Ride Report – Sunday 3rd March

Iain Dawson went on this ride and writes:

Six of us gathered in the bright but chilly forecourt of the Canoe Centre – three of us equipped in usual day-ride trim, two on fixed gears and one poor soul who’d decided to see how his bike rode with a week’s worth of touring gear strapped to it!

Brian led us off into the sunshine and down the A45 cycle-path before dispatching the climbs into Cogenhoe and Grendon in a brisk-ish fashion before we hauled ourselves through Wollaston and into Podington to find Eleanor basking in the sun while waiting for us to turn up.

After a quick comfort/shopping stop at the garden centre, we rolled eastwards and out onto the A6 (the road itself, because some berk had parked his car right on the cycle path) then past the motte-and-bailey at Yelden and up to the old airfield at Bedford, familiar to those who’ve ridden the Guy Barber ride.

Lunch was at a very good garden centre café in Milton Ernest. Not only had they reserved us a table but they’d had to because the place was so busy. I guess it must be spring or something. Anyway, highly recommended for future stops.

The return leg was just as pleasant with a steady roll through Felpersham, sorry Felmersham, and Bozeat before hitting the lovely swooping lanes behind Castle Ashby. Discretion being the better part of valour, Brian elected to give Whiston Hill a miss and so we took the easy way round to Cogenhoe (with its unmissable hill), the group starting to split as various riders turned for home on the way. The small rise to Little Houghton and a brief sprint along the A428 brought the ride (well just me actually, the others all having split off by now) back to the Canoe Centre just before a quarter past three, with the sun still shining and the forecourt considerably warmer than it had been when we left.

Thanks to Brian for a pleasant day’s ride, and for searching out a new lunch stop for us.

See you next time!

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Report – “Pilgrim’s Progress” Ride – Sunday 19th February

David was on this ride and writes:

Phillip Gray led our group on our first ride to Bedford to pay homage to John Bunyan, the author of the seventeenth-century classic, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.  Born in Elstow just south of the town, he was a dissenter from the established church and, as a result, he spent a long time in Bedford Gaol.  Today a statue in the town centre commemorates his life and achievements.  After pausing at the statue we followed the River Great Ouse, along part of NCR 52, to lunch at “The Prince of Wales” in Bromham.

We should do this ride again – in warmer weather and on longer days – so that we can visit the John Bunyan Museum in the town.  But even on a short early spring day, the ride was informative and we thank Phillip.

“Pilgrim’s Progress” Ride – Sunday 19th February

Phillip Gray, who will be leading this ride, writes

This ride starts at the Canoe Centre at 9.30 a.m. and follows parts of the John Bunyan Trail into the old town of Bedford, looking for links with Bunyan’s masterpiece, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.  After a teastop at Harrold we will travel through Pavenham, Oakley and Clapham towards the hidden jewels of Bedford including the John Bunyan Church and Museum (where we will stop briefly).  After leaving town along the riverside, we wind north again to the village of Bromham for lunch in The Prince of Wales (a Charles Wells pub).

We’ll return via Harrold, taking the same route back to Northampton, a total distance of 48 miles.  We’ll pedal at a moderate pace, aiming to return by 4.30 p.m.

On Sundays, The Prince of Wales offers either a roast dinner for £7.95 or a smaller portion for £5.95.  There are no bar-meals but the starters do include soup.

LUNCH BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL – Please let Phillip know by Friday chairman@ctc-northampton.org.uk or 01604 720522