The “Reservoirs” Audax Ride from Oundle – Saturday 6th July

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, writes:

Next Saturday (6th June) is a chance for a ride with a difference. There is no CTC Northampton ride but there is an Audax ride out of Oundle. Never tried one before? An own-pace-with-directions tour of the lanes to the north and north-east of Oundle with distance options of 60, 90 or 120 miles (well actually their metric equivalents) and, usually, plenty of choice for company.

Sounds good? Advance registration is the norm for these rides and can be done here:

Hope to see you there!


Rockingham & Rutland Audax Report – Sunday 9th September

At least three CTC Northampton members – Bill Simpson, John Weller and Ian Macsporran – took part in this event.  Apologies if I missed spotting anyone else.

Organised by Richard Daniells on behalf of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes, it was billed as a 110-kilometre event, starting and finishing at Oundle.  The route card suggested just over 117k and, in old money, I clocked up 71 miles.

The Joan Strong Centre has been the event’s HQ for some years.  There’s plenty of parking in the adjacent public car park for those wimps like me who drove over to Oundle.  The riders all assembled for a 9.30 a.m. start on a day of glorious weather.  More than one applied sun screen.

The route is glorious, circuiting Rutland and reaching west to Knossington in Leicestershire and north to Castle Bytham in Lincolnshire.  I saw Bill and John at the start but by the outskirts of Oundle they’d gone!  When I got to the manned control point at Ashwell, I saw them departing as I was arriving (they must have dawdled over their coffee and cake!).

For me, as on the one or two other Audaxes I’ve taken part in, this was essentially a solo ride after the first few miles.  Each rider chooses a pace he or she is comfortable with – and Richard’s route card made navigation pretty straightforward.  There were unmanned control points at Cold Overton and South Witham.

If Richard had organised the glorious sunshine, he also organised and warm but stiff southerly/south-westerly headwind for the final third of the course. The refreshments at the finish were very welcome!

So many thanks to Richard – and to Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Lincolnshire County Councils who were kind enough to leave their roads in such a state of poor repair that my memories of the cobbled cycle lanes of eastern Germany came flooding back!

John and Bill, of course, were not the sort of wimps to travel to Oundle by car but cycled to the start and home again afterwards.  I reckon that must have made a day of 130 miles.  Chapeau!

My route is here.

July programme

Sunday 1st July – Guy Barber Memorial Ride

Details in last blog.

Saturday 7th July – Reservoir Audax

Three distances: 100, 150 & 200 kms.  Start at Oundle.  Details here.

Sunday 15th July – Ride to Napton-on-the-Hill

A ride of 50 miles, starting at 9.30 a.m. Led by Brian Tunbridge (01604 622073).

Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July – Camping weekend at Belton

Details from Max Scott (01536 712507).

Saturday 21st July – Summer of Cycling leisure ride to local parish churches

A ride of 15 miles, starting at 2.00 p.m. from the Canoe Centre.  Led by Philip Gray (01604 720522)

Tuesday 31st July – “Godiva Awakes” at Delapre Park

Details here.

Report on Audax at Stevenage – Sunday 25th March

Ian Macsporran took part in this event and writes:

I was tempted by Iain Dawson’s report last July – about how good Stevenage & South Hertfordshire CTC’s ride was when we were invited as a group over for a Sunday ride – to enter Sunday’s SSOSS Audax.  [SSOSS = Stevenage Start Of Summertime Special]

It was really enjoyable!  I chose the shortest of the three routes (62k) – there were 110k and 200k routes as well.  It was a very interesting rural route to the east of Stevenage with plenty of ups and downs.  The printed route directions were excellent.  We began and finished at Fairlands Valley Park (which, for early morning arrival, is well signposted from the main roads in Stevenage).  The checkpoints were well chosen: the first was outside a café which served all day breakfasts – and the second was at a village hall which served home-made sandwiches and cakes.

Everyone – the volunteers at the start/finish and at the checkpoints, and all my fellow riders – was very friendly.  And, of course, it was a glorious weather all day!

My route is here at Endomondo – – if you want to see it.

And, no wonder that Stevenage CTC is Group of the Year.  Paul Boielle, the organiser, told me that they had over 600 riders on the three routes!

I’ll be looking out for Stevenage’s End of Summertime Audax – the Emitremmus!

Events in March

Sunday 4th March – A ride to East Carlton Country Park

Brian Tunbridge, our Secretary, leads this ride from Moulton (outside the Post Office / Co-op Store).  It’ll be a challenging ride of 50 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Brian can be contacted on 01604 622073.

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March – A weekend ride to National Forest Youth Hostel, Moira, Derbyshire

Bill Simpson, our Treasurer, leads a weekend ride for advanced riders.  About 60 miles on each of the two days at an average speed of 12 to 14 m.p.h.  Bill wanted people to book with him by 5th February; if the hostel still has spaces, you could ring him on 07736 600858.

Sunday 18th March – A ride to Buckingham

Mike Hart leads this ride, starting from the Canoe Centre on Bedford Road at 9.30 a.m.  Another challending ride of about 55 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Stopping at Stoke Bruerne as well as refreshments at Buckingham.  Mike’s contact number is 01604 631965.

Saturday 24th March – A ride to Maidwell

Brian Tunbridge leads a leisurely ride of about twenty miles, starting from the Brampton Valley Way (near “The Windhover”) at 2.00 p.m.  His contact number is 01604 622073.


Sunday 25th March – Stevenage & South Hertfordshire CTC Member Group “Start of Summertime Special”

Not part of our programme but our friends in Stevenage offer a choice of three distances: 62, 115 and 210 kilometres starting at 8.15 a.m (210k), 10.30 a.m. (115k) and 11.00 a.m. (62k)

The 62k is an introduction to Audax riding.  The 115k is the original “Ugley Nasty Ride”.    These two events are Brevets Populaires (BP).  The 210k is a BRM event (Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux) over the classic distance.

All the details, including entry forms and route sheets, are here.

Full details about U.K. Audax rides are here.

Audax – Sunday 25th March

Some advance notice for the Audax organized by our friends, the Stevenage & South Hertfordshire CTC Member Group.  This is their “Start Of Summetime Special” with a choice of three distances: 62, 115, and 210 kilometres.

The 62K Audax is an introduction to Audax riding and starts at 11.00 a.m.  The 115K Audax is billed as the original “Ugley Nasty Ride”.  [Yes, there really is a village called Ugley – pronounced Oogley – but urban legend insists that Jonathan Dimbleby introduced “Any Questions” from the Ugly Women’s Institute.]  It starts at 10.30 a.m.  These two events are Brevets Populaires (BP).

The 210K Audax – starting at 8.15 a.m. – is a BRM event (Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux) over the classic 200K+ distance.

All the details, including entry forms and route sheets, are here.

Full details about Audax rides are here.

Why pay “sportif” fees when you can enter an audax for a fraction of the cost?