Ride report, Sunday 16th January

Milton Led this steady ride to Culworth and writes:

The best weather of January so far blessed our trip and quiet (albeit dirty) roads made it a splendid way for 12 of us to spend half a day. We travelled along the Nene, and then the canal until Banbury Lane and from there we headed to Blakesley via Pattishall. Then it was Woodend, Plumpton and Weston before making Culworth in good time. A log fire was indeed burning and sausage rolls, pasties and scotch eggs were available as well as excellent coffee. A difficult place to leave in bad weather, but today, the sun shone and we were raring to get back on our bikes ….ish!
The route back was even more rural going through Eydon and Little Preston, Maidford and Litchborough but not much else until we headed for Bugbrooke and the big smoke, Northampton itself!
We got to the Canoe Centre by about 1.30, so it wasn’t a long day, though we’d managed something in excess of 45 miles. Great to see you all, and, as ever, there’s another ride next week!

Ride to Culworth, Sunday 16th January

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting Point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 45 miles
Pace: Steady (around 12-14 mph)
Café stop: The Forge Café Culworth


Sign Up for the ride here.

The cafe is definitely worth a visit. It has a lovely log fire and excellent coffee and homemade cakes etc and the trip there is a joy.
We set off along the Nene for about three miles and then, after a short, (tarmac-ed) section of the canal, we arrive on Banbury Lane and head south, (here I expect the “Dodgers of Hunsbury” might choose to join the ride as it will allow them to skip quite a few miles almost without guilt!) This is a lovely route on quiet roads which takes us through Foxley, Blakesley, Woodend, Plumpton and Weston before, at almost exactly the halfway point, we reach Culworth.

The return begins on some equally attractive little roads through Eydon and Little Preston, Maidford and Litchborough before reaching Bugbrooke. It is at this point we turn south east and meet up with Banbury Lane once more, (and again, the “D’s of H” might want to exit the ride!) to return via the canal and the river to our setting-off point at the Canoe Centre.

It being high January, I imagine we can be assured of balmy weather in the high 20’s….so dress appropriately please!
It should be a good day, I look forward to your company.
PS The café is quite strict about mask wearing, so please make sure you come equipped.



Ride to Sherington, Saturday 8th January

James C is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: Brisk 41mls, Moderate 37mls
Refreshment stop: Emberton Park or Alban Hills Nursery Café
Pace: Brisk and Moderate
Time Expected Back: Around 1.00pm

This Saturday’s ride takes us over to Sherington starting from Hunsbury library.

From here we take the usual route to Salcey Forest where the brisks and moderates part company, the moderates taking a left through the forest towards Stoke Goldington while the brisks carry on towards Hanslope, Castlethorpe and Old Haversham before climbing to Little Linford, then enjoying both the downhill section and a view across to Tyringham Hall which we’ll pass on the way home.

Both groups then ride in the direction of Newport Pagnell but turn off towards Sherington, through the village up towards the main road to Olney. Here we check if Alban Hills Nursery cafe is open, if not then it’s another few minutes on the cycle path to the nearby Emberton Park cafe (run by the same people as Salcey Forest).

Leaving the cafe we again use the cycle path to Filgrave and enjoy the view across Beds as we ride to the beautiful Tyringham estate (where there’s a great spot for a group photo on the Vanburgh bridge)

From here it’s a simple blast back through Tathall End, Hartwell, Roade and Blisworth.

This is undulating ride but there are no serious hills and should be suitable for all riders. GPX files for your Garmin are attached, or if you’re a Strava user let me know and I can share the route through Strava.


Please consider the usual COVID precautions, and masks will be required in the cafe.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

Ride report, Sunday 2nd January

ChrisD led most of this ride and writes:

Twelve riders came out for this first New Year ride including two new riders, Phil Brittain and Stuart Hughes.

We were soon joined near Gayton by Alex S.  Soon after, Peter, who was leading the ride was forced to pull out given the challenges of a chest infection, so luckily, we stayed at 12.  Chris D was nominated to take the lead role given that he had devised the route originally.  However, there is nothing simple about the new ‘esteemed leader’ since he immediately admitted that he would have routed it differently now.

The weather held all day and with sunshine on our shoulders the route was a ‘lovely one’ out to Thornby, Flore, the Bringtons, Long Buckby – all on quiet roads.  The hills were quickly despatched and the general feel was of a group glad to be enjoying the freedom and fresh air of a good day out on the bike.

The new ‘esteemed leader’ then ‘mucked it up’ by changing the last section before Thornby, taking the riders away from the comfort of their garmins through Cold Ashby.  This was a faster and much less hilly alternative and avoids duplication later on.  However, the ‘esteemed leader’ then went too fast and left a long tail of resentful cyclists in his wake.  Equanimity was restored at the Buddhist Centre Café, as always, efficient with great cake and great coffee.  The happy atmosphere led to some strange conversations including, sex, animals, paedophobia and paediatricians. Will the rest of this year be like this?

Three riders left to take a different route home.  East Hunsbury to Thornby was never going to suit everyone!   Then down through Guilsborough, past Coton Manor and through Ravensthorpe and East Haddon, then the Althorp Estate and the old Roman Road through to Duston.  A change of route again (the ‘esteemed leader’ was feeling brave) and back through the ‘French Quarter’ and Upton to Hunsbury without mishap.

There was a good steady pace overall at 13.2mph and the ride was finished in good time before 2pm. 

Thanks to Peter Bayles for getting us out the door this morning.  It was day that rewarded those who did with no rain, good company and some nice moments.

Big thanks to our two new riders, Phil and Stuart for coming out – their company and energy were much appreciated and we hope to see them again soon.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Chris Duff

Ride to Thornby, Sunday 2nd January

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Venue: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 45 Miles
Pace: Steady – Around 13mph Average
Cafe Stop: Buddhist Centre Cafe, Thornby
Estimated return: Around 2.00 pm

This Sunday’s ride, our first of 2022, is from East Hunsbury to the Buddhist Centre at Thornby.

Originally devised by Chris D, this ride is a bit hilly, but follows some pleasant low-traffic roads North West of Northampton. We set out through Gayton, Bugbrooke, Flore, West Haddon to our Cafe destination at Thornby.

Hopefully, the cafe will be open …. the last time I planned a ride to the Buddhist Centre it was closed for an event. I promise I will check again before the ride ! With the latest COVID restrictions, please ensure you bring a mask.

The route back is via Guilsborough, East Haddon, Althorp, Kislingbury and back to East Hunsbury.

Weather looks to be be dry whilst we are riding, but with rain forecast before and after, I guess rain jackets will be used. On the positive side though, the temperature is a balmy 11 degs.

As Philip keeps (rightly) reminding us, please consider the usual precautions.

As usual it is very helpful for our planning to follow this link to book a place on Signup: Group rides

Link to route on RWGPS: CTC Ride to Thornby

Cheers Peter

Ride report, Boxing Day

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

A rather damp and dismal welcome to the start of this festive ride for seven cyclists didn’t dampen our spirits. Overnight rain had created large pools of water all along the route to Salcey but the mood was buoyant despite the tricky conditions. Gurj was welcomed back after a long absence due to work commitments to finish off the year on this simplest of rides.

A steady pace of no great effort got us through each village along the way and in no time we found ourselves approaching the cafe at Salcey Forest. Milton and Gurj pressed on without stopping whilst we took up residence in a quiet corner of the Grounds cafe to enjoy a coffee and cake. The forest was already filling up with the usual Boxing Day clientele, out for dog walks and fresh air and a few cyclists already enjoying a welcome break in front of the fire.

With most of the ride behind us, all that remained was the long stretch towards Wootton down the Quinton road and back to Hunsbury. As we left the forest rain came down again as it had at the start. PhilG tailed off at Preston Deanery and our foursome rode on back to the start, marking the end of our 2021 rides calendar.

Thanks to those who came out on a rather uninviting day and in fact those who have come out riding at all in 2021.

Happy new year of cycling.


Boxing Day ride to Salcey Forest

PhilJ is leading this Boxing Day ride and writes:

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 20 miles
Pace: Moderate
Cafe Stop: Grounds Cafe, Salcey Forest
Estimated return: Around 12:00

Another year is nearly over and it’s time for our annual Boxing day ride to Salcey Forest. Milton has stepped aside for the second time to allow me to lead my version of the ride, albeit to the same coffee stop.

A slightly different route than Milton’s we’ll start at EH heading for Rothersthorpe, Milton Malsor and Stoke Bruerne. Once through Ashton and Hartwell we’ll be ready for coffee at the Grounds Cafe in the forest.

The return journey is a more straightforward and quicker run down the Quinton road into Wootton and Hunsbury. You’ll be back in time for the second turkey dinner in two days so there’s no excuse not to come out and burn off those Christmas day calories.

Please use the Sign Up app or contact me on phjoh119@gmail.com if you’re coming.



Ride report, Sunday 19th December

BrianT went on this ride and writes:

Six riders met at BVW car park at 9.30am to travel in convoy to Manton, a village on Rutland Water. 

The temperature was hovering around 1-2 degrees C on the way, which was also foggy, although visibility was OK for driving.  After unpacking the bikes we eventually left at 10.45 to traverse the reservoir. The bike trail was a mix of tarmac and gravel tracks in about equal measure. There were not that many walkers or cyclist around during the morning and we more or less had the place to ourselves. The walkers we did meet caused a minor pile up which must have looked spectacular but only John W came off with a cut knee. The walkers were keen to give John the full first aid works but he declined the offer.  There was little wind so riding conditions were good. 

Shortly after this we found that the café Phil L had carefully researched. It was closed so we continued to the point where the planned route turned onto the peninsular for a quick loop into the centre of the reservoir. The debate was then do we do this or head for the second café in the next village. This was at noon so we pedalled on to Egleton where Phil knew the Anglian Water Bird Watching Centre had a café. That looked closed but we sent the indomitable JW in to see what was available. There was indeed a DIY coffee machine and the centre staff were doing toasted sandwiches or flapjacks. 

I think we were the only visitors that day as it was off the cycling route. Inside we had a panoramic view of the reservoir but due to the fog, there was no flying today, but it was pleasantly warm there.

The cars were now only a short distance away and we arrived back at just after 1pm. We had only cycled 16 miles on the flat but it was a good place to ride on a foggy day and we all felt this had been good morning out for a bit of fresh air and good company. Thanks to Phil L for leading the ride. 



Off road at Rutland Water, Sunday 19th December

PhilL is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30am
Meet: Car park opposite Wind-hover/Brampton Valley Way Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Distance: 23m
Stops: Various coffee stops
Average pace: 12mph
Time expected back: 2-3pm

Car assisted- off road circuit of Rutland Water
Members wishing to attend this ride-circuit of Rutland Water will need access to bike carrying transport to/from Rutland Water a journey which takes about 50mins.
I’m proposing to meet at the car park opposite the Windhover/BVW at 9.30am then drive in convoy through to Uppingham and the start point at Manton where there is limited free parking (to avoid the £6 fees at Normanton!)
The off- road ride surface is a mixture of tarmac, roughish gravel and cobbles so either an MTB or Gravel bike required, def. not road bike.

Members wishing to attend this ride can either use our SignUpGenius system
Or mail me direct on raucousdrongo@yahoo.co.uk

Phil Letts

Ride report, Saturday 11th December

Peter B led the Moderate Ride and writes:

It was a good turnout for the Brisk and Moderate rides to Woodford Halse, with 10 riders setting off from East Hunsbury (plus Phil G who joined on route) on a cold but bright day.  Chris D led the three Brisk riders, who set off first to try to get to the cafe before the moderates finished off the cake.

It was great that John W was able to join us for his last ride before leaving Northampton to be nearer his family in the Bristol area.  Special thanks go to John from the Committee for being the Club Treasurer for many years.  We’re not aware of any sharp dealings during John’s tenure, but Phil L, who has kindly volunteered to take the financial helm, will be checking the numbers very carefully. 

Of course, I’m only joking, John has been a steady hand and we will miss him and his squeaky brakes greatly.  We trust he will enjoy riding with a new club, and we wish him all the very best for the future!!

This was the first time that we had used the Harley Cafe on a club ride since the start of COVID, and we can report that the service was attentive and the cake, bacon sandwiches and home made sausage rolls were just as delicious as ever.

The weather wasn’t quite so kind to us on the return leg, with intermittent light drizzle, but this wasn’t a problem and was otherwise uneventful.

Thanks to everyone who joined the ride, and a plug for Phil L’s ride next week, which is an off-road steady around Rutland Water.  Look forward to seeing many of you then.

Cheers Peter