Ride to Stowe – Cancelled


Unfortunately, storm Dennis has not changed course or timing, and, as feared, Sunday’s forecast is awful, with very high winds and heavy rain.
Therefore I have cancelled this weekend’s ride.

I will re-schedule this for 2 weeks time on 1st March.  I will re-confirm the ride nearer this date.

Cheers – Peter


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
There is parking in the close or near the library
Distance:  44 mls
Refreshment stop:  The Nevillery Café at Stowe, 26 mls
Average Pace:   Steady ~13 to 14 mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 2.00pm

The ride this Sunday is from East Hunsbury to Stowe Gardens, with a refreshment stop at the Nevillery Café there.
The bad news is that the weather is not looking very promising to say the least, with high winds and copious precipitation forecasted.  I will cancel the ride nearer the day if this doesn’t change.

Weather permitting, 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 Caldecote 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, Wappenham to Helmdon.

After Helmdon we change direction, passing through Syresham, following Welsh Lane into Stowe Gardens to our refreshment stop at the National Trust café there.

The return route is through Chackmore and Whittlebury, crossing the A5 again at Heathencote before riding through Blisworth and back through Milton Malsor.

As always, any new riders would be very welcome.

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

Route: EH/Stowe/44mls (avoids Silverstone)


Ride report – Saturday 8th February

Chris Duff led this ride and writes:

The calm before the storm and the prospect of February sunshine later, brought out 14 riders, 10 for the Brisk Ride and four for the ‘Not so Brisk’.
Despite the challenge set by the ‘esteemed leader’ for the Brisks to catch the Moderates after the extra loop around Pindon End, they proved reluctant pursuers.
Conversation and contemplation characterised the group as, like reluctant volunteers, they kept a few paces behind the lead. 

The short section of the 508 raised the energy levels, but only briefly.
The Moderates, led so capably, as ever, by Brian, easily outpaced the Brisks arriving at the café at a very credible 11.02. 

It seemed the Brisks were determined to take it easy with Darryl providing the perfect excuse, with two punctures within two miles of the café.
Whilst this could be considered by some to be unlucky, others noticed that his tyres were worn and already full of holes inviting the comment that they looked like they were ‘painted on his inner tubes’.

Darryl was not to feel any reproach and magnanimously bought us all a Valentine’s heart from the excellent bakery with Milton accepting this graciously on our behalf.
Let’s hope Darryl remembers his wife on Valentine’s Day itself!
The café boasted outlandish cakes, good coffee and, given the Brisks late arrival, no queues – what’s not to like.

Drama was provided for some (out of sight of the main group who were providing moral support on punctures) when the ‘esteemed leader’ fell off his bike.
I was bruised and scraped but no real damage done except to my pride – easily hurt.
Thanks go to all those who sympathised and to Chris Holt’s quick reaction for not running into the incompetent mutt as he lay on the floor.
My only excuse was that I was enjoying myself too much – too much freedom clearly.
(I hope I will be allowed to come out again in future.)

The general sense of other worldliness continued after the stop with the sun shining in pure loveliness.
With the wind in our favour we cruised home with a sense of cycling joy not competition.
Both groups did not bother with the Gayton detour (it was only for the view after all).
The moderates, demonstrating effortless superiority, achieving a very creditable 13.7mph average on the way home.
The Brisks average overall was a rather sedate 14.7mph.

But some days it is quality that rules over quantity and this was probably one of them.

At least I hope it was!

Ride to Whittlebury – Saturday 8th February

Chris Duff is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance:  Brisk 37 mls, Moderate 33 mls
Refreshment Stop: Whittlebury Bakery and Coffee Shop
Average Pace:   Brisk ~14.5mph, Moderate ~12mph
Time Expected Back:  Around 1.30pm

Given it is Winter then the ride is unlikely to be quick.The main route for the moderate riders is Milton Malsor, Blisworth, Roade, then Ashton, Grafton Regis and Alderton.
There is a short stretch of the A408 but there is a cycle (worn) path.
Then Paulerspury and South in a loop round to the A413 and up to the café.

The café has good cakes and coffee (great bread) and a good selection of snacks.
Then back via Silverstone, Bradden, then Greens Norton, Duncote and Tiffield, Gayton and back to the start.

For the brisk riders there is a wider circuit after Roade that goes to Hartwell, towards Hanslope and round by Pindon End.
With every incentive and potential to catch the moderates!

New riders would be very welcome.

For any further questions, please feel free to contact Chris Duff on 07770 976291
Brisk Route:

Brisk Ride to Whittlebury Cafe 37mls

Moderate Route:

Steady Ride to Whittlebury Cafe 33 mls

Kind regards

Ride report – Sunday 2nd February

BrianT went on this ride and writes:


Seven riders met on Sunday 2nd February to be joined by PeterB later on.  This off-road ride was a loop around Northampton taking in the off-road sections through Harlestone Firs, Grange Park and Salcey Forest.

There was a mix of clean, mountain and gravel bikes at the start.  James C was the exception as he had already cycled along  Brampton Valley Way just to make sure he and his bike were suitably muddy.  The rest of us had to wait half a mile or so until we rode across the golf club on a gravel track through the fairways, avoiding the golf balls from some friendly golfers. At the end of this we hit the first stretch of serious mud into Harlestone Firs.  Considering it was February the temperature was a balmy 10 degC,  however, there had been rain overnight.

The route in general was a series of tracks followed by cycle paths or roads where the bikes briefly shed the mud ready for the next muddy section.  Just to prove the worth of tubeless tyres Alan got a puncture on the canal path, stopped to look at a green patch oozing from the tyre, waited 30 seconds and then was off again with no need for a pump, very impressive. On the section through Salcey Forest to Piddington I kept thinking I hope I don’t have a puncture.  Quite a messy experience if I had.

The last section to Billing Aquadrome and the coffee stop was on road.  Looking at the riders without mudguards it would have been impossible for them to use the café and sit on any of the decent seats.  As it was the café inside Billing Aquadrome was in winter mode and only served coffee so we sat outside on the benches, by which time the sun had made a brief appearance.

We didn’t get to Billing until 12:15 so the general consensus was to miss out the last section and  head for home as several of us were about to leave the group anyway.
It was an interesting route around Northampton and  made a change from riding out on country lanes, not to mention giving the gravel bikes a good test. 

Thanks to Phil Letts for devising this route.


Ride to Billing Aquadrome – Sunday 2nd February

Phil Letts is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA
There is car parking opposite the Windhover.
Distance:  41 miles – offroad
Refreshment stop:  Billing Aquadrome

A mainly off road ride that takes in Harlestone Firs, the new paths at Upton Park,
Grange Park, Salcey Forest and part of the NR 6 aiming for coffee at Billing Aquadrome.
From there we take the Eastern district bridleways through to Overstone Park,
Moulton and Pitsford and down the gravel track onto the BVW to the start point.
There is a good proportion of muddy off road trackway on this route and I may need to avoid odd sections if too difficult due to recent rain.

Definitely not road bike terrain but gravel bike and/or MTB.

I’m on 07867388592.
Phil Letts


Ride to Woodford Halse – Saturday 25th January

Peter Bayles is leading this ride to Woodford Halse:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
Distance:  40 mls (Brisk) or 35 mls (Moderate)
Refreshment stop:  Harley Equestrian Centre
Pace:  Brisk or Moderate
Time Expected Back:  Around 1.30pm

We have two rides on Saturday, depending on the cyclists joining on the day, starting at 9.30am from East Hunsbury Library.

The weather on Saturday looks to be reasonable for a January –  overcast and cold, but not icy.

The Brisk Ride is 40 miles, probably at a pace of around 15 mph. The Moderate Ride is 35 miles, and will be around 12 mph. The cake stop is at Harley Equestrian Centre, at around 23 (or 17) miles which, as we all know, offers a great selection of food to tempt hungry cyclists.

Both routes essentially follow a similar route to the West of Northampton, taking in Tiffield, Greens Norton, and Culworth before the coffee stop near Woodford Halse.  The Moderates can take a more direct route from Greens Norton via Caswell and Canon’s Ashby to the coffee stop.

The return leg is 17 miles, via Preston Capes and Pattishall, with both groups following the same route.

We look forward to welcoming all riders, as always, and especially any new riders who may wish to join the ride.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact Peter on 07979850096

Routes on RWGPS:


Ride report – Sunday 19th January

PhilJ went on this ride and writes:

What must have been the coldest day of the year so far also seemed to have been the sunniest for the handful of brave souls who ventured out this morning on our annual get together with MK CTC at Stoke Bruerne.

Freezing temperatures called for cautious riding through the first five miles of the ride, all on cycle paths and all pretty much covered in frost. It wasn’t a day for heroics. Leaving the Grand Union canal onto Banbury lane finally gave us chance to increase our speed with confidence and generate that much needed warmth.

Fortunately the lane was clear of the level of frost from earlier in the ride but we weren’t out of the woods yet.

Over the A5 and onwards towards Blakesley we were constantly riding over country roads not yet exposed to the suns rays. The pace was slow, but safe. A female rider walking down the hill as we were leaving the village explained that she had just come off and we took note.

Silverstone had its fair share of ice on its roads but it took no casualties and we headed to Whittlebury for an impromptu tea stop at the Whittlebury Bakery café. The remaining few miles into Stoke Bruerne were thankfully frost free and Milton delivered us on time before continuing on to Salcey Forest with two other riders staying on his wheel.

A contingent of around 25 were present at the Navigation. Around a third representing Northampton CTC. One of the MK riders it was mentioned had been unfortunate to take a fall during their ride over.CTC gathering

The service at the Navigation Inn was excellent for our larger than usual cycling group and despite a mention of their one star hygiene rating the food was just as good as the service. Pints sunk and good conversation, made it an enjoyable occasion and a chance to relax for a while with our MK counterparts.

Pete Bayles and I then made the ride back to Hunsbury at sedate pace.
The entire ride coming in at only around 12.5mph average.

Thanks to Milton for leading the ride and good to see Gavin out again on his second ride with our club.

Ride to Stoke Bruerne – Sunday 19th January

Milton is leading this ride and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA
Distance:  38 Miles in all – 26 to The Navigation – 31 to Salcey Café
Refreshment stop:  (a) The Navigation Inn  Stoke Bruerne  (b) Grounds Café  Salcey Pace: Moderate/Steady    11-13mph
Time Expected Back: About 2pm for non-eaters.

The annual Xmas lunch with Milton Keynes CTC has now been re-positioned and re-named the annual New Year lunch and takes place this Sunday at The Navigation Inn, Stoke Bruerne.

We shall ride there in great style, (of course!)  from the Canoe Centre setting out along the river until we head south down Banbury Lane through Rothersthorpe and Pattishall before cutting East to Blakesley. Through Siverstone we go until we turn North, crossing the A5 at Heathencote, and find ourselves, at about mid-day, after 26 miles of fairly quiet roads, at Stoke Bruerne.

Those who have booked lunch will be in time for a drink before eating (we should arrive by noon at the latest) and the rest of us will carry on towards the café at Salcey Forest a further 5 miles down the road having travelled through Ashton and Hartwell to get there.

It’s a simple 8 miles from the café back to the start at the Canoe Centre via Quinton and Preston Deanery. And, of course, it’s a 13 mile trip home after the meal for the guzzlers.
If we find ourselves with time to spare on the way to Stoke, the route does pass the café at Whittlebury where we might take the option of a swift coffee.

Gorgeous hot and dry weather is predicted and I understand that cleated sandals are now being sold in Decathlon – I think they’re an excellent idea and might help to keep your toes cool.

I look forward to your company  –   guzzlers and restrainers equally.

Weather forecast by  wepredicttheweatheryouwantforasmallfee.co.uk

Ride to Upper Stowe – Saturday 11th January

Tim is leading these rides and writes:

Start time:  9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:  Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
There is some car parking in the close or near the library.
Distance:  32 miles for the Moderate ride, 38 miles for the Brisk ride
Refreshment stop:  The Barn Cafe Restaurant, Upper Stowe
Pace: Moderate (11 – 12 mph), Brisk (14+ mph)
Time Expected Back: 1:30 pm

We have a pair of rides this Saturday to the café at Upper Stowe – one at a Moderate pace (approx 11 – 12 mph) and another at a Brisk pace (14+ mph).

Both weave their way along mainly quiet lanes to the south west of Northampton through villages such as Gayton, Cold Higham, Little Preston, Farthingstone and Nether Heyford. There is also the odd hill to ensure that any cake consumed at the café is well deserved, but, as it is a circular route, rest assured there are compensating downhill sections for recovery.

Hopefully our subscription to “please-can-it-be-warm-and-sunny-today.co.uk” won’t have expired and we will be blessed with glorious winter sunshine..

Meet at Overslade Close, East Hunsbury to depart at 9:30.

The routes may be viewed / downloaded from RideWithGPS

Brisk route (38 miles): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31550818

Moderate route (32 miles): https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31550823

Any questions please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Note – I’m happy to lead either the Brisk or the Moderate ride, but the other ride will be “self led” so please load the route(s) on your bike computer if you have one. I’ll make the decision on the day based on who turns up as to which ride I will be leading.


Ride report – Sunday 5th January

PhilJ led this ride and writes:

Having led the last ride of the decade, it was now my pleasure to lead the first ride of the decade. BrianT handed me the opportunity at the last minute due to his back injury and once again I would be using my fading memory to get around – having studied Brian’s route first of course.

As luck would have it John Winn and Alan James were on hand to back that up with Garmin’s. We welcomed new boy Gavin to the club as well.

Approaching the crossing of the Roman Road from Little Brington for the descent into Flore we separated from John Winn again. But this time John made his own way to Leisure Lakes and was there when we arrived. Clearly John isn’t 100% and we wish him well but chapeau for making it to Daventry on your own John.

Meanwhile the remaining riders wound their way through Weedon Bec and Everdon with thoughts of Newnham hill in their minds. Primarily put there by me mentioning it on several occasions! All of us reached the summit one way or the other and took a breather. At the base Alan took over navigation through town and into the café at Leisure Lakes. Darryl, unaware that the café was inside just assumed we were getting inner tubes or something 🙂

The shop is on two levels and the café is just inside the entrance. Indoor bike parking is a bonus too. The menu was typical of many cafes but very cheap, nonetheless.

Leaving Daventry, whilst we headed for Long Buckby, John headed for Norton and his own way home. We continued on the undulating roads through Ravensthorpe with Alan firmly pointing the way now. All of us eventually arrived back at BVW just after the estimated time of 1pm and went our separate ways.

Some short rides seem as hard as longer rides and for me this was one of them. Maybe it was Newnham hill killing us off or just the wind and undulating terrain. It felt like a hard ride today, but everyone rode superbly.

On our way back to Hunsbury ChrisD managed to topple over for the second time in successive weeks. The mudguard once again proving to be the cause. He won’t thank me for saying it, but we tell it how it is Chris. So there!