Here is a brief report on the off-road ride held today as is our custom. However, today’s ride didn’t end well with one our riders Peter Neve suffering a bad fall.
As ride leader I was pleased to lead out seven riders from the start at EH library, navigating across Hunsbury Hill, down the green lane to the canal path and onto the start of Upton Park. Once across the busy A4500, Geoff from Kettering CTC, who we were delighted to see, left us for Kislingbury.
We continued via mostly cycle tracks through Harlestone Firs, over the golf course, Merry Tom lane, Pitsford causeway and onto Spectacle Lane.
Peter, who was on a small wheel electric bike, was expected to take this last gravel section a bit slower than the main group. However, when he did not appear at the end of the lane Brian volunteered to go back to find him thinking he may have had a mechanical problem and suggesting the rest press on to the coffee stop as one or two riders had limited time that morning.
Then around 12o/c I received a call from Brian to say that Peter Neve had hit a pothole on the short stretch of Booth Lane, fetching him off in a serious way and causing a nasty cut to his head but no concussion. Brian took charge of the situation, called the ambulance and Peter’s wife Margaret.
When I arrived at the scene a few minutes later Peter was still on the deck and could not be moved until closer examination. A number of people had stopped who had first aid experience including, an off duty paramedic, and Brian was able to hand over Peter to their care. By the time the ambulance arrived Peter was sitting up and eventually with the help of the ambulance crew he was able to walk into the ambulance. It was encouraging just how many people had stopped to offer assistance. The police also arrived to direct the traffic.
Peter was was taken to Northampton General where at the time of writing he is said to be OK but awaiting scans and stitches to the cut on his head.
Obviously, I’m very despondent this has happened to one our riding group and on my ride! I’m sure I speak for all you in sending our very best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Brian did a great job and will liaise on our behalf with Peter’s wife to see how he is so suggest we hang fire a bit before ringing/texting messages of good will.
Start Time: 9.30 am Meeting Point : East Hunsbury – Overslade Close, near Hunsbury Hill Library, NN4 0RZ Distance: 30 miles Pace: Steady Refreshment stop: Billing Aquadrome Time expected back: Around 1pm
PhilL is leading this ride and writes:
This is a mostly off road ride in and around the vicinity of Northampton, mostly on firm gravel tracks with the odd bit of connecting road. So an MTB or gravel bike is required as opposed to a road bike. Our route takes in Hunsbury Hill, canal side, Upton Park, Harlestone Firs, Merry Tom Lane, Pitsford causeway, Spectacle Lane, Eastfield Park and Billing Aquadrome for coffee. Then returns via cycle paths through University grounds, Delapre Abbey and Hunsbury.
As Phil G has been trialing a new booking app called Signup Genius, maybe those who want to ride can sign up using the link below or alternatively you can let me know via e-mail
You can use this link to the Signup Genius App if you want to join the ride.
Twelve riders braved the rain for the Brisk and Moderate rides from East Hunsbury to Culworth on Saturday, 21st August. Originally six more had wanted to join the ride, but the prospect of a wet day clearly couldn’t compete with a nice warm lie-in and breakfast at leisure. All you light-weights know to whom I refer !! We were delighted to welcome a second Brian H today (we now have two, which will be confusing), who has decided to join the CTC and come out with us again, hopefully regularly.
The riders split into three groups, with James leading the energetic Brisks, Brian leading the Moderates and me leading a brisk Moderate group. The brisks, following the longer route, kept a good pace throughout, catching the brisk-moderates up a couple of miles before Culworth, getting to the Forge Cafe first and bagging the best table.
As often happens, the weather wasn’t actually as bad as feared; it was dry at the start, but started raining lightly on and off after half an hour or so, and continued like this until we arrived at the cafe. But, perfectly timed, it stopped raining totally as we approached the Forge and was dry for the rest of the ride. As usual, the coffee and cake were very enjoyable at the Forge, with the groups finding tables both inside and out. Anne was particularly impressed by the Barista who made the pattern on the top of her coffee, done totally without a template. She insisted we took the photo below of the coffee, and wanted to show how daintily cyclists eat their cake. John W enjoyed the coffee so much that he decided to stay longer, re-ordering as the rest of the groups were leaving.
On the return route, a drop-in COVID vaccination centre for younger people, at the community centre in Greens Norton, was a bit of a surprise and caused a few minutes delay because of the traffic, but all for a good cause. Then came a road closure just before the A5 – this was known, and only needed us to dismount and follow the pedestrian route around it.
Just after Greens Norton, we passed the other Brian H, obviously dropped mercilessly by the brisks, repairing a puncture and waving us on. I’m sure you got back OK Brian 🙂 The last of the riders were back at the start by 1.15pm.
As usual, an enjoyable morning out with wonderful company, so thanks to all who manged to crawl out of bed to join us.
Time: 9.30 am Place: East Hunsbury – Overslade Close, near Hunsbury Hill Library, NN4 0RZ Distance: 39 miles Brisk, 35 miles Moderate Pace: 14+ mph Brisk, 12 mph Moderate Cafe: The Forge Cafe, Culworth Return: Around1.00 pm
Peter B is leading this ride and writes:
Dear All, This Saturday’s Brisk and Moderate rides are to Culworth, with our Café stop at the Forge there. The weather forecast is dry and warm – at the moment !! We will meet near the Library in East Hunsbury at the usual time of 9.30. As I’m sure we all know, the ride to Culworth will take us to the West of Northampton, following the pleasant roads through Pattishall, Maidford, Canons Ashby and to our café stop at Culworth, with the return leg via Greens Norton and Tiffield. The Brisk route adds an extra lump of four miles to give the Moderates enough time to get the tables first and have their pick of the cake.
As usual, can you confirm with me if you want to join so that we can ensure appropriate leaders please.
AND, Phil G has been evaluating a new booking app called Signup Genius, which we would request that you try out first for this ride (and feel free to tell us what you think of it). We expect that once we have tried it, this will be an easier way to book the rides and avoid the Ride Leaders sifting through numerous email strings. It will also allow all of us to easily see who’s joining the rides as well, which is a nice feature.
You can use this link to the Signup Genius App if you want to join the ride. Look forward to seeing you, as usual.
Ten riders gathered at the canoe centre on a cool cloudy day. Our intrepid ride leader John Weller turned up early and after the usual welcoming banter we set off for Cogenhoe on time.
The ride bordered on briskish as we made our way through to Grendon and then on to Wollaston with much wailing from the Garmins who were convinced we were off route. However, this didn’t last long and we were back on track as we made it out into the sticks eastwards, to the picturesque villages of Newton Bromsville, Yeldon and Risley. At 28 miles and 11.30 am we made Scald End Farm Cafe where we had the place to ourselves. The sun was out and it was pleasantly warm to sit out with coffee and cakes on the garden benches surrounded by open countryside.
Geoff from Kettering CTC joined us having fallen foul of the route change but persevered, eventually finding us in the right place.
It was the shorter leg of the 50 mile route back, although we hit a head wind and some rough road surfaces which were definitely ‘heavy’ on the legs. However, we were back at CC just about on time having had a good day out in the saddle with not much traffic. Many thanks to John for planning and leading the ride ( feet up in good time to watch the Vuelta stage finish !!. )
Start time: 9.30 a.m. Meeting point: Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA Distance: 51 miles Refreshment Stop: Scald End Farm Cafe Pace: Steady Time Expected Back: 2pm
Starting at Canoe Centre at 9:30 am Sunday Riding via Little Houghton Cogenhoe, Easton Maudit Woolaston to Pass Piddington GC to the A6 crossing pass Newton Bromsville on to Yieldon Risley, on route the Thurleigh turning Rt before to Scalde end Farm shop.
Coming back via Milton Ernest, Odell , Rt to Dungee hill back to Bozeat & home via Easton Maudit to Grendon
Milton Organised and Led the Brisk Ride and writes:
Timing is all, and the timings worked out on this ride unexpectedly well. The two groups arrived at the cafe only a few minutes apart; the rain only fell, (cascaded) whilst we were all under the umbrellas at the cafe, and the fab sausage rolls had not run out by the time the last rider ordered one.
Twelve of us set off from the Canoe Centre in two groups of six and made Orlingbury just after 11 having enjoyed proper English summer weather i.e. not too hot, not too cold and not too breezy – Goldilocks would have loved it. The roads were busy, as they tend to be at the weekend now, but no one was run over and no one fell off, so a successful ride.
We changed the route home to two distinctly different paths, one through Hannington, Holcot and Moulton for those living north and west of the town, and the other through Little Harrowden, Mears Ashby and Ecton for the rest. I think we will all have managed to get home by about 1pm which, on a Saturday, seems like a good idea to me.
The only little hitch was when I saw Peter going round and round the rather dangerous roundabout at Billing Aquadrome looking more than a little confused. His heart and brain wanted to go one way, but his Garmin was determined that he would go quite another! Watching his confusion, I realised that I had set the route from the Canoe Centre, but back to my home – it’s a habit I’ll need to break some day. Sorry Peter
Sixteen riders took part in the Guy Barber Memorial Ride to Oxford this year, with CTC members from St Albans, Milton Keynes and Northampton – a great turnout and a wonderful opportunity to meet up again. We try to organise the Guy Barber Memorial ride every year, and always to either Cambridge or Oxford, which were two of Guy Barber’s favourite destinations. For obvious reasons we were unable to organise the ride last year, which was a big disappointment, and so it was especially nice to have so many riders join us this year.
The first six riders set off from Northampton for the longer route at 8.30 in fine drizzle, which remained on and off all morning, but did nothing to dampen the riders’ enthusiasm. Actually the ride was billed as 99 miles, but was, in fact, 100 miles after adjustments had been made to avoid road closures.
Alex S had the first problem of the day, and found a slow puncture on checking the bike before setting off. This was repaired and he easily caught up with the group up after only a mile or so. After another few miles, Philip G, riding at his usual brisk pace, joined the group as well. Unlike Alex, he had no real excuse, simply preferring a slightly longer sleep-in. A couple of miles before arriving at our second meeting place at Buckingham, Peter S also suffered a puncture and needed to stop to repair it. At this stage, the group decided to split up, with two riders continuing to the Buckingham starting point and to the rest of the riders waiting patiently for us. Because of (my) over optimistic planning, we still arrived late, but fortunately Viki had taken the registration in hand and had all the names and donations collected and neatly bagged.
It was great to see rest of the riders, unphased by the drizzle, and to thank Gary H in person for helping to plan around the roadworks. But Gary, it didn’t go un-noticed that you didn’t share the less hilly route with me!
From Buckingham, we split into smaller groups to ride to our morning stop at the Green Dragon Cafe, where the riders were able to sit out of the rain and chat in comfort before tackling the next leg to Oxford. Apparently the sausage rolls were a great hit. All but two of the riders, who had chosen the shorter route, continued on to Oxford and, having braved the continuing rain and the pretty poor road surfaces, on to the Adria Pizzeria for lunch. At this point, amazingly, the rain stopped and the sun came out, which meant that the majority of the riders were able to sit outside and enjoy pasta, pizza and focaccia, which was a popular choice.
The rest of the day remained dry for the ride home, with even an occasional glimpse of blue sky. The riders split again on the route back to their starting points, without any issues that I’m aware of, other than continued complaining about the stateof the roads. I didn’t think that I would ever say that the roads in Northampton would be in better condition than those in Buckingham or Oxfordshire, but they are, and it was a relief to get back to them.
We collected £120 between us, which I have donated on-line to the British Heart Foundation.
Thanks to everyone for donating for such a good cause, and also thanks go to Peter S, who stuffed additional notes into the collection. Not sure I should thank Philip G, however, as he off-loaded all of his small change with a rye smile, lightening his wallet and weighing me down for most of the ride.
It was a great day out with wonderful company, so many thanks to you all for joining and for making the day so enjoyable.
At the 25 mile point, (20 for the moderate group) we shall stop at Withmails cafe in Orlingbury in order to guzzle the best sausage rolls this side of sausage roll heaven. The cafe, named after a long deserted village nearby, is a fine stop in itself and a staging post for the lovely adjacent village green should the sun be shining and a bit of basking seem in order.
We set off from the Canoe Centre on the Bedford Rd and make our way through Little Houghton and Cogenhoe before climbing up the hill to Castle Ashby …well, it wouldn’t be a proper bike ride without a hill or two! From here the moderates go to Grendon before descending to cross the river and climb up the hill to Great Doddington… well, it wouldn’t be a proper bike ride without a hill or two! Then it’s Mears Ashby, Little Harrowden and Orlingbury. The brisks head to Bozeat from Castle Ashby and from there it’s down the horribly surfaced Dungee Rd to Podington, then Wollaston and then we cross the river and climb up to Doddington. It’s the same route for both peloton’s from here, but the brisks have added six miles taking the Podington route.
The homeward journey , which is shared by both groups, takes us to Hannington, Holcot, Sywell and Mears Ashby before climbing the hill …well, it wouldn’t be a proper bike ride without a hill or two…. that leads us to Ecton and the Canoe Centre via Little Houghton. In fact, it’s not an especially challenging route and I expect we’ll get back by not much later than 1pm. The Brisk ride can expect to average somewhere around 15 or 16 mph. The Moderate ride will be a leisurely affair and should be attractive to any rider who can manage the 30 odd miles. We have an increasing number of riders with electric bikes and we do hope some more similarly equipped riders will take part. It’ll be good to see you.