Ride to Barby & Everdon, Sunday 29th October

James who is leading this ride writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:
Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing, NN6 8AA.  There is a BVW car park a little way up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 52 miles
Refreshment stops: Barby Garden Centre (16 miles), Plough Inn, Everdon (34 miles)
Pace: Steady

This Sunday’s steady ride is taken from the Macsporran archive.  Whilst the great man himself is (sadly) unable to join us, the route he’s plotted is fun, very scenic and – if Tuesday’s recce is anything to go by – full of surprises.

Starting off from Brampton Valley Way, we’ll head out towards Norton via Great Brington and Whilton.  Once in Norton we then take a delightfully quiet, albeit ‘agricultural’ lane in the direction of our first coffee stop: Barby Garden Centre (16 miles).  Suitably refreshed, we’ll continue on through Willoughby and Priors Marston, where we’ll be greeted by a short – but rather sharp – climb, which will strain the lungs and legs of even the fittest among us.  Heading on towards Badby and then Everdon, we’ll again be on some very quiet lanes populated by wandering hens, lost sheep and the occasional duck pond.

Our lunch stop will at be The Plough Inn in Everdon. It’s a very welcoming place, popular with other cyclists and walkers, and serves a varied menu including an impressive array of local ales and, err, gins.  It’s quite a quirky joint with its own junk/bric a brac shop in the garden, where the range of sailor’s hats, ancient sheepskin coats and old brogues – all at very reasonable prices – is sure to satisfy the most discerning of CTC members.

The final stage of our journey sees us heading us back to Northampton via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke and Harlestone.

At the risk of overselling it, I’ll repeat that this is a really nice route – not too demanding -with some lovely picturesque sections.  Whilst there are a few steep(ish) areas, it’s fair to say its undulating rather than hilly with a total distance around the 52 mile mark.

More details from James on 07841 933046.

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Ride to Catthorpe – Easter Monday

Brian, our Rides Secretary, has planned a lovely ride for us this Easter weekend:

Bank Holiday Monday

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Start point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW) – Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA – near “The Windhover” – there is a BVW car park just up Brampton Lane
Distance: 47 miles
Refreshments: Catthorpe (lunch), Whilton Locks (possible tea stop)
Return by 3.00 p.m.

The ride takes us out through Guilsborough, Cold Ashby and Yelvertoft on mainly quiet country roads to Catthorpe (23 miles) for lunch at the Manor Farm Kitchen Café.

We return is via the outskirts of Rugby and through Barby and Norton with a possible tea stop at Whilton Locks.  Then through Great Brington and back to BVW.

Note that this is also the first ride of BRITISH SUMMER TIME this year !

Hope to see you there, Brampton Valley Way, 9.30 a.m. MONDAY morning.

Ride Report – Sunday 17th May

Phil J led this ride and writes:

A sunny but windy day greeted the seven riders at East Hunsbury for this second club ride to Draycote Water this year. They included new boys Norman and Geoff as well as recent newcomer Tim.

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Once over the cycle paths at Pineham, which allowed everyone to warm up, we hit the road proper at Harpole culminating in the short sharp climb onto the Roman Road. The next few miles around Harlestone allowed all the riders to recover before the long haul up to the top of Brington Hill where we saw other cyclists reaching the top just ahead of us.

The journey through the village of Whilton was pleasant and the fast decent into Whilton Locks even better although we did seem to have no choice but to pedal downhill due to the force of the wind. The sun seemed to have long gone at this point too.

The gated roads from Norton beckoned and apart from the first corner of gravel posed no problems for the group and were virtually traffic-free. We pressed on towards Welton at a steady pace and onto Barby before an impromptu stop outside Barby Nurseries for everyone to take on whatever fuels they needed.

On the move again we soon hit decent road conditions over the border into Warwickshire and another long haul towards the main road into town. Cycle paths provided much welcome protection from the busy road into Dunchurch before the last mile or two on the A426 into Draycote Water.

All but one of us chose the much talked about Draycote scones – some riders even suggesting they could eat two! At this point Geoff decided that he would make his own way back home and so the six of us set off on the return journey.

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

The lane through Grandborough was welcomed by the group as new tarmac seemed to have been laid for a good couple of miles. Willoughby was then next en route where we slowed to admire some fantastic classic cars assembled by the side of the road. We cruised through Braunston before re-joining the route we had come in on just outside Welton.

The gated roads on the way back provided one of the biggest climbs of the day with a two-tier climb before eventually reaching Norton again. A byway was the next part of the ride and proved interesting in a number of ways. Two fast descents with plenty of gravel at the base of each provided a hair raising experience for us but we all escaped unscathed. The surface then became more off road than road as we slewed and slid our way out the other side and again nobody came unstuck.

Back on solid ground we skirted around Brockhall and onto Flore with another climb or two to keep things interesting. The pace then gathered somewhat through Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke but everyone regrouped towards Rothersthorpe for the final push home. With nobody opting to go their own way all six riders returned to the start but not before climbing “Mount Tesco” – a great achievement with almost 60 miles in our legs.

Great riding everyone!

Ride report – Sunday 18th January

Phil J led this ride to Draycote Water and writes:

Just three riders decided to brave the biting cold on this day ride to Draycote Water which looked promising initially as the sun was shining early on.  We plummeted down into the valley and the temperatures followed as the sun went behind gloomy skies.

We spun across Pineham’s smooth cycle paths, aware of the ground frost on the excellent surfaces.  Harpole presented the first real road riding culminating in a heart thumping climb out of the village and onto the Roman road.

We levelled off for a while through Harlestone and the Firs before a combination of climbing and fast descending around Althorp.

Heading towards Whilton we toyed with the idea of having an impromptu café stop at Whilton Locks just to warm us up in the difficult conditions but we decided to stick to the plan and head for Barby instead.  The gated roads at Norton posed no problems and were traffic-free as we looked forward to the comfort of the cafe at The Willows.

Once inside the options were given to carry on riding or return home. Phil L who had been struggling with the cold, sensibly decided to return home.  Dave and I decided to continue on to Draycote.

On leaving the cafe the sun came out lifting the mood of the group as did the “4 miles to Dunchurch” sign shortly after.  Crossing the border into Warwickshire we were greeted with freshly laid tarmac which helped our progress towards the reservoir.  At the A426 we used the designated cycle paths to keep us safe with hardly anybody else using them.

The main road through Dunchurch seemed easy as was the last mile or two into Draycote Water using the busy A426.

We were greeted with a busy reservoir and had to wait to be seated at the restaurant.  So we opted for bracing balcony seating giving us a table straight away.

Ride leader!

Ride leader!

Hot soup and tea warmed us up as well as eating the biggest jam and cream scones we had ever seen.

Ride.  Eat cake.  Sleep.  Repeat.

Ride. Eat cake. Sleep. Repeat.

Suitably refuelled we retraced our steps back towards the town and the route back to Barby.  On the way the inevitable happened.  I hit a patch of ice and briefly slewed before righting myself again without falling.  A close call.

With the sun still shining the route back seemed better but it was still very cold and difficult to feel any benefit.

We continued past Whilton Locks to the last real climb of the day to the top of the Roman road and we both climbed admirably.

At Harpole Dave continued on to Duston whilst I followed the same route back over Pineham and Hunsbury Meadows, calling it a day there and cleverly avoiding the need to climb “Mount Tesco” back to the official start.

This was a tough challenge today due to the cold conditions but we did superbly whatever our distance.

Well done!

Ride Report – Sunday 1st June

Eleanor went on this ride, led by Ian M, and writes:

Eight of us arrived promptly at the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) near The Windhover for our ride, a loop around Daventry.  One new rider (Ken from Morecambe) who was visiting family in the area joined us.  We set off enjoying blue sky and sunshine – which lasted all day – along familiar and then less-well-known lanes taking in lovely views over a very green countryside.  After our coffee stop at The Willows in Barby, we left on schedule along quiet lanes dotted with gates and cattle grids to negotiate.  Our final obstacle was a flock of sheep we herded along and off into a field before arriving at The Windmill in Badby for lunch.

Eleanor discovers her inner shepherdess

Eleanor discovers her inner shepherdess near Lower Catesby

With the few delays and after a longer lunch we eventually got moving and headed for home.  Four of us split just before Flore, the rest heading back to BVW.  I hope you all arrived safely home and like me enjoy a great day out.

Thanks to Ian M for his time in organizing and leading the ride.

The route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

Ride Report – Sunday 2nd February

Brian, our Secretary, went on this ride led by Philip G.  He writes (with photos by David):

2014 has started really well for the CTC Northampton group with another good turn out for a ride on a cool but sunny day. A great day to be out on the bike; difficult to believe it was mid winter!

Ten riders left the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / A5199 crossing point at 9.30 a.m. led by Philip G on an interesting route via Great Brington to Guilsborough for coffee.  We were ready for it as the route had taken us on several quiet roads sporting an OS map arrow, (gradients greater than 14% i.e.1 in 7), two down and two up !!

Passing the village church in Great Brington

Passing the village church in Great Brington

A brief do-it-yourself coffee in the village shop and we were off to Catthorpe passing Cold Ashby and the highest trig point in the county, Honey Hill.  At 12.15 p.m. we arrived at the friendly Catthorpe Manor for lunch where our reserved table was awaiting. There was a good choice of food from snacks to Sunday lunch.

At Manor Farm, Catthorpe, after lunch

At Manor Farm, Catthorpe, after lunch

Suitably re-fuelled we set off into a strong west wind to Rugby, which we skirted with ease, before returning to quiet roads again, with a number of cattle grids on the most remote ones.  With good navigation from Philip via Barby and Norton, we were back at BVW at about 4.00 p.m. still in good light.

It was quite a hilly ride at times (3000ft of ascent in 48 miles) but it was through very pleasant cycling country and with good company.  What a great way to spend a winters day! Well done, Philip!

The route is here on RideWithGPS.

Ride to Catthorpe – Sunday 2nd February

Philip G will be leading this ride and writes:

This Sunday’s CTC Northampton ride takes us to the corner of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, with lunch at the Manor Farm Tearoom in Catthorpe. This is not a long ride (40 – 45 miles), but the route is quite undulating in places.  We start at 9.30 a.m. at the Brampton Valley Way / A5199 crossing.  There is a car park on Brampton Lane opposite The Windhover.

After a couple of hills there will be an early coffee stop at Seaton’s in Guilsborough (10 miles). The rest of the route includes Yelvertoft, Catthorpe and, after lunch, Barby, Long Buckby and Great Brington.

Currently the forecast for Sunday is relatively good: dry with sunny intervals, fairly cool (3 to 7 degrees) with a light wind from the south-west. Please keep an eye open and dress appropriately.

I look forward to seeing you.  Please let me know if you have any questions: 01604 720522; philip.g@ctc-northampton.org.uk