Sunday 23 July – Annual Guy Barber Memorial Rides

Brian, our Rides Secretary, writes about one of the high points of  our calendar:

Start times: 8.15 a.m. (97 miles); 9.45 a.m. (66 miles or 56 miles)
Start points: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ (97 miles); Market Square, Buckingham, MK18 1NJ (66 miles or 56 miles)
Parking in Buckingham:  Cornwalls Meadow Car Park MK18 1RP is free on Sundays.  It is well signposted and is off the High Street behind Waitrose.
Refreshments: Twyford Village Shop (coffee), Café Couscous Oxford (lunch) on all three rides.  Afternoon stops: Farthingstone on 97-mile ride; Stowe Park on 66-mile ride; Hogshaw on 56-mile ride.

Every year we host the Guy Barber Memorial Ride in aid of the local branch of Headway.  Guy was a member of CTC Northampton and a supporter of the charity.  He had two favourite rides: one to Cambridge and one to Oxford.  On one occasion he rode both routes on the same day!  For 10 years we have ridden the Cambridge / St Neots route in his memory.  This year we are riding to Oxford for the first time.

To enable everyone to lunch together in Oxford we have two start points.  The long ride (97m) starts in East Hunsbury at 8.15am and the other two options (66m and 56m) start in Buckingham at 9.45am and join the group from Northampton as we ride to the community-run shop and café in Twyford village.

Lunch is in Oxford at Café Couscous.  This serves a wide range of sandwiches, baguettes, and Mediterranean dishes including vegan options; good coffee and tea as well.  Bikes can be left outside in view of the seating or one can sit outside with them.  Within fifty metres, there is both a pub serving lunches and a Subway franchise.

Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads and is undulating rather than hilly.  Then from the outskirts of Oxford there are good cycle paths into the city centre, some separated from the main road.

A donation of £5 to Headway Northampton is requested.   For planning purposes we would be grateful for an email if you intend to ride, stating from which start point.

The options

Route 1 Start 8.15 a.m. from East Hunsbury.

Route is Stoke Bruerne, Leckhampstead, Buckingham (20m).  Meet others. Twyford  (Coffee 27m), Boarstal, Oxford (46m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (59m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Farthingstone (Café 77m), Wappenham, Greens Norton, Tiffield and back to East Hunsbury (97m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029855

Route 2 Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route is Twyford (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (38m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Leave Route 1 at Ayhno (52m), Finmere, Stowe Park (64m – café possibly), Buckingham (66m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23028989

Route 3  Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route Twyford Village Shop (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Beckley, Horton-cum-Studley, Brill (40m) Hogshaw Green Dragon Eco Centre (Café 47m), East Claydon, Gawcott, Buckingham (56m). This is a very flat route, easy going.

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029058

More details?  Contact Brian Tunbridge (tel: 01604 622073; text: 07722 055149).

Many thanks!  We look forward to seeing you!

Ride Report – Sunday 23rd June – Stowe Park Loop

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

For various reasons, not least of which may have been the damp and dismal weather forecast, only three of us turned out for Sunday’s Stowe Park Loop ride. This was disappointing but we are nearing peak season for other cycle-related activities so perhaps it’s not too surprising that turnout was low. Brian, David and I enjoyed ourselves though.

Heading out into the wind, we worked our way down through Stoke Bruerne, past the southern tip of Towcester and onto the lanes that lie between Paulerspury and Milton Keynes, passing a familiar Sustrans face heading the other way, before Brian navigated us down into Buckingham while managing to avoid traffic completely.

Looking for coffee in Buckingham, we wandered into a courtyard arrangement, similar to where we go in Olney, which held not just a brasserie/bistro but also a bike shop. The shop staff made it clear that there are only two decent places in which to get coffee in Buckingham, and there was nowhere to park bikes within sight of one of them. That left the bistro in the courtyard as the other (and our preferred) choice. Highly recommended, especially for Canadian-style pancakes.

A couple of mini-roundabouts and a short climb saw us out of Buckingham and on the straight, and very grand, approach to Stowe Park but rather than head into the grounds we skirted round them for a short stretch before turning off towards Biddlesdon and thence to Syresham, which appeared to have been taken over by scarecrows for the weekend. From there, the plan was to head up through Helmdon to Sulgarve Manor for lunch but this was a little scuppered when we discovered that the road to Helmdon was closed. After a quick review of the map, it was determined that we could simply do the other two sides of the square so we were stuck on the main road a little longer than had been anticipated, but when we finally turned off it: Tailwind!

Sulgrave was also busy, it being open garden weekend. (And also open-your-car-door-without-looking weekend! Don’t ride too close to parked cars).

Lunch was, I have to say, a disappointment. We’ve been to Sulgrave over and over again and it’s always been fairly reasonable but not so on this trip. I don’t know why it’s changed but changed it has and much for the worse. Thank heavens for coffee-stop pancakes.

Brian had cunningly contrived to make the home leg of the route tailwind-assisted all the way so we made excellent time back to Northampton, Greens Norton’s signpost deficit notwithstanding. Sadly, it wasn’t quite an excellent enough time to prevent us from getting drenched on the A45 cycle path. It seems that the weather had got fed up with us ducking under trees for a couple of minutes when it threw a light shower down and decided to throw everything it had at us when there was no shelter around. It was going alright up until then.

Thanks to Brian for a different and interesting route. The full details are to be found here, with a bit extra (although don’t believe all you read there. It appears to show us getting lost, exceeding 100 mph and climbing a mere 2000 feet)!
See you next time and don’t forget Wednesday’s BBQ,

A circular ride to Buckingham and return – Sunday 18th March

Mike Hart leads this ride and writes:

A gentle circular ride to Buckingham and back, suitable for most types of bike.  The ride will include a coffee stop at Stoke Bruerne, a lunch stop in Buckingham and possibly a refreshment stop on the return leg.  The weather forecast looks promising although it may be cool.  Meet at the Canoe Club, Bedford Road, for a 9.30 a.m. start.

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.