Ride report – Sunday 2nd September

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

Meteorological Autumn it may be but conditions out there today were as good as any ride in the Summer. A blast to Banbury was on the cards and eight riders turned out including my neighbour and new rider Ian. Both Pete and Milton were on standby with Garmins in case of my memory loss.

Banbury lane always provides an early test for the heart with its undulating nature and none more so than for PhilL who battled through the hardest part of the outward journey with great gusto.

A minor diversion after Cold Higham soon had us looking at the sixteen miles marker to our destination. We ticked off the villages along the way in quick succession. Moreton Pinkney a particular pleasure with the newly laid tarmac assisting the climb.

Around Sulgrave we passed the seven mile marker to Banbury only to be presented with an eight mile one shortly after! A six mile marker was on the opposite side of the road too. Country miles obviously. Whatever the mileage we were soon at the end of Banbury lane in Thorpe Mandeville.

We entered Chacombe using an alternative route and were soon off road through the Gateway retail park.
Pete had found another alternative here which gave us safer cycling towards the town centre. It did leave us with a bit of an uphill start on a busy roundabout but we escaped without incident.

We soon arrived at the Hillier Garden Centre and basked in the glorious sunshine on the outdoor seating for a while.
The ride out was largely on cycle paths up the Southam road until Little and Great Bourton took us away from the madding crowds. Bliss.

Some way on Adstone provided the hardest climb of the day before we levelled off and headed for Foxley.

Back at Cold Higham and the A5 a different route home. Heading to Eastcote came disaster. PhilL was a victim of hedge cutting with a couple of thorns adorning his inner tube. The rest of the ride passed without incident and we all made our separate ways home.

Thanks to all for turning out.

Hope you all enjoyed the ride.





The Northampton Cycle Parade of 1895.

The fifth annual cyclist’s parade in aid of the Northampton General Infirmary took place on Monday evening. The weather, unlike that of last year, was very favourable, and as a result more people witnessed the parade than any previous year, and more money was collected.

The hard working committee who, fortunate in having the services of an enthusiastic hon. Sec. in Mr. Sam C. Douglas, had spared no work to make the affair a success, and that they succeeded the result proves. The chief attraction of the parade was the comic and character get-ups. These were exceptionally good, and reflected the highest credit upon those responsible. It was an excellent move on the part of the committee to write to Mr. H. Labouchere for a prize for the best get-up, for, generous as that gentleman is known to be where the object is a deserving one, few of them expected such a handsome silver cup as that sent down by the then senior member. It had the result of attracting an entry of seventy, the majority of whom not only competed, but displayed not a little originality and cleverness, and the only regret was that there were not more prizes. Several who were passed over thoroughly deserved recognition. In some cases a lot of money had been spent in the get-ups; which, as above mentioned, were all round remarkably good.

Cyclists began to arrive on the Market square – the place of starting – soon after past six by which time the roped off space was surrounded by a large crowd. Until 7.30 the cyclists continued to arrive, and the number of spectators increased, until there were over 500 of the first named, and several thousands of onlookers. In addition to the prizes for the best get-up, prizes were also given for the best florally decorated machine, and the neatest equipped rider. Whilst these were being judged the Northampton Temperance Silver band played selections. The judges were the Mayor and Mayoress, Mr. A. Cockerill, Mr. Aarron Philips, and Mr G. E. Sindall. They had a difficult task before them, and if they did not give general satisfaction they did their best.
In giving first prize to Mr H. O. Andrews, who represented dear old Santa Claus, and his little guest, they no doubt were in thorough sympathy with all able to judge. The make up of Father Christmas was remarkably good, every detail being carefully attended to. Then his little guest was a pretty little curly-headed mite of about three winters, dressed with great skill.
The second prize, a clock, was given to Mr. H. F. Swann, who as a Hospital nurse was an excellent representation.
The third prize, a walking stick, was won by Mr. Pratt, who as a Cobbler was strikingly characteristic.
The fourth prize (given by Mr. H. Kinnersley) was awarded to Mr. James, whose representation of a penny wooden doll came in for general commendation.

Behind these there were many excellent characters, and special prizes were given by Mr. A. Cockerill to Mr. Ben Romain, who got up splendidly as The Nun; Mr. Sindall gave a special prize to Mr. J. T. Field, whose representation of an Indian Chief was in the opinion of many deserving of higher mention. Then there was ‘Northampton’, a get-up by Mr. Howard which did him infinite credit, and drew forth a special prize from Mrs Becke. Mrs Becke also gave a special to Mr Geo, Perkins for his Our Back garden. A special was also given to Mr. Barwell, who, as the Birdcatcher, was deserving of it.

In addition to the above the following were also favourably commented upon:- English Sports (Mr. A. Dunham), Going to Market (Mr. W. Ellis), Little Lord Fauutleroy (the Master Grose), Mephistopheles (Mr F. C. Robinson), the Village Blacksmith (Mr. J. Dilley), Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday (Messrs. Langley and Perkins), the old farmer and son (Mr D. Deacon), Salvation Army girl (Mr. W Watson), detachable and adjustable cycle stretcher carrier (Messrs. Gardner and Ward), Labourer (Mr. F. Bazeley), Ching Chang (Mr. McKewan), Frank Read’s flying ship(Mr. G. Esau), an organ grinder (Mr.G. White), Hamlet (Mr F. J. Bassford), Court Juggler(Mr. W. H. Cautrell) Irishman and woman (Messrs. Holmes and Burman), Mrs. Penn (Mr.J.Billingham), Horse Guard (Mr. H. Barber), etc.

Mr. T. Ridgeeway was the first (barometer presented by Sir Philip Manfield) for the best florally decorated machine; Miss Lowe was second and obtained Mr. L. J. Sharman’s prize of a set of carvers; Miss Rose Gadsby was third, and had a biscuit jar; whilst Miss Katie Grose (as poppy) was given a special prize by the Mayoress. These machines looked very pretty, as did the lady riders.

The competition for the neatest equipped cyclist was not very keen. Mr H. Bosworth won the Gladstone bag given by Mr. A. Drucker; Mr. E. J. Facer was second (Umbrella, by Mr. A. Philips), and Mr. A. Robinson was third (brief bag).
The silver-plated bugle for the out of town club parading the most members was won by the Kettering Working-Men’s, who mustered no less than 54. Amongst those who witnessed the judging were:- Mr H. Labouchere, Mrs Labouchere, Miss Labouchere, Mr. A. Drucker, Mr. C. C. and Mrs Becke, Ald.H.E.Randall, Mr.S.S.Campion, Rev,W.B.Sleight, and Mr Pigott, C.B., Chief Constable of Norfolk.

It was nearly eight o’clock when Mr S.Brown, of Coventry (who visited the town at the invitation of Mr. A. Richardson Newland), led off on the Humber Eiffel machine, which is fifteen feet high, and which he rode throughout the parade without once dismounting – a performance requiring not a little nerve.

The route taken, which was lined throughout with on-lookers, was Wood-hill, Georg-row, the Drapery, Sheep-street, Barrack-road, Louise-road, Military-road, Claire-street, Hunter-street, Colwyn-road, Derby-road, Whitworth-road, Wellingborough-road, Palmerston-road, Billing-road, St.Giles-street, George-row, Gold-street, Marefair, Black Lion-hill, St.James-road, to Franklins Gardens.

There were 525 machines in the procession, and various clubs represented included the following:- Northampton Rovers, Northampton and Country A.A.C., Military, Trade, God Templars, St.James, Stanley, All Saints’, Working-Men’s Club, Whitworth road Conservative C.C.C., Kettering Working-Men’s Club, Wellingborough, Earl’s Barton, Wollaston, Kettering A.C., Daventry, Rugby, Banbury, Ambulance Cycling Sections.
The arrangements on the square were carried out by sub-marshalls under the direction of the Chief Constable (Mr.F.H.Mardlin), who also arranged for the placing of constables in various parts of the route: and it is most satisfactory to state that the whole was carried out without mishap. The collectors numbered something like 140, and it is satisfactory to state that upwards of £60 was taken-a most gratifying result.

On arriving at Franklin’s Gardens the distribution of prizes took place in the large hall, which was packed. The Mayor, who wore his chain of office, spoke of the great success of the parade, and the pleasure it gave the Mayoress and himself to take what part they had that evening. The Mayor, who wore his chain of office, spoke of the great success of the parade, and the pleasure it gave the Mayoress and himself to take what part they had that evening. The Mayoress then distributed the prizes, each of the recipients coming in for great cheering.

At the close of proposition of Mr.J.Porteous, hearty cheers were given to the Mayor and Mayoress, whose reply determined the proceedings. Along the line of the route the Trade and St.Paul’s Bands played selections. Mr.S.Frisby and Mr.W.G.Ward kindly supplied brakes for their use. It should be mentioned that several members of the Templars’ Club represented Knight Templars.




Ride to Banbury – Sunday 2nd September

Phil Johnson is leading this ride and writes:
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance: 54 miles
Refreshment stop: Hillier Garden Centre
Pace: Steady 13mph average
Time expected back: 2pm


Banbury lane will be our guide for this early Autumn ride into the North Oxfordshire market town.

Without much of a diversion we’ll cruise through Canons Ashby, Moreton Pinkney and Thorpe Mandeville.

On the outskirts of Banbury, Chacombe will take us away from the main arteries whilst cycle paths on the Gateway retail park gets us closer to our destination at the Hillier Garden Centre on Spiceball Park.

In contrast the return journey has plenty of twists and turns through some lesser known villages including Great Bourton, Cropredy and Appletree amongst others.

It’s a ride of two halves this one. Plenty of long straights on the way down to stretch the legs and a more sedate and scenic ride back.

For any further information please feel free to contact me on 07927377191

Hope to see you there.



Ride to Earls Barton – Saturday 25th August

Elspeth & Tim are leading these rides and write:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.

Meeting point:  Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ

Distance:  31 miles for the Moderate ride, 36 miles for the Brisk ride

Refreshment stop:  Boathouse café, White Mills Marina

Pace:  Moderate (11 – 12 mph), Brisk (14+ mph)

Time expected back:  1.30 p.m.


We have a pair of rides with a shared tea stop this Saturday.

Both rides head out from East Hunsbury on the Quinton road turning left at the Salcey Forest cross-roads towards the Newport Pagnell road where they diverge.

The Moderate riders head north to Horton and Brafield-on-the-Green before heading down the hill at Cogenhoe and on to the café stop at White Mills Marina.

Meanwhile the Brisk riders head in the opposite direction towards Stoke Goldington, Ravenstone & Weston Underwood before skirting round Olney to Yardley Hastings.

Then it’s downhill through Grendon to hopefully meet the Moderate group at the café stop before all the cake has gone!

Both Moderate & Brisk groups share the same route home to East Hunsbury via Grendon Lakes, Castle Ashby, Horton, Hackleton and Wootton Fields.

The weather forecast for this weekend is looking somewhat changeable so it will be a good idea to bring a waterproof and maybe fit mudguards if you have them.

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


https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27947818   (Moderate route)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27947817   (Brisk route)

Any questions please contact Elspeth (07889 606274) or Tim (07749 477231).

Ride report – Sunday 19th August

Peter Bayles led the ride and writes:

Ten riders set off from East Hunsbury library on Sunday morning.  The weather was good to us throughout the ride, being dry and warm all day, but overcast.

As usual, Garmins were primed and used to guide us around the countryside faultlessly and without drama.  Unfairly, Milton has persistently had nothing but scorn for technology in general, and Garmin navigation devices in particular over the years, preferring to rely on memory and maps.

Imagine then, dear readers, the utter shock to which the rest of the riders were subjected to, when Milton rocked up proudly sporting a brand new Garmin on his handlebars.

With the exception of JamesH, who shot impressively off ahead from the outset, the group kept a steady pace through the (mostly) quiet and enjoyable roads, with Milton frequently demonstrating his new found navigation skills.

Reaching Stowe Gardens, the National Trust café provided refreshments, with Chris especially enjoying the sausage rolls.  Of course, JamesH was just wiping the crumbs from his mouth when the rest of the group arrived, but still stayed to enjoy the chat.

Suitably sustained, the group was just getting ready to set off when Milton, feigning helplessness, announced that he had a flat.  Fortunately, JamesC, who currently holds the club record for changing a tube, soon had a grateful Milton back in the saddle.

On the return leg, the group spread out a little, but everyone got home in good time to enjoy the majority of the afternoon.

Thanks go to all for joining the ride, and for making it an enjoyable day.

Ride to Stowe Gardens – Sunday 19th August

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:  44 mls
Refreshment stop:  The Nevillery Café at Stowe, 26 mls
Pace:   Steady, around 13mph average
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm


The ride this Sunday will be from East Hunsbury to Stowe Gardens, with a refreshment stop at the Nevillery Cafe there.

We will leave East 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, Slapton and Wappenham.
Sunday’s ride is a relatively short one for a steady in the summer, so if any of the more ambitious (and self led) riders require an additional challenge, there are numerous pleasant roads in this area that could easily add between 2 and 10 miles.  A right turn at Wappenham, taking in Thorpe Mandeville and looping back to Helmdon, for example, would add 10 miles.

So, back to the route.  Continuing to Helmdon, we change direction, riding through Crowfield, Syresham and Biddlesden, following Welsh Lane into Stowe Gardens to our refreshment stop at the National Trust cafe there.

There are a lot of roadworks in this part of the county at the moment and the FIA World Endurance Championships are at Silverstone this weekend, so the return leg will be through Chackmore and Whittlebury, crossing the A5 again at Heathencote before riding through Blisworth and back through Milton Malsor.  I will do a proper check prior to Sunday, but I think we avoid any road closures.

The hills are not too challenging, the distance not too great and the weather not too hot, so this could be a good opportunity for any riders out there who may wish to join us for the first time to see what we’re about; any new riders would be very welcome.


For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter Bayles on 07979850096

Steady Ride route:

EH/Stowe/44mls (avoids Silverstone)


Ride report – Saturday 11th August

Philip Gray went on this ride led by Iain D and writes:

Nine riders including one lady gathered in Moulton to enjoy the cooler but still sunny and pleasant weather on a ride led by Iain D.

We headed out via Pitsford reservoir to Cottesbrooke and Haselbech Hill. Here, Hartley suffered a double puncture so while Brian and Viki stayed with him, the other six continued to Market Harborough, via East Farndon hill (downwards).

After a short stretch on the BVW, we reached Waterloo Farm for a pleasant coffee stop outdoors.

Our leader having noticed a lack of lights and general adventure-readiness among the troops,  took us back by road instead of the Kelmarsh tunnels.

After Harrington village the group split in two, but everyone made it home safely.

Thanks to Iain for a good route.
Photo (Harrington) attached.

Happy cycling,