Ride to Tugby – Easter Monday 22nd April

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: 55 miles
Refreshment stop: Café Ventoux , Tugby
Pace: Steady
Time Expected Back: Around 3pm

Easter Monday is traditionally a time to spend with children, partners, parents etc, so I’m expecting a large turnout for this 55 mile trip to Tugby in deepest Leicestershire.
We set off from Moulton to Walgrave and Old, then cross the A14 to Harrington. We then skirt the eastern fringes of Desborough and go up into Leicestershire to Medbourne and on to Hallaton and reach our destination, Cafe Ventoux, at Tugby. It’s a fantastic cycling café but they do say there will be “limited” hot food available on Easter Monday. I take that as a warning that if you think you will need more than coffee and cake, you should bring it with you.
The route home is a beautiful and very rural way. We do skirt the edges of Market Harborough, but, in the main, it’s a quiet trip through Glooston and Welham before we reach Braybrooke and our own beloved Northants again. Then it’s Harrington once more, and, in a slight change from this published route, we shall miss out on Old and head down the single lane direct to Walgrave and from there it’s Holcot and Moulton to the finish.
The forecast is excellent so I haven’t paid a fee for the usual ‘enhanced weather’ and I expect we’ll be back at Moulton by 3pm at the latest.
I look forward to your company for the Trip of a Lifetime! ….. well, a nice cycle ride at least.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/29709059

 

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Ride report – Saturday 13th April

Chris Duff went on this ride and writes:

Milton’s pre-ride hyperbole brought out the spring riders and 12 set off from the canoe centre. Spirits lifted by the lovely sunshine, the light wind and only a slight bite to the cold as a reminder that winter was now well behind us. A series of easy bike skill tests – like crossing roads – brought us past the new university, whilst looking good it also reminded us of the dangers of ‘big talk’.

Then on by commuter canal paths to Banbury Lane where we increased to 13. Twelve  riders could be smug in their superiority that they had not slept in. Suddenly the laid back mood changed and as Jekyll is to Hyde Milton became a man possessed with the need to get to the café before the moderate group. The route was excellent and the countryside around Nether Heyford and Flore felt a little like an exploration in a previous age.

Aided by a reassuringly resurgent James out in front Milton masked his mission well when ‘waiting’ for the rest of us faster group but still put in a slightly unrestrained final spurt before the café allowing pride to be maintained. He was, however, heard saying that the faster group had waited politely for the other group earlier in the ride. Humour can be a double edged sword?

 
Very good service, basic fayre and even slow toilets at Whilton Locks maintained the high energy levels and good spirits and whilst tired legs complained on the way back up the hill, the group had the confident knowledge that the second ‘shift’ would be easier. Althorp House has always been a relaxing route, especially with the wind in your favour, although now we remind ourselves what dark things can happen, especially on those ‘easier’ sections.

Past the antique atmospheric village of Upper Harlestone and on, faster now, towards Duston. Mishap due to inattention crossing a side road was narrowly avoided, a sobering reminder that cyclists need to be able to think, speak and watch the road all at the same time and that some of us still need to practice this modern practice of multitasking. Down the lane past Upton and we were soon back to the Canal. The group splitting with cheerful goodbyes. The route and the day as good as the pre-ride ‘positive’ description.

Thank you Milton and especial thanks to Brian for ‘looking after’ the moderate group.

Ride to Whilton Locks – Saturday 13th April

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

 
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 30/34 miles
Refreshment stop: Whilton Marina, Whilton locks
Pace: Moderate/Brisk
Time Expected Back: Around 1pm

 
It’s a simple ride this Saturday and not at all challenging and should serve as a reminder of the pleasures of riding our bikes without rushing.

 
We travel along the river from the Canoe Centre, heading past the two new bridges, and out to the west of the town and then we go for a short while on the path of the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal (tarmac all the way) before reaching our first proper road, namely Banbury Lane. We’ll still be in one peloton by this time, but now the ‘Brisks’ will set off to hurry towards Bugbrooke in the west by climbing the hill up to Gayton in the east. They’ll soon descend back onto the main route, but they will have done an extra four miles by the time they do.

 
From Bugbrooke, it’s a direct route through Nether Heyford and then Flore before the lovely gated road through Brockhall that will lead us to our coffee stop at the café in Whilton Locks. Well led, the ‘Brisks’ could expect to arrive at the stop at about the same time as the ‘Moderates’. Led by me, as they will be, they can expect to arrive about fifteen minutes later than the moderates. Ah well …. lions led by donkeys and all that.

 
It’s only about 10 miles back to the Canoe Centre via a lovely road to The Bringtons and then Upton, returning back along the Nene for the last two or three miles.
The sun will be shining (as it does) with temperatures expected in the range of 25-30 Celsius, so shorts and sun lotion will be the order of the day. It’ll be good to see you all.

 

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/29461806 moderate led by Brian

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/29461872 brisk led by Milton

Ride to Farthinghoe – Sunday 7th April

Tim Howell is leading this ride and writes:

 

Start time: 9.30 a.m.

Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ

Distance: 48 miles

Refreshment stop: Limes Farm, Farthinghoe (at approx 25 miles)

Pace: Steady (approx 13 mph)

Time expected back: approx 3 p.m.

This Sunday’s ride takes us out on mainly quiet lanes to the South West of Northampton. It is an often undulating rather than an especially hilly ride but nonetheless there is a hill or two to negotiate just before & after our lunch stop at The Limes Farm in Farthinghoe.

Our route out to Farthinghoe takes us through the villages of Tiffield, Bradden, Wappenham and Helmdon before circumnavigating the northern outskirts of Brackley. Coming back we pass through Weston, Blakesley, Pattishall, Gayton and Rothersthorpe.

The current forecast is dry for Sunday, but as we are in April it shouldn’t come as too great a surprise if the weather forecasters are outflanked by a surprise shower or two, so maybe pack that waterproof just in case.

 The proposed route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) from the CTC Northampton group on RideWithGPS:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29327485

Any questions please contact Tim – 07749 477231.

Ride report – Sunday 31st March

Phil Johnson led this ride and writes:

Just a trio of riders joined me on this Mothers day ride to Draycote Water. Frankly that was three more than I was expecting. John Winn, Hartley and Pete Sexton, who I would like to officially welcome to our club, turned out on a chillier day than we had on Saturday. Pete will be a great addition to CTC Northampton I’m sure.

We pretty much ambled across to Whilton Locks through Pineham and St Crispin’s at no great speed – in fact your mother could have done it!
Pete was introduced to our favourite gated road at Norton complete with a gravel downhill and several cattle grids but coped admirably. John managed to avoid the catastrophe of last time when he went over a grid so quickly his tyre blew out.

Safely down we cruised through Welton and Barby with the wind noticeably stronger than when we had set out. The cycle paths on the Southam road were clear for our group and we made swift progress into Dunchurch and out the other side for the last stretch in to Draycote Water.

Mother’s day celebrations were in full swing but we managed to bag a table for the four of us. Hartley tried to eat the legendary jam and cream scones like a burger and soon realised that this wasn’t possible. Cream everywhere! Respect from Pete though for sheer effort.

Straight out of the reservoir we hit a headwind and it accompanied us all the way home making it a real battle in the saddle.
We slowed for the llamas/alpacas that were crossing in Willoughby – not a sight you see every day and headed for Braunston. A climb or two later for the embattled foursome found us back in Norton and the road to Brockhall although I almost missed it looking at the Fish and Chip shop nearby.

Wind continued to slow our progress towards Bugbrooke but we finally made it to Kislingbury where we said farewell to John whilst three continued on the scheduled route home.

A ride of two halves today really but thanks to the trio for sticking it out. Chapeau!

 
PhilJ

Ride to Draycote – Sunday 31st March

Phil Johnson is leading this ride and writes:
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance: 57 miles
Refreshment stop: Waterside Restaurant, Draycote
Pace: Steady
Time Expected Back: Around 3pm
For those of you without any Mother’s Day commitments this Sunday, we have a pleasant ride over the border into Warwickshire and Draycote Water. It’s a reservoir and country park near the village of Dunchurch, 3.75 miles south of Rugby owned and operated by Severn Trent Water. It is named after the nearby hamlet of Draycote.
Once through Whilton Locks there’s a familiar gated road at Norton taking us over to Welton and on to Barby. Dunchurch won’t be far off by then and the cycle paths alongside the busy Southam road will keep us safe for a while. A last stretch out of Dunchurch gets us to Draycote Water and those great jam and cream scones you’ve no doubt heard of from the Waterside restaurant which has lovely elevated views over the water.
The return journey takes us through Grandborough, Willoughby and Braunston. Then it’s back to Welton and Norton before a different route home through Brockhall, Flore and Bugbrooke.
There’s nothing too testing on this ride else I wouldn’t be leading it! There’s a variety of different surfaces along the way – all road bike friendly. Cycle paths, gated roads and some smooth tarmac once we go over the border. Worth a look if you haven’t been out that way before and you’ll still be back in time for afternoon tea with your mother in law!
I’m on 07927377191 for any further information.

Ride report – Saturday 23rd March

Milton went on this ride and writes:

We were thirteen strong at the start in East Hunsbury on a cool and breezy but sunny Saturday morning. Good to have Chris and Ian along and to see Peter again as well as Justin who I don’t think has been out with us for a while.
Most of the riders decided they were up for a bit of a clatter in the brisk group and, in fact, by the time we got home I saw that the average had been 15.9 mph which is going some for us.
At the front of the peloton after Helmdon I distracted myself by chatting to another rider, (this will come as a big surprise to most!) and by not seeing a turn on my Garmin I cut off a couple of miles of Peter’s route including the horrid hill at Eydon. A bit of a result was the general verdict, but Peter, when he did finally arrive at the café having done the horrid hill, seemed to feel that we had emasculated his ride somewhat! Or was he just annoyed that he had had to climb the horrid hill whilst we were sunning ourselves over a coffee? Ah Peter, bitterness is so unattractive!
It was only a little over ten miles home which we mostly did in one large group and we were back home by not much later than 1pm

A lovely ride in bright Spring weather along a beautiful rural route. Good ride Peter, thanks.

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