Northampton Town Centre Masterplan Consultation – ends 30 June

Fellow Cyclists,

The Borough Council is consulting on a ‘vision’ for the town centre, which they will use to compete for government Future High Streets funding. This may have some impacts on cycle routes and facilities.

The consultation ends 30 June, and can be found at

It would be great if some cyclists were able to respond, to make sure our views are represented.

Some questions regarding cycling impacts:
– generally, no mention of cycling that I can see, so main point is that cycling must be considered and facilities improved by this plan
– Marefair/ Horse Market – raised table etc, shouldn’t just be about pedestrians – what about improving cycle route? (eg cyclist – level traffic lights?) ;
– new openings into Abington St: contraflow cycle lane needed in one of them;
– Greyfriars plans – existing cycle route via Sheep St needs retained and improved; add new route from Mounts into Abington St (see previous point)
– Dychurch Lane / Ridings: maintain and improve existing cycle route;
– GENERAL: need better, safer cycle parking in all main shopping areas, and safer routes to get there.

Thank you,

Philip Gray
Publicity Officer
CTC Northampton.


Ride to Medbourne – Sunday 16th June

James Holden is leading this ride and writes:
Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB
Distance: 52 miles
Refreshment stop: Café Nevill
Pace: Steady
Time Expected Back: Around 2pm

A chance to ride to the wilds of Leicestershire this Sunday morning and then sit in the courtyard of the Café Nevill in Medbourne ( for coffee and cake, hopefully in the sun.

The ride starts in Moulton outside the Co-op at 9.30am
Steady Pace (13+ mph average).
New riders very welcome. (Car Park via road alongside the pub opposite the Co-op.)

Fifty two miles of undulating, quiet roads as we go out through Holcot and then due north via Scaldwell, Thorpe Underwood, Dingley, Slawston and on to Hallaton.
Café Nevill is only a short distance south from here.
We return via Cottingham, Rushton, Rothwell, and Walgrave to Moulton hopefully by 2pm.
Don’t forget the sunscreen, water and snacks.
Look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
More information from Brian 01604 622073 or 07722 055149 or James on 07841 933046

Bike Week Breakfast CANCELLED

Hello Everyone,

I’ve received an e-mail from Phil Ashbourn at CTC MK who organises with the Salcey Forest café for the breakfast / coffee & cake. Phil has taken the decision this evening to cancel Thursday’s event because of the continuing bad weather. He apologises.

I did have a short route planned to Salcey (in addition to the longer one I publicised earlier) in case of poor weather. But, in all fairness, it’s not going to be any real pleasure to ride in this rain (which is forecast to continue until Thursday evening). I’ve been out for a short walk this evening and I’m surprised how wet I became in minutes!

I’ll go to the Canoe Centre to meet anyone who misses this e-mail.

See you all again soon!

Best wishes,


Bike Week “Breakfast” – Thursday 13th June

Bike Week *Morning Coffee* – at Salcey Forest

Ian Macsporran is leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:
Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre), Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance: 14 miles to Salcey Forest Café for coffee & cake with CTC MK
Pace: Steady

The skinny:

We plan to arrive at Salcey around 10.30am where we’ll meet up with the CTC Milton Keynes for coffee and cake.  There are usually a dozen or more cyclists from both Groups.  Return in your own time.  Please invite your cycling friends to join us.

The background:

Riding to the café at Salcey Forest for *breakfast* in Bike Week has been an established CTC tradition. The Northampton Group would meet at 7.30 a.m. at the Canoe Centre where for quite a few years Philip Gray led the ride. More recently, Brian Tunbridge led the group. We would go straight to Salcey where it was arranged that the café would open specially to serve breakfast at 8.00 a.m. The Milton Keynes Group would arrive at the same time. Participants would leave breakfast individually with their own routes to get to work.

With regulars either changing jobs and having longer commutes, or retiring and having no need to rise and shine quite so early, last year the event became a *morning coffee* ride. Same venue and the possibility of some participants riding back together if they wished. That’s the format for this year.

We’ll meet at the Canoe Centre at 9.30 a.m. and go to Salcey via Hardingstone, Milton Malsor, Blisworth, Roade and Ashton.

Return in your own time but, if you would like a group ride back to Moulton or part thereof, a route for before and after is here on RideWithGPS.

Ride to Harrold – Saturday 8th June

Brian is leading this ride and writes:
Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  38 / 33 miles
Refreshment stop:  Emmaus Centre
Pace:  Brisk / Moderate

There are usually about 10 riders split between Brisk and Moderate pace groups. The route is extended for the Brisk group so we all end up at the café at the same time. New riders very welcome. Please park in the road leading to the Canoe centre not in the centres private car park if arriving by car.
Choice of two rides at either a Brisk (14mph+ average) 38miles

or Moderate pace (12-13mph ) 33 miles,

Both groups meeting up at the Emmaus Centre Café for coffee and cake. A popular café for cyclists.

Brisk ride leader is Peter Bayles.

More information about the ride from Brian on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149.

Ride report – Sunday 2nd June

Phil Johnson led this ride and writes:
Not a bad start to our Summer of Cycling this one. Plenty of sunshine, particularly on the way out and we pretty much avoided any rain on the way back.
Half a dozen riders joined me for this steady ride to Banbury including Elspeth who was looking to complete a century over the weekend having done a 50 mile ride yesterday.

A tricky start on Banbury lane at the light controlled one way bridge. Both sides seemed to be on red. Elspeth bravely inched up the rise and confirmed the all-clear as we went over the bridge along with the rest of the waiting traffic.
Steadily along Banbury lane we went enjoying some splendid vistas on the peaks in the morning sun and the speed on the way down. Once over the A5 it’s pretty much plain sailing and the 16 miles marker to Banbury soon came into view.

At Sulgrave some way along, you’ve got seven and a half miles to go. Then six. Then eight. All pretty much in the same place. Whichever mileage it really is Thorpe Mandeville was reached in no time at all. On to Chacombe and the cycle paths beyond getting us into the Gateway Retail Park and out the other side. The last mile into Banbury proving easier than usual along the busy thoroughfares and we were soon at the Hillier Garden Centre for tea.

The outside seating area was clear and there’s no need for locking the bikes up at all. The staff were very kind in accommodating our requests for various breakfast meals and provided a jug of iced cold water to refill our bottles. A drop of rain threatened to spoil the party whilst we were resting but nothing materialised. Darryl adjusted his cleats as his knees were knocking or something and we headed out onto Southam (which must be pronounced South am and not Sutham apparently) Road for the return journey.

A gloomier ride back was in prospect. Overcast skies and rain looking likely. Not to mention the constant wind now present.
We ticked off some idyllic villages one by one and headed for Woodford Halse where I decided to throw in the one and only climb of the day. Safely up we cruised along, mainly in a downward direction towards Cold Higham once more.
A turn of direction along Banbury lane ended the ride in a gentile fashion through Gayton and Rothersthorpe. Like the last day of the Tour de France if you will.

Great riding by everyone but special mention to Elspeth who despite her doubts about completing this entire ride hung on and must have ridden around 56 miles on this ride alone totalling well over 100 miles this weekend. Chapeau Elspeth!

Ride to Banbury – Sunday 2nd June

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:  50 miles
Refreshment stop:  Hillier Garden Centre, Banbury
Pace:  Steady

The historic market town of Banbury in North Oxfordshire is our destination for this Sunday’s steady ride. Follow your nose down Banbury lane and you won’t go far wrong in finding the café stop at the Hillier Garden Centre.

There’s a minor diversion along the way but Banbury lane is pretty much our guide through Cold Higham, Moreton Pinkney and Thorpe Mandeville at the end of the lane. Is there a simpler ride out on the CTC calendar?

Once through Chacombe on the outskirts of Banbury, there’s one or two cycle paths we’ll be using before the run in to Spiceball Park and our tea stop.

Situated close to the centre of Banbury, we’ll find a charming Hillier restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating which is often a bit of a sun trap. Our bikes can be parked right there too.

In contrast the ride back has plenty of twists and turns through a number of villages including Cropredy which hosts the annual Fairport Cropredy music festival. Appletree, West Farndon and Woodford Halse will also be on route and from there it should all be quite a familiar ride back to the start.

It’s undulating and despite the simple route out, is quite a scenic ride nonetheless.

Hope to see you there in the predicted fine weather.