Report: Annual Guy Barber Memorial Ride, Sunday 23 July, in aid of Headway Northampton

Our Secretary Brian did much of the organising of this year’s Guy Barber Ride and he reports:

Now in its 12th year this challenging ride attracted eighteen riders from the CTC groups in Northampton, Milton Keynes and Kettering.  This was the first year of a route to Oxford with two start options of Northampton and Buckingham giving three rides of 94, 66 or 55 miles, all meeting up at Oxford for lunch.

Despite the early morning drizzle ten riders left East Hunsbury at 8.30 a.m. for the first leg to Buckingham of the 94-mile ride.  This took us on mainly quiet roads through Blisworth, Pury End and Leckhampstead.  The drizzle stopped, and the sun emerged from the cloudy skies, as the group made Buckingham at 9.45am. Perfect timing to meet the eight MK riders who had cycled out from Stony Stratford and beyond.

The Northampton group set off for the first café stop seven miles away in Twyford whilst the remaining group signed in and left a little later.  An early puncture close to the start split the second group and this was further split when the Community Café at Twyford had unexpectedly closed that morning.  The shop was open but, after a brief stop for snacks, the first group motored on to Oxford leaving a second group to pick up the punctured riders.

As we meandered through the small villages of Marsh Gibbon, Piddington, Boarstal and Stanton St John, there was little traffic on the roads.  The sun came out and we had ideal cycling weather.

Oxford “arrived” when we met the ring road, a dual-carriageway roundabout with a couple of underpasses.  Then we were through Headingley on a separate cycle path at and then onto marked tracks alongside the main road.   After a steep hill down into the centre of Oxford. it was only a short distance to Café Couscous for lunch.  Just to add to the “best laid plans” the last stretch of road before the café was closed for road works.  So much for the recent reconnoitre!

The first group arrived at noon and had just finished lunch as the second group arrived at 1.00 p.m.  This was good timing for the café.  The forecasted midday rain did not materialise and we enjoyed sun and blue skies at the café.

One rider's lunch at Café Couscous - vegetarian tagine!

One rider’s lunch at Café Couscous: vegetarian tagine!

The first group took the route back to Northampton via Islip, Kirtlington, the Heyfords and on to Aynho where Ian peeled off to Buckingham and a stop at Stowe Park for tea (the only rider to complete the 66m route) whilst the rest rode on to Farthinghoe for the last café stop.  Only twenty-two miles now, on familiar quiet roads, back to Northampton via Helmdon, Wappenham and Greens Norton. This group arrived in Northampton at around 5.00 p.m.

The second group finished a very good lunch by 2.00 p.m. and split for the return journey.  The MK riders returned via Beckley, Brill (hill !), Ludgershall and onto Buckingham, stopping at the Green Dragon Eco Centre near East Claydon for tea and possibly even cakes!

This left 4 riders to return via Islip and a detour via Brackley for tea and cookies, sitting in the late afternoon sun outside a café before returning to the original route to Northampton arriving at 6.15 p.m.

A donation of £85 has been sent to http://www.headwaynorthampton.org.uk/

Who was Guy Barber ? Please see our web site http://www.ctc-northampton.org.uk/history.html

Thanks to all who supported this event.

Two rides on Saturday morning, 29th July

Phil L has organised these rides and offers the following outline:
Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op (Stocks Hill, NN3 7TB)
Distance: 43 miles (brisk), 37 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: Mini-Meadows, Welford
Outline: Moulton to South Kilworth, then Welford and return to Moulton.
GPX tracks:
Further details: Phil is on 07867388592.

Sunday 23 July – Annual Guy Barber Memorial Rides

Brian, our Rides Secretary, writes about one of the high points of  our calendar:

Start times: 8.15 a.m. (97 miles); 9.45 a.m. (66 miles or 56 miles)
Start points: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ (97 miles); Market Square, Buckingham, MK18 1NJ (66 miles or 56 miles)
Parking in Buckingham:  Cornwalls Meadow Car Park MK18 1RP is free on Sundays.  It is well signposted and is off the High Street behind Waitrose.
Refreshments: Twyford Village Shop (coffee), Café Couscous Oxford (lunch) on all three rides.  Afternoon stops: Farthingstone on 97-mile ride; Stowe Park on 66-mile ride; Hogshaw on 56-mile ride.

Every year we host the Guy Barber Memorial Ride in aid of the local branch of Headway.  Guy was a member of CTC Northampton and a supporter of the charity.  He had two favourite rides: one to Cambridge and one to Oxford.  On one occasion he rode both routes on the same day!  For 10 years we have ridden the Cambridge / St Neots route in his memory.  This year we are riding to Oxford for the first time.

To enable everyone to lunch together in Oxford we have two start points.  The long ride (97m) starts in East Hunsbury at 8.15am and the other two options (66m and 56m) start in Buckingham at 9.45am and join the group from Northampton as we ride to the community-run shop and café in Twyford village.

Lunch is in Oxford at Café Couscous.  This serves a wide range of sandwiches, baguettes, and Mediterranean dishes including vegan options; good coffee and tea as well.  Bikes can be left outside in view of the seating or one can sit outside with them.  Within fifty metres, there is both a pub serving lunches and a Subway franchise.

Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads and is undulating rather than hilly.  Then from the outskirts of Oxford there are good cycle paths into the city centre, some separated from the main road.

A donation of £5 to Headway Northampton is requested.   For planning purposes we would be grateful for an email if you intend to ride, stating from which start point.

The options

Route 1 Start 8.15 a.m. from East Hunsbury.

Route is Stoke Bruerne, Leckhampstead, Buckingham (20m).  Meet others. Twyford  (Coffee 27m), Boarstal, Oxford (46m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (59m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Farthingstone (Café 77m), Wappenham, Greens Norton, Tiffield and back to East Hunsbury (97m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029855

Route 2 Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route is Twyford (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (38m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Leave Route 1 at Ayhno (52m), Finmere, Stowe Park (64m – café possibly), Buckingham (66m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23028989

Route 3  Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route Twyford Village Shop (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Beckley, Horton-cum-Studley, Brill (40m) Hogshaw Green Dragon Eco Centre (Café 47m), East Claydon, Gawcott, Buckingham (56m). This is a very flat route, easy going.

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029058

More details?  Contact Brian Tunbridge (tel: 01604 622073; text: 07722 055149).

Many thanks!  We look forward to seeing you!

BRISK ride to Harrold – Saturday 24th June

Tim is leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 am, Saturday 24th June
Meeting point: East Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  40 miles
Anticipated Speed: 14-16 mph
Refreshments: Castle Ashby

This Saturday’s ride starts at 9:30am from East Hunsbury Library. The led ride (ride leader Tim) will be at a brisk pace, but there is also the option for a shorter self-led alternative (see below).

The ride heads out in the direction of Salcey Forest & Stoke Goldington before turning north east to skirt Olney en route to Lavendon & Harrold. Here we head up Dungee Hill before turning back towards Northampton passing through the villages of Bozeat and Easton Maudit before arriving at our refreshment stop at The Buttery Tea Rooms at Castle Ashby (at approx 29 miles).

Post refreshment we have a shortish ride (approx 11 miles) back to the start at East Hunsbury Library via the villages of Horton & Hackleton. It is anticipated that we should be back at East Hunsbury sometime around 1:30pm.

Please note that there is a possible short cut from Olney to Castle Ashby that avoids the loop to Harrold. This shortens the overall route to approx 32 miles with the Castle Ashby tea stop at approx 21 miles. If you intend to ride this shorter route please ensure you are happy to self navigate, so you will either need to bring a map of the route with you or load the route on to your bike computer. Unfortunately, due to holiday absences, we do not have a ride leader available to lead you round this shorter alternative.

The proposed route and the shorter self-led option can be viewed (and downloaded as gpx files) from the CTC Northampton pages on RideWithGPS:

Led ride (40 miles): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20043458

Self- led alternative (32 miles): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20043453

Any questions, please contact Tim – 07749 477231.

Annual London Ride – Saturday 12th August

A reminder about our annual London ride!
We will meet outside Euston Station at the picnic tables outside Café Rouge / Café Nero (a slight change from our spot in previous years closer to Melton Street) at 10 a.m. on Saturday 12th August.
This is a return to our usual ride around London.  Last year we rode to London but in previous years we did this:
  • 2015 included Karl Marx’s Grave in Highgate Cemetery, an ascent of Swains Lane, a Northampton connection at the Emirates Stadium, Burgess Park, the Imperial War Museum, the Oval, Battersea Park, Brompton Cemetery and Hyde Park.  Led by Ian M.
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With Herbert Chapman at The Emirates (2015)

 

  • 2014 included the Cross Bones Burial Ground, elevenses at The George Inn, a Banksy near the Alaska Factory, the Cutty Sark, the tunnel to the Isle of Dogs, the Bamboo Bicycle Club, Victoria Park, and Columbia Road Flower Market.  Led by Alex & Miriam.

IMG_0651

Elevenses at The George, Southwark (2014)

  • 2013 took us around Regent’s Park, house façades with no houses behind them in Bayswater, over the Serpentine, across Hyde Park Corner, viewing graffiti under Waterloo Station, lunch on the South Bank, over Tower Bridge, the Cable Street Mural, alongside an ornamental canal, and Postman’s Park.  Led by Iain D.
I hope that gives you a flavour of what you might expect.  The route isn’t revealed until we actually ride!  But there has been a request for a visit to the Olympic Park; may include an unusual Blue Plaque; and could well involve a ride along a Cycle Superhighway.  Two of us will ride a recce of the route one week earlier to get a feel for the traffic flows on an August Saturday – and to be clear where we’re going!
The ride is open to everyone on any sort of bike.
I’m grateful to Alex for reminding me about planned engineering works on August weekends.  Fortunately, Saturday 12th August is free of these and there are normal train services from Northampton to Euston (other Northamptonshire stations are available).  There is no charge for taking full-size bikes on London Midland trains.  You do *not* require a reservation.  All of Saturday is off-peak and so there are no restrictions on bikes on any trains.  (Wellingborough to St Pancras on East Midlands Trains are a different matter.)
From Northampton the 0825 and 0850 trains will get you to Euston before 1000.  If you are thinking of buying the cheapest Advance Non-flexible tickets over the web for particular trains, presently on sale at £7.50 each way (£4.95 with railcard), experience suggests that you do not select your return leg train before 1800.  Otherwise, an Off-Peak Return – which can be bought on the day and used on any train – is £27.80 (£18.35 with railcard).  That will allow you to enjoy a pint in the Bree Louise at the end of the ride (with a price reduction if you have a Camra membership card with you).
Save the date – Saturday 12th August – for what is always an enjoyable day out!

Sun 7 May 2017 47 miles ‘Steady’ to Ringstead

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Date:      Sunday 7 May

Time:      9.30

Place:     Moulton Co-op

Distance; 47 Miles

Type;       Steady

Well, here we go again. I tried to set this up a few weeks ago, but an absolute deluge on the Sunday morning in question meant that nobody arrived for the start – much to my relief, it was not a day for being on a bike. I think it was because of the rain ……?

We go in an anti-clockwise direction which means that it is about 32 miles to the first and only stop, the payback being that it’s a bit of a breeze home after that. You might want to bring an energy bar or two to see you through to the break.
From Moulton to Sywell, Mears Ashby and Wilby and then we cross the river towards Wollaston. From there we head to Poddington, Wymington and Newton Bromsgrove and then out further east to Chelveston. We skirt Raunds, and  turn and cross the river again into Ringstead  and after another mile or so cake and coffee and, sometimes, bacon butties. I will phone ahead and ask them to keep some bacon for us as they stop serving breakfast food before we get there.  They obliged last time.
After coffee it’s an attractive section through the Addingtons to Irthlingborough and, from there,a bit of a schlep up to Finedon alongside the A6, (Oh, it’s only a mile or so – you’ll manage!). The beautiful single track road, (The Slips) takes us to The Harrowdens and from there it’s Mears Ashby, Sywell and back to Moulton.
47 miles in all, and I expect to be back in Moulton well before 3pm.
GPX file attached.