James went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes:
Twelve of us departed from Moulton under conditions very reflective of the ride organiser’s temperament: grey, sullen and slightly damp. At the same time, his the choice of destination – the World Peace Café at the Nagarjuna Buddhist centre in Kelmarsh – typified his more positive qualities, e.g., his lifelong commitment to the enlightened one’s emphasis on equanimity and loving-kindness as the core values of daily existence.
In order to encourage more people to come out and ride, Milton – in a familiar display of thoughtfulness – had devised faster and slower route options. The ‘proper’ brisk route followed a slightly more circuitous path to Kelmarsh – going via Orton – than did the moderate one, which was shorter by something like five miles. Of course, the division also gave some of the slightly faster and, err, more competitive riders the challenge of trying to catch up and overtake the second group before they reached Kelmarsh. It was childish, but I did it …
As we progressed through Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old, the sun started making increasingly frequent appearances and by the time the brisk set diverted off to Orton it was warming up nicely. A couple of the quicker riders caught up with the “moderates” just outside of Harrington and sped on to bag some good seats in the café‘s serene back garden. The remainder of the two groups all arrived within fifteen minutes or so, and it wasn’t long before we were all enjoying the high quality fayre we’ve come to associate with the caféand its delightful staff. Some of us attempted to respect the Buddha’s emphasis on frugality by just taking green tea and a few biscuits. Unfortunately, one rider, i.e., Giles ‘Bake Off’ Barringham, was less sensitive to this precept and keen to declare he was eating his fifth (large) piece of cake in five days.
By the time we departed the sun was in its full glory and this continued to be the case as we came back en masse via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke, Brixworth and Holcot. Once back at Moulton it was blazingly hot and bright, both which served to top off a most enjoyable little jaunt.
As ever, sincere thanks must go to Milton for his patience and beautifully devised routing.
Milton is organising two rides (moderate & brisk) from Moulton Co-op and writes:
Both rides will leave from the Co-op at 9.30 heading to Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old. From Old we take the lovely single track road towards Mawsley and then head towards Harrington. The moderate ride will then cross the A14 and turn left on the outskirts of Harrington and go to Kelmarsh. The brisk group will take an additional 5 mile loop that takes us east through Orton before turning west again and returning almost to the start of the loop before following the other group to Kelmarsh.
After coffee and cake at the Buddhist Centre it’s an attractive trip home via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth. It’ll make a change going down the steep hill at Haselbech for once, rather than climbing it!
It’s quite a short flat ride for both groups so I hope that one or two people who might normally be nervous of their ability to stay with the riders might venture out on the moderate ride. And for the brisk ride, I’m expecting it to be fairly quick. The loop is put in as a bit of a test for us all to see if we can reach coffee at the same time, or before, the others.
We can expect to be back at Moulton by around 1pm. I hope to see you at the start.
David comes up with another account of a ride from thirty-six years ago!
James and Brian are leading two rides on Saturday morning:
Two rides – one brisk, one moderate – gathering at the same start point and meeting at the same coffee stop.
Time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, NN3 7TB
Distance: 43 miles (brisk), 37 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: West Lodge Rural Centre: at 23 miles (brisk) or 17 miles (moderate)
Leaders: James (brisk), Brian (moderate)
Return: 1.15 p.m. approx
The brisk pace (14+ m.p.h. average) group starts at Moulton and heads out to Holcot, Brixworth, Naseby and Great Oxendon; then onto Desborough and the West Lodge Farm Rural Centre for coffee. Return via Rushton, Rothwell, Broughton, and Walgrave back to Moulton. Route here on RideWithGPS.
The moderate pace (12+ m.p.h. average) group follows part of the above route but at Brixworth heads by a slightly shorter route to Desborough via Scaldwell and Harrington to the Rural Centre to meet the brisk group. Route here on RideWithGPS.
Questions? James is on 07841 933046, Brian is on 01604 622073 (07722 055149).
Do join us.
Phil J led this ride and writes:
Seven riders gathered at the start for this undulating ride to Naseby including new rider Peter B on his first group ride.
The first descent out of the blocks had a surprising headwind which seemed to be present on a few more of our subsequent drops. Once through the eco village of Upton, St Crispin’s provided the first unlikely climb of the day as we settled into the ride.
We levelled off towards Harlestone before we all got into the small chainring and the slow grind up Church Brampton.
Sedgebrook Hall passed by during another long haul which split the group a bit and took us up to the Market Harborough road and the route to Pitsford. A rapid descent on the busy road was then quickly followed by another testing rise to the entrance of Pitsford Water.
Through Brixworth the group went, when Phil L and I suddenly found ourselves on our own. We’d turned left in full view of the rest of the group but they continued over. Head scratching ensued before the group appeared from another direction much to our relief and amusement.
The fast downhill on the Spratton road came next with Milton suggesting this could be one of the fastest downhills in the area. We all took full advantage of the opportunity and headed for Spratton. The bridge closure wasn’t on our route and we climbed uninterrupted through the village before regrouping at the top for a well earned breather and refuelling.
Over the Welford Road another opportunity to test the descending skills. We dropped swiftly towards Teeton and as expected we soon started to climb as the road ramped up once more.
The journey to Guilsborough was perfect “active recovery” and we enjoyed the dry country roads and comfortable speeds. The road to Cold Ashby seemed rather more caked in dried mud but it was pleasant nonetheless as we started to see the signs for Naseby.
With another couple of miles in our legs All Saints church at Naseby came into view. We arrived at The Old Vicarage café just as some cyclists were leaving but they insisted they had left some cakes for us.
With renovations underway outside we were lead along the corridor to possibly the grandest venue we may have ever had refreshments in. A large dining room with a table that was almost impossible to reach over due to its huge size and a chandelier over the centre. We almost expected a butler to start serving us but various group members took that role upon themselves. The service was equally splendid and the food exquisite.
The loop continued through the Cottesbrooke estate and probably the most hair raising descent of the day. Plenty of gravel and uneven tarmac at the base making it a heart in mouth situation just before entering the village. All safely down and the gated road to Brixworth lead us to the steep climb back into the centre and onto Pitsford once again.
Four of us were lured by a second stop at the Willow Tree Café whilst the remaining three continued home.
The rest of the ride back mirrored the ride out with another mix of testing ascending and fast descending.
This was a pretty difficult ride today with over 3000ft of climbing but all riders performed superbly.
Phil J is leading this ride and writes:
Meeting time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting place: Overslade Close, Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ
Distance & pace: 50 miles steady
Refreshments: Naseby, Pitsford Water
This ride initially heads for Pitsford Water / Brixworth Country Park before continuing on a loop towards Naseby and back to Pitsford again before the last leg of the ride home.
Harlestone and the Bramptons are en route to Pitsford giving the ride a few climbs to conquer along the way. Once at Pitsford we’ll head out of the back of Brixworth and the long haul up to Spratton. Teeton, Guilsborough and Cold Ashby are up next and we’ll soon arrive in Naseby and a welcome stop at the Old Vicarage Café. Continuing the loop we head through Haselbech, the Cottesbrooke estate and back up to Brixworth with Pitsford further along. We can stop for another break at the Willow Tree Café if required. The route back home from there pretty much mirrors the route out so there’ll be no surprises in store.
Contact Phil J on 07927 377191 with questions or for more details.
Brisk & Moderate Rides to Welford
Eleven riders – a good number for a December morning – gathered at the Brampton Valley Way meeting point for a morning organised by James. We welcomed new rider, Phil W; and welcomed back John for his first CTC ride since his accident. Drizzle in the air was not going to dampen our spirits.
A late change of plan and routes – our original café stop at Kelmarsh being unavailable because of a Buddhist holiday – meant that we were to head for a café new to nearly all of us: Mini-Meadows Farm Café just outside Welford on the Naseby road. Five riders opted for James’s brisk ride; six for the moderate route plotted by Brian and led by Ian M. James must have taken to heart Mother Theresa’s dictum that “Brisk means Brisk” and by Church Brampton the brisk group was down to four and the moderate group up to seven.
The moderates pedalled through East Haddon, Coton, Guilsborough and Welford to reach the café after seventeen miles at 11.05 a.m. finding the brisks already ensconced – having been through Holdenby, Spratton, Brixworth and Naseby after eighteen lumpier miles in an hour-and-a-quarter! The drizzle hadn’t turned to anything worse but those who had no mudguards had nice stripes-of-honour up their backs.
The café served good coffee and cakes (the Xmas Tiffin was much consumed); conversation was lengthy; and both groups set off again at 11.45 a.m. The moderates pedalled through Naseby (welcoming the easier approach from the north-west), Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Teeton and Holdenby to return to the BVW after 15 miles by 1.15 p.m. The brisks headed on to Sibbertoft, back to Naseby, and then through Kelmarsh, Harrington, Old, Scaldwell, Brixworth, and Holcot before splitting on the edge of Northampton after 28 miles just after 1.30 p.m.
So twenty-nine miles for the moderates, forty-eight miles for the brisks and a splendid morning enjoyed by all.
Thanks to James for the morning plan and to Brian for reminding us of the recommendation for the café from Peter W and the CTC Leicestershire group.
Two rides – one brisk, one moderate – starting at the same place & time, meeting for elevenses and finishing at the same place & time.
Start 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing (NN6 8AA – near The Windhover). There is parking in the BVW car park further up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 38 miles (brisk) or 32 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: World Peace Café, Kelmarsh
Return by 1.00 p.m.
James has organised the rides and will be leading the brisk one. He writes:
Saturday’s brisk ride sees us flying through some familiar, albeit occasionally challenging, territory towards the World Peace Café at Kelmarsh Buddhist Centre, where our efforts will be rewarded with fine coffee, good karma and cake. From our starting point we’ll head out in the direction of Holdenby before diverting towards Teeton and then crossing the Welford Road at Spratton.
As the more spiritually-minded among us already know, the Buddha made “Life is Suffering” his First Noble Truth, and it’s a statement we’ll all have plenty of time to reflect on as we leave Spratton and confront the arduous climb into Brixworth. From there it’s full steam ahead through to Kelmarsh via Haselbech (another testing one, I’m afraid), Naseby and Clipston. The return journey is less demanding – discounting the uphill bit at Harrington – heading back, as it does, through Lamport, Scaldwell and Holcot. The last stage diverts out through Pitsford towards Chapel Brampton before we finally reach our nirvana, a.k.a the Brampton Valley Way car park.
The tempo will be brutal (!) but, fear not, Sir Ian Macsporran will be leading out a moderately paced group for anyone wishing to take things more gently. The weather promises to be a lot milder than it has been over the past few days and rain isn’t forecast until the afternoon, by which time we’ll all be home and dry – so, no excuses…
More information from James on 07841 933046 or Ian on 07960 302095.
A ride not to be missed.
Brian reports (with photo by Anne):
Nine riders gathered at Moulton Co-Op at 9.30 a.m. for one of our Saturday-morning moderately-paced rides. We hope these rides will encourage cyclists with some experience to join in a group ride perhaps for the first time. We certainly welcomed two new riders along with some regular riders.
An early decision – agreed by all – was to avoid the gravel at Pitsford and take the reservoir causeway on the road from Holcot to Brixworth which turned out to be relatively traffic-free at that time of day.
Beyond that and we were into quiet roads through Scaldwell and Lamport and on to the single track road down to Draughton. Time for a quick photo, courtesy of Anne, and then we were back on the rolling hills through Loddington, Cransley and Broughton before making use of the short section of cycle path along the A43 to get us to the Walgrave turn.
Not far now and we were at Manvell Farm Café where we received a friendly welcome. It had been overcast most of the ride although it was quite warm. As we sat outside enjoying coffee and large, indulgent slices of cake, the sun broke through (obviously on the righteous). I couldn’t help thinking that this is what cycling is all about.
It was only a short ride back to Moulton which we made by 12.30 p.m.