splits with some stopping and enjoying the fayre at Thurleigh (the healthy food option) while others prefer to get the bulk of the ride behind them and they press on to St. Neots. As usual the groups meet at St. Neots at The Market Café for a short exchange of pleasantries of the ride encountered thus far.

The split at St. Neots continued, only the split of two groups became three. Then as the ride heads for home the chatter recedes as it progresses on the road towards Kimbolton. This is always a sign that a headwind is encountered and so it proved to be… Poddington Garden Centre is always a welcome break from that constant element, and an enjoyable stop for afternoon coffee.

The final miles back to Northampton seem to fly by. As far as I am aware, no p*nct*res were experienced though we did have one mechanical problem to deal with, soon put to rights by John and George ….

So in conclusion, the question must be asked, what will the 10th G.B. memorial ride bring? We wait to find out. Hopefully we may enjoy the company of a few female riders along with all the usual suspects who have supported this event over the years …

Many thanks on behalf of Headway!

[The 65-miles route is here on RideWithGPS]

 

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