Phil J went on this ride, led by Ian M, and writes:
A colourful plethora of cyclists gathered at the Canoe Centre on this unusually warm and sunny start to November for the ride to Ringstead. They included new boys Vic and James, as well as Northants visitor Jeanette. Ten of us set off on the busy A428 before the welcoming turn to Little Houghton and the less than welcoming climb into it. At that point our leader Ian advised that we should split into two groups of five to avoid any issues with cars and we duly obliged.
The downhill at Cogenhoe shortly afterwards provided an early blast of speed for the two groups and we blazed down gratefully giving us plenty of momentum towards Grendon before an early check on numbers at the roadside. The route down to Bozeat was swift and the ride paused there briefly for a simple mechanical on Jeanette’s bike. And, after a quick check of one or two maps, we were on our way again.
The weather was simply fantastic as we pressed on towards Podington, all of us amazed at how lucky we were to be riding in such glorious sunshine at this time of the year. Hinwick Hall looked majestic as we skirted around it. The road ramped up a little towards Wymington and the terrain opened up at the same time to reveal wonderful scenery as far as the eye could see. Riders changed groups, layers came off but all made good time regardless.
Towards Chelveston and beyond, the traffic levels increased meaning more splitting of the large group to accommodate the drivers going our way. Without incident we navigated our way out of the urban sprawl that is Raunds and onto quieter roads with the mill on the horizon.
Our chair, Iain D, was already soaking up the sun in a vibrant location overlooking the marina and we duly joined him. Two tables were required for our thirsty peleton. The service was great and we all enjoyed our time there before heading back home.
Out of the mill a short sharp rise was waiting with hardly anybody in the right gear! Cue frantic grinding of gears to get us up and over. The reward at the summit was another reminder of the great weather and the spectacular colours of autumn.
Great Addington was the first village en route before meandering our way round to Cranford and eventually over the A14 as we made our way towards the streets of Burton Latimer and the Weetabix plant nearby. Isham and Orlingbury passed quickly before the long and winding road towards Sywell beckoned. Once again keeping your distance from the riders up ahead was the order of the day and this continued through Overstone as well.
At Moulton Co-op some the group said their goodbyes with it seemed just three of us heading for the finish. We passed busy parks, residential areas and cyclepaths but we arrived at the Canoe Centre without incident before three more riders joined us having taken a slightly different route back.
A quite tactical ride for everyone today due to the numbers but a better ride at this time of year would be difficult to find!
Stunning scenery and wonderful weather with a great cafe stop to boot!
Thanks to Ian M for the ride!