Ride report – Saturday 17th December

Tim, our webmaster, went on this “leader-less” ride to Yelvertoft and reports:

Five riders congregated at Brampton Valley Way for Milton’s “Steady ride to Yelvertoft”.  Sadly Milton wasn’t able to be one of them having been laid low the day before by Norovirus; we wish him a speedy recovery.

We headed west via Holdenby and East Haddon before turning north at Long Buckby towards West Haddon and on to our most northerly point at Yelvertoft.  From here it was back south to Crick where we had an impromptu stop outside St Margaret of Antioch Church for an energy bar or two.

There was a minor deviation from Milton’s planned route at this point to avoid the road to Ashby St Ledgers (discovered to be coated with a rather unsavoury layer of semi-liquid mud and horse manure on a reconnaissance ride the Thursday before!).  Instead we branched off down a very pleasant gated road to Watford village before rejoining the planned route just east of Welton.

From here a section of “Milton special tarmac” (to borrow from Eric Morecombe – “all the right pieces, just not in the right places”) led us to Norton and thence to our planned stop at Whilton Locks where bacon butties were eagerly consumed.

It was then just a short ride back to the start via Great Brington and Harlestone.

All in all a very pleasant December morning out: no blue skies but warm and dry nonetheless.  Thanks to Milton for providing us with a fine selection of quiet country lanes to enjoy.

Milton will be back to lead the “Boxing Day Bash” (departing 9.30 a.m. from the Canoe Centre – 28 miles with a stop for elevenses at Salcey Forest) so why not come along and join him?

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Ride report – Brisk ride to Ashby St Ledgers, Sat 8 Oct 2016

Philip Gray led this ride and writes:
Seven riders gathered at Brampton Valley Way on Saturday 8 October in crisp Autumn weather for a brisk ride to Ashby St Ledgers, which turned into something of an “adventure cross” ride – with an unexpected bonus at the end.

Familiar roads took us through Long Buckby, which was busy with other cyclists out enjoying the morning, then north-west to Yelvertoft, and sharp south to Crick, on mainly good roads. After crossing the A5 we wound into historic Ashby St Ledgers and saw the famous room where the Gunpowder Plot reputedly was hatched.

We then followed smaller unclassified roads from Welton to Norton, and the disintegrating road through Dodford Lodge Farm, which involves opening and closing four gates, then slithering along half a mile of deep gravel.

Phil and Milton found this more fun than they could bear, and left us at the A5, mumbling excuses about family engagements… 🙂 The rest of us continued on the pretty but dodgy gated road through Brockhall, as it started to rain.

Pop-up Coffee

Pop-up Coffee

After a further challenging surface from Whilton, we reached Great Brington. Here by serendipity we noticed some bunting and a “Pop-Up Cafe – Cyclists Welcome” sign outside a house, and swiftly agreed to stop. We were received very warmly by the purveyors of Great Brington Coffee who were running this “pop-up cafe” in their garden in aid of Scope. Not only were the coffee and the cakes excellent, but we discovered a shared interest in cycling with other guests, including a group of young women cyclists .

After this well-timed stop, it was a short ride back through Althorp and Church Brampton to the star for a round trip of 38 miles.

Thanks all for your company.

PS I set off afterwards for an extra loop, only for my rear gear cable to snap after a couple of miles – which made for an interesting limp home, with only two gears… At least it didn’t happen on the ride!

Ride Report – Saturday 13th February

Brian, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride led by Phil L and writes:

It was quite cool on Saturday morning (3°C) but the roads were not icy.  Four of us set out from our Brampton Valley Way meeting point up through Church Brampton and then across to Althorp.  We had the wind behind us as we made our way through West Haddon and Long Buckby to Yelvertoft on very quiet country lanes.  Then we turned south into the breeze as we made our way down National Cycle Route 50 through Crick and Ashby St Legers, great countryside on quiet roads.  As we approached Daventry there was hail in the
wind and we were glad to stop for coffee at the Country Park café which we almost had to ourselves.  The last stage back to Northampton was a bit of a battle against the wind and it felt much colder with a hint of rain in the air, although we did not get seriously wet.

Many thanks to Phil L for leading the ride which was just right for a breath of fresh air on a winter’s morning.

Ride report – Brisk ride in the dark – Saturday 6th December

Milton, our new Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

A hardy band of nine met up at the Brampton Valley Way starting point for Phil G’s 30-mile brisk ride.  He could really have advertised it as icy brisk, as it was certainly that.

We headed out through the Bramptons and thence to Holdenby, Guilsborough and West Haddon by which time the hilly terrain had done for two of us who took the offered short cut to the pub at Great Brington via the beautiful and historic Ashby St Ledgers.  Later Phil would stop the main group there to point out the building in which the gunpowder plot was reputedly hatched.

As the sun sank and our lights went on we came across a couple of lads trying to push their broken-down car up the single track road to Welton to find a safe spot to leave it.  We downed bikes and heaved them to a safe spot before setting off again and starting to wonder if we’d kindly helped a pair of thieves with their booty.  Who can tell?  If they were thieves, they were grateful ones!

By the time we reached Long Buckby it was pitch black and the single track and lonely road to the pub at Great Brington loomed large to those of us with less than adequate lights … me that is.  I stuck to the well endowed in the lighting department as s*** sticks to a shovel and made it through.

We, all nine of us now, had a beer or two in front of a fine open fire and reluctantly, as it was colder than ever and annoyingly still dark, we set off on the final few miles back to our starting point via Harlestone and Church Brampton.

How did I find my first ever night ride? … Bonkers, totally bonkers but much fun.  We all enjoyed it and owe a debt of gratitude to Phil G for leading it.

Ride Report – Sunday 29th September

Phil Letts led this ride to Daventry and writes:

A rather select group of four riders sped their way westwards in pleasant sunshine last Sunday on a brisk ride to Daventry Country Park.
We had a new rider to some of us (Milton) riding out so it was good to include a potential new member. Our journey out (25 miles) through some of the county’s delightful stone villages – West Haddon and Ashby St Ledgers – eventually enabled us to pick up National Cycle Network Route 50 through to Daventry Country Park where  we sat in the autumnal sunshine enjoying the traditional coffee and cake.
It was a straightforward and shortish 10-mile return trip through Norton and the Bringtons to top off an enjoyable 35-mile leg-loosener!