Ride report – Saturday 21st January

Milton went on this ride organised by Tim and writes:

A chilly morning, and a late start for fear of a frost that didn’t in fact linger, found five ready for Tim’s big adventure to the Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre at Upper Stowe.  We split into a quick riding group of three who were to take a longer route to coffee and a sensible, (do I give myself away here?) group of two.  The two sensibles soon became three as one of the other lot found that Christmas excess had not yet cleared the system and he hadn’t a hope of staying the course for the next 27 miles.  Next month Giles,next month!.

The sun came out as we trundled through Pattishall, Adstone, Preston Capes and Farthingstone.  The roads were dry, the fields were full of fat sheep, the lambs not far away now, and a kestrel sat confident on a hedge only feet from us as we sped past, and it was bliss to be on a bike.
The three sensible ones arrived at the cafe only a few moments ahead of the other two who regaled us with tales of derring-do, monster hills and terrifying descents which we chose not to believe.
Much colder after a 40-minute stop (how does the weather manage to change so radically during every coffee break?) we all dashed back together through Upper Heyford, Bugbrooke, and Kislingbury until, at just after 2pm, we were back in East Hunsbury.
Lovely, well devised route,(thank you Tim) which meant we had space to really enjoy the trip – which we did!

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Rides to Preston Capes – Saturday 21st January – 10.00 a.m. start!

Tim, our Webmaster, has planned these rides and writes:

Start: 10.00 a.m. – changed to allow for possibility of frosty roads and lanes!
Meeting point: East Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, NN4 0RZ
Distance: Brisk 37 miles; moderate 30 miles
Anticipated Speed: Brisk 14-16 m.p.h.; moderate 10–12 m.p.h.
Refreshments: Old Dairy Farm Cafe, Upper Stowe

There are two rides this Saturday, one will be at a brisk pace (led by Tim) and the other at a moderate pace (led by Milton).  The moderate ride will be a shorter distance so that we should all arrive at the Upper Stowe tea stop at about the same time.

Both rides head out south westwards from East Hunsbury along Banbury Lane before splitting just north of Blakesley to take alternative routes to Preston Capes.  After a short shared section they again divide before rejoining just before the stop for tea and cakes at Upper Stowe.  Both rides then follow the same route back (via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke & Kislingbury) to the start point at East Hunsbury Library.

Current weather forecast is frost free.  Both routes are tarmac throughout, but some sections may be muddy at this time of year.

Lights would be a good idea for added day-time visibility, but we should be back at East Hunsbury sometime around 1.30 p.m.

The proposed routes can be viewed (and downloaded as gpx files) from the CTC Northampton pages on RideWithGPS:

Brisk: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18083634
Moderate: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18083630

Any questions, please contact Tim – 07749 477231.

Ride report – Saturday 14th May

Rowan, our Ladies Rep, went on this ride and writes:

Eight riders (including 3 ladies!) met at East Hunsbury for the second of our “moderately-paced” 30-mile rides.  We were pleased to see a mixture of cyclists joining us today from regular riders to those returning to cycling and a few who had not ridden with a group on very many occasions before.  Tim led the group, with myself as “Tail End Charlie”, through Rothersthorpe, Gayton Marina, Dalscote and Fosters Booth and on to the hillier section of the ride on Banbury Lane and north to Maidford and Farthingstone.  Along the route we met with Peter Crighton who had donned his winter cycling attire for what was becoming both a sunny but still chilly and a little windy ride.  Great to see you out again, Pete!

We then made it up a particularly steep hill to the bluebell wood outside Everdon Stubbs and were pleased to see plenty of flowers still in full bloom along with some stunning white wild flowers (does anyone know the name of these flowers? – see CTC Facebook in a few days for some images of the wood). The café at Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe was a welcome tea stop (aren’t they always?!) where we had a mixture of mid morning snacks and early lunches, plus seemingly endless coffee!

As Tim described in his ride brief, the route back saw us crossing the A5 once more en route to Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe before the final climb back up to East Hunsbury library (thanks Tim!).

Thanks again to everyone who came out today. I believe a few of you may be out on tomorrow’s ride too!

Our next moderately-paced ride is on Sunday 29 May and will be a longer 45-mile route led by Phil G taking in the north of the county and into Leicestershire.

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!

Afternoon leisure ride – Saturday 24th May

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, is leading this ride and writes:

For those of you not venturing out to Beaumanor for the weekend, we are laying on a leisurely ride to Flore this Saturday afternoon.

We will be leaving East Hunsbury at 2.00 p.m. and heading out on estate roads and lanes over the M1 and through Bugbrooke and Nether Heyford before a tea-and-loo stop at the halfway point: the nursery in Flore.

The return trip will take us back across the eastern side of the M1 and through Nobottle, the Berry Wood estate (never been through there so that could be interesting), the Upton Park estate and along cycle tracks in Northampton back to our start point.

See you Saturday, 2.00 p.m., Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ.

Any questions? Iain is on 07909 992468

Morning off-road ride – Saturday 22nd March

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:
We start at 9.30 a.m. from the Brampton Valley Way (BVW)/A5199 Welford Road crossing (NN6 8AA).  [There is a BVW car park up Brampton Lane opposite “The Windhover”.]
The route is partly off-road and so a off-road or mountain bike is required.  We’ll go to Harlestone Firs and then follow the Grand Union Canal towpath to Gayton Marina before going on to Bugbrooke, Nether Heyford and Flore.  At Flore we’ll leave the towpath for a coffee stop.  We then head to Little Brington and return, via Althorpe and Harlestone Firs, to the BVW.  Altogether between 25 and 30 miles.
Phil is on 07867 388592

Ride on Saturday morning – 22nd December

Phil Letts will be leading this ride and writes:

Start  9.30 a.m.  Brampton Valley Way (BVW) by “The Windhover”.   Brisk club ride – 35 miles. 

This is ride follows or shadows the Midshires Way all of which is now on good road surfaces so road bikes required.

Route links the Bramptons, Harlestone, Nobottle, Flore (coffee break) Bugbrooke, Gayton, Blisworth, Roade to Salcey Forest for an early brunch/lunch (25 miles)

Then the return follows the National Route 6 back through Quinton, Great Houghton and Northampton to BVW (10miles)

Phil is on: 07867388592