Ride to Bourne End – Sun 21st January

Milton Cadman is leading this ride and writes:


Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Canoe Centre Bedford Rd, Northampton NN4 7AA
Distance  48 miles

Refreshment stop  The Bike Bus, Bourne End Beds

Pace  Steady 12-14 mph

Time Expected Back  Around 2.30pm


The Bike Bus is a worthy destination for this winter trip. A London double decker bus in a farmer’s field, it’s run by Grant, an ex bike mechanic, and provides fine bacon and sausage butties as well as cakes to accompany our tea and coffee. There is a small bike shop on the top floor of the bus as well. 

From the Canoe Centre we will ride through Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, and Bozeat before turning south to Harrold, Carlton, Turvey and on to Newton Blossomville. From here we take a series of small and lesser known roads to Astwood and beyond until we reach the bus.  The return is through North Crawley , Sherington, Filgrave and Tyringham before we get on the road at Stoke Goldington that will lead us through Salcey Forest, (another stop if we need it) Quinton and Preston Deanery and back to the Canoe Centre.

It’s not an especially challenging route, but at 48 miles at this time of year, it’s enough to give us a lovely day out. Be seen lights are a good idea if it gets gloomy.

I hope, with a relaxed but steady pace, we should get back to Northampton by 2.30 pm at the latest.

It’ll be good to see you.


Ride report – Saturday 13th January

Peter Bayles led this ride and writes:

The weather was kind to the six riders that set off from East Hunsbury on Saturday 13th Jan for the ride to Stowe, being reasonably mild for the time of year and, more importantly, dry all day. Quite a few of our regular riders are suffering from ailments of one form or another at the moment, so it was especially good to welcome Mark on his first ride with us.

The group decided to stick together on the way out, taking the ride at a steady pace through pleasant country roads, albeit with some seasonal mud on a few of the smaller ones. The route was not too challenging, with the usual selection of tiring inclines, but nothing too difficult.

Alex’s Garmin refused to work correctly at first, giving strange directions and, at one point, suggesting the sea as a destination. After a few unkind conversations regarding the instability of the Garmin software, well into the ride the owner found that he had actually plotted the wrong route.

We couldn’t resist the photograph of the Corinthian Arch, with five fine riders captured in front of it (obviously the sixth was behind the lens). The Nevillery Café at Stowe served the usual National Trust selection of cakes and sandwiches, which were eagerly consumed in comfortable surroundings. That was until the fire alarm went off. This turned out to be a false alarm, but did mean that we had to finish our coffees outside in the cold, whilst watching the fire engine, sirens blaring, arrive at the scene.

The group split into two on the way back, with three riders needing to push ahead to get back for various events.

The roads back via Silverstone and Whittlebury were faster than those in the first half of the ride, but still quite quiet. So a good pace was kept up on the second leg, until progress was abruptly interrupted due to temporary roadwork’s before Shutlanger, where several traffic lights had appeared in series.

With the roadwork’s behind us, we set off again and both groups were back without punctures or other incidents before 2.00pm.

So, overall, an enjoyable ride with pleasant weather, and no punctures to report.


Ride to Stowe – Saturday 13th January

Peter Bayles is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance  45 mls (Brisk) or 43 mls (Moderate)

Refreshment stop  The Nevillery Cafe at Stowe at 26 mls (Brisk), 23 mls (Moderate)
Pace  Brisk or Moderate
Time Expected Back  Around 2.30pm
We have two rides on Saturday starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library, the Brisk Ride is 45 miles at a pace of 14mph, with the Moderate Ride probably being a self led group of 43 miles, depending on the riders turning up, and will be around 11 to 12 mph. Cake stop is at the National Trust Nevillery Cafe at Stowe.
We will leave West Hunsbury, riding past Milton Malsor, turning right down Gayton Road, past Gayton Marina, and on to Tiffield.  Almost through Tiffield, we hang a right and ride through Caldecot and on to the A5.
Crossing the A5 a few hundred metres north (there is a path along side the busy road), we will ride West through Duncote, Greens Norton, Bradden and Slapton.

Just before Wappenham, the Brisk and the Moderate routes diverge, with the Moderate group turning South on the pleasant Brookside road to Syresham.  At this point, the Brisk group have the opportunity to pile on another couple of miles by continuing through Wappenham, riding to Helmdon and on to Syresham via Crowfield.

From Syresham both groups continue through Biddlesden, on to Chackmore and then up Stowe Avenue to the Corinthian Arch, a convenient photo opportunity for the vain.  The Nevillery Café is in, or at the National Trust New Inn, to the right of the Arch.

Suitably refreshed and sustained, both groups will return along Ouse Valley Way, then onto faster roads through Dadford, Silverstone and Whittlebury.

We will cross the A5 again at Heathencote and return via Shutlanger, Blisworth and Milton Malsor.

The hills are not too challenging and as always, but especially at this time of year when the weather may be less than ideal, we have the opportunity to follow the shorter route at a slower pace, depending on how the riders feel on the day.
We should return well before dusk, but please remember to bring lights.
We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles
Brisk Ride route:
Moderate Ride route:

Ride report Sunday January 7th

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

A clear ride of two halves today as the swift ride down to Banbury was a contrast to the slow punishing ride back.

Seven hardy riders started at East Hunsbury for a promising day of riding in unbroken sunshine on what was still a very cold day.

For a steady paced ride we soon got into a decent rhythm on the undulating stretch of Banbury lane up to the A5 at Pattishall. The ground was frosty and the air was cool. Cold Higham was cold.

The terrain levelled off thereafter and we were soon speeding along with a very useful tailwind behind us. We ticked off Canons Ashby and Moreton Pinkney in quick succession before Thorpe Mandeville and the approach to Chacombe on a busy run along the busy B4525.

A useful cycle path guided us into the Banbury Gateway retail park and all that remained was to run the gauntlet of the Banbury traffic into the centre of town. Once there the Hillier Garden Centre café was very pleasant and the service was excellent for our group of hungry riders.

Heading out was easier than the ride in as the wide cycle paths along the Southam road kept us safe from the Banbury chaos until our first village at Little Bourton. We did run into a severe headwind straight away that didn’t relent all the way back to Northampton. Great Bourton followed and then Cropredy where we passed a street simply called ‘Cup and Saucer’ – quaint. Still in Cropredy, Giles came a cropper with another puncture. His eighth in recent months apparently – and on new tyres!

We headed for Appletree and Woodford Halse where ice was still present on the road. The ride back became a more careful affair than the ride out. We battled on against the energy zapping wind until Gayton where Pete now punctured. On the move again and back at the start having taken twice as long to get back as it took to get there.


Great riding from all those who turned out today and thanks to Pete for the Garmin backup.










Ride to Banbury – Sunday January 7th

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Hillier Garden Centre
Time Expected Back:  Around 2pm


A pretty straightforward one this for the first club ride of the year. A run down to Banbury for tea and cakes at the Hillier Garden Centre near Spiceball Park.
Banbury lane seems like the obvious place to start and we’ll use it all the way to the A5 at Pattishall.
Once over, a change of direction takes us towards Litchborough and Maidford and then it’s on to Canons Ashby, Thorpe Mandeville and the outskirts of Banbury.
The return journey is a bit more adventurous, hopefully on one or two new roads for us through Great Bourton, Cropredy and Appletree amongst others.
Eventually back at the A5 crossing a different route home to our start point.
It’s a decent bit of mileage to get you off to a flying start in 2018.


We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride. For any further questions, please feel free to contact PhilJ or Peter Bayles.

Ride to Sharnbrook – Sunday 31st December

Giles Barringham is leading this ride and writes:

Start time  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance  54  miles
Refreshment stop  Podington Garden Centre Café
Pace  Steady
Time Expected Back  Around 3 – 3.30 pm


Starting at East Hunsbury the route will take us through Quinton, Preston Deanery, Hackleton, Horton, Denton, Yardley Hastings, Easton Maudit, Bozeat, Hinwick and Podington where we will stop for coffee and refreshments at Podington Garden Centre Café. This being 20 miles from the starting point. Afterwards we will head towards Souldrop , Sharnbrook, Odell, Harold, Carlton, Turvey, Cold Brayfield, Lavendon and around Olney towards Weston Underwood, Stoke Goldington, Eakley, Hartwell, Roade, Blisworth and back to East Hunsbury via Milton Malsor.


Although we should return well before dusk, please remember to bring lights.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride, and any further questions, please feel free to contact Giles or Peter Bayles.

Ride report – Boxing day

Milton led this ride and writes:

Chilly and breezy but with the sun shining, there was little not to enjoy on this ride other than it was the day after Christmas and we were all knackered or hung over or both!

Ten of us set off, James, as ever, faster than the rest, and had an easy 20 mile trip to the café at Salcey via Castle Ashby, Olney and Ravenstone. Coffee and cake consumed in the fresh air, apart from the three big girl’s blouses who sat in the warmth – how pathetic was that – before we all set off home for the final few miles via Quinton and Preston Deanery. James, on his brand new and very impressive Cannondale punctured, (isn’t it always the way) but wasn’t held up much as he had Peter helping with the replacement and Peter’s hands weren’t frozen, (unlike the rest of us) as he had been sitting indoors in the café. Northern Softie!

Good to have Danny with us for the first time as well as Geoff and John back again and promising to become regulars.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to us all!