Ride to Whittlebury, Saturday 23rd April

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Start What3words: == linen.pines.zones
Distance: 39 miles / 33 miles
Refreshment stop: Whittlebury Bakery
Pace: Brisk / Moderate

Choice of two rides at either a Brisk pace (14mph+ average) 39miles or Moderate pace (12-13mph ) 33 miles.
Both groups meeting up at the Whittlebury Bakery Café for coffee.

The ride is mainly on quiet roads in rolling countryside. From East Hunsbury the route is out through Bugbrooke and Weedon Bec, Everdon, Preston Capes. From there we loop back through Maidford, Blakesley and Silverstone to Whittlebury and the café (At Bugbrooke the Moderate pace group takes a shorter route through Litchborough to Maidford and then Whittlebury ). After that it is a short ride home via Stoke Bruerne and Blisworth to EH.

Ride with GPS route links below.
Please sign up via CTC Northampton: Group Rides (signupgenius.com)
or use (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4da5ae23a3fdc61-group)

More details from Brian on 01604 622073 or text 07722 055149
Do join us.

Brisk 39m
Moderate 33m

Brian Tunbridge
01604 622073
07722 055149

Ride report, Saturday 16th April

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

As luck would have it, my alternative venue at the Solstice Café in Dunchurch turned out to be the right decision in the end. Six riders were more than I was expecting on an Easter weekend ride, and this included several who you’re more than likely to see on a brisk ride on a Saturday. Most of us were on our first ride in shorts and short sleeved tops this season and we had nothing to worry about weather wise.

Clearing Duston high street made way for the country roads towards Althorp and Brington whereupon the ‘brisks’ opened up a gap on the ‘steadies’ towards the village of Whilton before regrouping at the summit above Whilton Locks. Norton successfully navigated, through the gated road, the highest point on the ride then provided a swift drop towards Welton amidst stunning vistas. Alex had his eye on the clock for elevenses at the Solstice and with another increase in pace towards Dunchurch we weren’t far off. Garmin’s were soon showing us as being off route and some clearly doubted my sense of direction to our new destination! But just outside the village of Thurlaston is the unassuming café and garden centre. It’s not much to look at but it provides excellent coffee and a great selection of cakes.

Two outside tables in the sunshine are as good as it gets and we enjoyed a relaxed time in good company thrashing out ideas for new rides in the Summer.

As expected on leaving the café various Garmin’s expressed further dissatisfaction at my choice of route as we made our way off road to the perimeter path around Draycote Water. A solitary marshal at our entry point indicated an event was probably in progress around the reservoir.

It was the Draycote Water Running Festival no less and we were now mixing with the competitors on the course. Two parallel paths towards the visitor centre provided ample room for us to wind our way to the finish of the 5 and 10k races. The café would have been busy today although it might have been a great event to watch from the balcony area if we could have got in.

Returning home, Grandborough provides an opportunity for some flat riding in glorious surroundings, although Philip was on his way to Southam in full aero position before we all called him back. A hillier and breezier ride back towards Norton inevitably slowed the pace of the group. Approaching the A5 opposite the Heart of The Shires, Philip suggested a better route than the short stretch down to Brockhall that I had planned on the fast carriageway. It was safer and traffic free. It was also a mountain bikers delight. Tarmac content – zero. But we made it to Brockhall intact, including Alex on his new shiny Bianchi.

Back on terra firma familiar roads got us back to Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Sixfields where our ride ended.

Thanks to everyone for coming out today. 
Hope you enjoyed the new café.


Solstice Cafe outside
Solstice Cafe inside
Solstice Cafe Easter

Ride to Dunchurch, Saturday 16th April

PhilJ is leading this ride and writes:

Start: TGI Friday’s, Sixfields, Northampton NN5 4EG
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 54 mls
Pace: Steady 13mph
Café Stop: Solstice Coffee Shop and Nurseries
Estimated return: Around 2pm

Next Saturday’s ride is essentially the Draycote Water ride with a difference. The difference being that we’re not calling in at the reservoir. At least not for tea and cakes. I looked around for a suitable alternative to the Waterside Restaurant which we usually use and found The Solstice Garden Centre and Café on the outskirts of Dunchurch. It’s a quaint family run centre with excellent coffee and home made cakes made by ‘mum’. PeteB and I have already sampled their hospitality and warm welcome a few weeks ago and decided it was worthy of a club run. It’s pretty much a coffee and cake affair though, but both are wonderful.

Before that we need to ride halfway round the route through Whilton Locks, Norton, Barby and on to Dunchurch on a fairly undulating route.

On leaving the café your Garmin’s will no doubt start beeping as we take a detour along the perimeter cycle path around Draycote Water bringing us out past the visitor centre then leaving through the usual exit.

A short stretch along the busy Southam road gets us to Grandborough first then Willoughby where an optional stop for tea and flapjack at the Willoughby Café can be accommodated. Who’s counting café stops anyway? Pete and I can recommend the giant Godiva flapjacks. Ideal preparation for the climbs in and out of Braunston to follow shortly after. Back in Welton we’ll have to ascend the gated road before finally arriving in Norton once more. Brockhall and Flore are up next followed by familiar roads home to Sixfields. It’s a more elevated ride on the way back so carrying extra energy supplies seems like a good idea.

Don’t forget to use SignUp if you can.


Hope to see some of you there.


Ride report, Saturday 9th April

PeterB led this ride and writes:

Seven riders set off together from our start at East Hunsbury for our ride to White Mills Marina near Grendon. The temperature was cold at the start, but dry, and the pleasant sunshine quickly warmed us up and made for very enjoyable conditions.

It was great to see some riders who had not been able to venture out for a while. Peter S was able to join us again, as was Anne with her new, upgraded posh gears, and also Dennis, sporting his impressive e-bike.  Chris H came out as well, having recovered from a recent bout of COVID.  It was also wonderful that Viki joined and was (or appeared to be) back to her previous form.

Brian T and Milton joined the ride at Quinton, with Brian joining the Moderate group and Milton, who was fashionably late, took the lead for the 3 Brisk riders.

It was very nice to welcome another Brian, a mutual friend of both Anne and Brian T, who joined the Moderate group en-route and stayed with us for coffee.

The two groups arrived at our cafe stop, White Mills Marina, within a few minutes of each other. After making sure the bikes were well chained to the railings, we were able to relax and chat (mostly about Dennis’s interesting family history and Anne’s impressive training regime for the Coast to Coast a few years back) on the terrace in warm sunshine.  

The coffee and food was excellent as always, but  surprisingly Viki resisted the cake, and didn’t attempt to steal anyone else’s either, which is a first!  Phil J, clearly on a health kick, chose black tea and a bowl of granola, presumably in training for his ride next week.

The groups split again after the cafe stop, with the Moderate group following the published route back, shedding various riders as they took short cuts back to their destinations.

The Brisk group decided to go back through Cogenoe, partly to enjoy the Cogenoe Bank, but mostly because it was a shorter distance home for Milton and Chris H.  It added a few miles for Peter S however, who only realised after it was too late to turn back, much to the childish amusement of Milton & Chris.  But it serves Peter right – he’s looking far too fit these days!

A great day out with wonderful company and very pleasant weather. Thanks to all who joined.

Next week’s ride is a longer Steady through some beautiful countryside to Dunchurch for coffee, setting off for home beside Draycote Water and will be led by Phil J.  To avoid Easter Sunday, this Steady ride will be on the Saturday.

Cheers Peter

Ride to Grendon, Saturday 9th April

Peter B is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Time: 9.30am
Distance: Brisk: 42mls, Moderate: 36 mls
Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph
Cafe Stop: White Mills Marina
Estimated return: Around 1.30pm

This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides take us to Grendon.

We will start from East Hunsbury, near the Library and ride through East Hunsbury, Wootton and out to Quinton. 

The Moderate group through Stoke Goldington, Olney, Yardley Hastings and Grendon to our café stop after 22 miles, at the White Mills Marina.  The Brisks will have a few extra miles added by taking in Pindon End, Hanslope and Tathell End, joining the Moderates’ route again just after Gayhurst.

The club hasn’t been to White Mills Marina for a while.  It’s a nice café in a great location, but they don’t allow bikes to be brought up to the Terrace any more.  Instead they need to be kept in a cycle area close to the café, but only partially visible from the Terrace, so bike locks are definitely recommended.

The return leg is 14 miles, with both groups following the same route back to East Hunsbury through Castle Ashby, Horton, Hackleton and Preston Deanery.

As usual, we look forward to welcoming both regular and new riders, and it is helpful for our planning to book a place on Signup:  Group rides

Links to routes on RWGPS:

Moderate: EH/Grendon/36mls

Brisk: EH/Grendon/42mls

Cheers Peter

Ride to Ringstead, Sunday 3rd April

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 55 miles
Pace: Steady (c. 12/14 mph)
Café Stop: Woodford Mill Café, Ringstead
Estimated return: Between 2-3pm

Woodford Mill Cafe is on the Nene and an attractive spot, worthy of a decent ride. Although this is a 55 mile trip, it isn’t especially lumpy and should be within the range of most of the club’s riders!. I have popped in the climb up to Castle Ashby at the beginning just to warm us all up!

We set off through Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby and Bozeat before heading down the (thankfully) re-surfaced Dungee Rd towards Hinwick, Poddington, and Newton Bromswold before we turn North to Chelveston,  Denford and our cafe. Quite a few of these roads are very quiet indeed and little known to many of us … so, something of a change!

Homewards, from the cafe, we continue North and then West through the Cranfords before heading South through Burton Latimer, edging past Finedon and reaching Great Harrowden after the lovely “The Slips”  road. Back in our part of the woods, it’s Mears Ashby, and Ecton village across the A45 , along Ecton Lane, and the usual scattering towards home. 

It’s 30 miles to the café, so it makes sense to carry some fuel for the journey.

The forecast, six days in advance, is for a cool day with ‘gentle breezes’ which sounds pretty OK to me.  As usual it is very helpful for our planning to book a place on Signup: Group rides

I look forward to your company.

RWGPS Link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38822708

Ride report, Saturday 26th March

BrianT led this ride and writes:

Fourteen riders met at BVW on a beautifully sunny day with the temperature just into double figures. We split equally into brisk and moderate-pace groups, Philip G leading the brisks.
Traffic in Kingsthorpe had been very busy on the way but after Church Brampton we encountered very little traffic for the rest of the day as our route took us over the switchback of hills to follow; first through Holdenby then Creaton and on to Queen of the Mountains climb Haselbech hill.

Reaching Naseby shortly after this was the high point of the mod route and it felt like that. From Naseby we just edged into Leicestershire for a brief period beyond Sibbertoft before turning back to Welford. The moderate group split up by mutual agreement with Miriam ably navigating the mods on to the Thornby café.

Three others had decided to take the longer route given such great weather and a following wind. As with the Brisk on the longer route, the ride took the road from Welford on to South Kilworth and then to the river Avon alongside Stanford Hall. From the river the ride turned back into a headwind and it was then a long pull up to the highest point on the ride, Honey Hill (211m) the early easy gradient turning into a challenge into the strong headwind. It was no surprise to see the many Telecom aerials at the top of this hill. On Honey Hill the British Ordnance Survey’s first trig point was erected on 18 April 1936 only a short distance from Cold Ashby (reputedly the highest village in Northamptonshire).

However, from here it was the proverbial all downhill, or nearly all, to Thornby Hall and the Buddhist café. All the groups arrived within about 15 minutes of each other, including Viki by bike who joined at the café and also Geoff from Kettering. We commandeered a couple of tables on the terrace in the garden for coffee and generous helpings of cake served by the friendly staff.

With some reluctance after sitting in the warm sun, we all headed off together on the last 10 miles back to BVW although this was not without a few extra hills on the way back through Guilsborough, Ravensthorpe and East Haddon.
Although riding up the many hills was challenging enough, coming down the descents at speed was equally challenging at times when we went through tree-lined roads. The dappled light made it difficult to spot the many potholes. There seems to be a plethora of them on the rural roads. ( the potholes seemed to have multiplied recently.)
Whilst many of us were contemplating a nice rest in the back garden in the sun with a nice cup of tea at least one rider was planning on gardening. No names but Alex was planning to set up his robot grass cutter. Now that’s what I call gardening.

Riders peeled off at Church Brampton to find their shortest way home but the core reached BVW at 1:45 p.m. Great weather for a ride and a very sociable morning out thanks to all.
PS Honey Hill is 211 m above sea level compared with Naseby at 193m.


Thornby Hall café stop
Thornby Hall café stop
Thornby Hall café stop.

Ride to South Kilworth, Saturday 26th March

BrianT is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
Time: 9.30am
Distance: Brisk 41m to South Kilworth, Moderate 34m to Sibbertoft.
Pace: Brisk 14 mph plus, Moderate ~12 mph plus
Café Stop: Buddhist Centre, Thornby (30m or 23ml respectively)
Estimated return: Around 1.30pm

Both groups head out from BVW to Holdenby and then Teeton, Creaton, Cottesbrooke and up Haselbech Hill to Naseby, north to Sibbertoft and then Welford.
Here the routes split with the brisk group putting a few more miles in their legs via South Kilworth, past Stanford Hall estate and then back towards Cold Ashby and the café stop at Thornby Hall.

Meanwhile the moderates go from Welford direct to Cold Ashby and the Buddhist centre café.

If the weather is warm we can sit in the gardens for coffee and there is secure parking for bikes.

The route back to BVW is only 10 miles via Guilsborough, Ravensthorpe and East Haddon.
Expect a few challenging hills on this route but it is mostly on quiet country roads if a bit agricultural at times.

RWGPS routes > link below


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

More details and information from Brian T on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149.

Hope to see you there.

Ride report, Sunday 20th March

Phil Letts led this ride and writes:

Seven of us assembled today at the Canoe Club looking forward to a ride in what promised to be ‘It seems like Spring’ type weather!’
And it indeed that’s how it turned out as we made our way along the cycle path through the new University buildings and onto the Grand Union canal path right through Gayton marina and only to pause just before Blisworth.

Why pause you may ask? Well, I paused and explained to the group this was where I inadvertently caused our good Mr Weller to fall into the canal on a bitterly cold January day, eight years ago when I was similarly leading a ride! They had been cutting the hedges alongside and we were being plagued by multiple punctures ( I had three ) and someone behind me shouted ‘Phil you have a thorn twig stuck in your back wheel!’

I jammed on the brakes but John who was riding close, ran into the back of me and toppled into the canal, but unclipped as he went in but disappeared from sight. Thinking he might need rescuing I was about to dive in when John stood up spitting out weed, water lilies and muck and with a moor-hen on his head (possibly!) – water barely reached his ankles!
However, he was soaked and freezing and between chattering teeth managed to splutter in true Weller fashion ‘that’s buggered me new £200 phone.’ Half of us has flats so John took himself off to ride fast reps up and down the nearest Gayton hill to keep slightly warmer while we fixed the punctures. Then we took him to the Navigation Inn, Stoke Bruerne for a warm up in front of a roaring fire. And again in true Weller fashion, John finished the ride with us all. My fault, sorry John. I did ask for a Blue Plaque a la London fame but it’s still on order.

No such excitement today except getting up the ramp alongside Blisworth tunnel was an effort. Mind you we did have two flats today.
Good to meet up with Vicki at Salcey forest café (pleased to see she’s making good progress after her fall) and also Antoinette who rode back with us after coffee.
Taking the gravelled bridleway through the forest to Piddington, slowing several times for the horses and riders, we were soon back on tarmac and speeding towards Great Houghton. From there it was onto the NR6 and Brackmills before folks started splitting off.

So a good ride, in excellent weather and a bit of a trip down the historic ‘Weller memory lane.’

Thanks for the company folks.

Phil L
ps. I I will settle soon with you John for that wrecked phone……

Off road ride, Sunday 20th March

PhilL is leading this ride and writes:

Start: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Time: 9.30am
Distance: 32 Miles
Pace: Average 12mph
Café Stop: Forest Café, Salcey Forest
Estimated return: Around 1.30pm

This mostly off road ride takes us along the canal side from CC through to Gayton marina where we take the left hand branch of the Grand Union through Blisworth to Stoke Bruerne. From there we hit tarmac and make our way to Ashton, Hartwell and Salcey for a coffee stop.

Then it’s back onto bridleway through to Piddington, Hackleton, the Houghtons and Billing. There’s a cycleway loop on the Ecton side of town if we still have the energy before heading back to CC via the regular cycle path.

This route definitely requires a Gravel bike or MTB as a fair bit is off road.

Here is the RideGPS route: Offroad Canal side for 20th March

Can sign up via Genius or I’m on 07867388592

Phil Letts