Ride Report – Saturday 8th February

Brian, our Secretary, led this brisk morning ride.  Words by Brian; photos by David.

Given that it has been very wet this year, it was not surprising that the ride this Saturday morning became a tour of the floods in the Nene and Great Ouse valleys.

We had 6 riders out today. We met at the Canoe Centre which was surrounded by water. However, none of the roads were flooded and we set off at 9.30 a.m. for the higher ground of Castle Ashby and then down again to Olney. We were now into the Great Ouse valley and soon alongside fields covered in water. The bridge over the river at Turvey was just above the water level. Shortly after we stopped for a pleasant coffee and cake at the Emmaus Village Bistro in Carlton.

Café at Emmaeus Village

Café at Emmaus Village

It was quite warm in the sun although the wind was very strong. Luckily the general direction of the ride was cross wind but we had met a few short stretches of strong head wind en-route.Between Carlton and Harrold we crossed the Great Ouse again, only this time the road was well under water. Fortunately there is a raised footpath about 4ft above the road for about 100 yards and we crossed it as if on a major bridge.

Flooded road by River Ouse

Flooded road by River Ouse

It was quite warm in the sun although the wind was very strong. Luckily the general direction of the ride was cross wind but we had met a few short stretches of strong head wind en-route. Between Carlton and Harrold we crossed the Great Ouse again, only this time the road was well under water. Fortunately there is a raised footpath about 4ft above the road for about 100yds and we crossed it as if on a major bridge.

The water around us was being whipped up into choppy waves by the strong wind. Luckily it was a tail wind and we made good time to Bozeat and then back to Billing by 1.00 p.m. where we split up to get home. Given the weather forcast earlier in the week, I was pleasantly surprised the we made the ride in the dry, with plenty of sun, if a little windy!

Route here on RideWithGPS.

Brisk morning ride – “The Harrold Loop” – Saturday 8th February

Brian, our Secretary, is leading this ride and writes:

We start at the Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA) at 9.30 a.m. prompt for a short and fast ride of  34 miles  return by 13.00

Route:  Canoe Centre  – Cogenhoe – Castle Ashby – Yardley Hastings – Olney – Cold Brayfield – Turvey – Carlton – Harrold – Bozeat – Grendon – Canoe Centre

We will stop for a quick coffee at the Emmaus Village Bistro in Carlton (MK43 7LQ).

The route includes two short stretches of the A428; otherwise it is on reasonably quiet B roads.

More information from Brian on 01604 622073  (or  07722 055149 on the day)

Hope to see your there.

Ride to Irchester Country Park – Saturday morning, 11th January

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:

Start at 9.30 a.m. at the Canoe Club (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road NN4 7AA).

A pretty brisk ride with a fair few “bumps” taking us out through Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Whiston, Castle Ashby, Easton Maudit, Bozeat and Hinwick.  Coffee at Irchester Country Park.

Returning through Wollaston, Great Doddington, Earls Barton, Overstone and Moulton.

Total = 40 miles

Contact: 07867 388592

Morning ride – Saturday 30th November

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:

We shall start at the Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA) at 9.30 a.m.

It’s a challenging ride – short but fast for the morning.  We’ll be 50/50 on/off-road, using some of the lesser-known trails which connect Northampton’s parks and woods.  The surfaces are reasonable so either an MTB or a sturdy touring bike would be fine – but not your best road bike!

Coffee stop at Salcey Forest Café.

(Phil L is on 07867 388592.)

“Guy Barber” Ride – Well done, David!

Congratulations to local CTC member David who completed his first century ride last Sunday!  (And he found the time and energy to take photos!)
David writes: I started out early – 6.20 a.m. from the Canoe Centre, Northampton – and arrived in St Neots at 8.45 a.m. for a sandwich and drink before heading on to Cambridge. There was a mist in the sky that stopped the sun warming the morning up too much and the breeze created by cycling helped to cool me.
I arrived in Cambridge at 10.35 a.m. and wandered around the centre looking at the colleges, the punting and the market stalls. I had tea and cake at Tatties Café before starting my way back home through the crowds of tourists around 1.30 p.m.IMG_0670 - Punting in Cambridge

Dave's bike outside Tatties Café

Dave’s bike outside Tatties Café

I returned to St Neots at 3.00 p.m. and chose to continue on a route which was slightly different from the way I’d come in the morning. It was one of the hottest days of the year and I eventually arrived back at 7.30pm. Although I did not have a cycle computer to measure my distance, Bill (the organiser of the “Guy Barber” Ride) has confirmed I have done my first 100-miler.

Bike Week 15th – 23rd June

Once again the CTC will be promoting Bike Rides for All as part of Bike Week, the UK’s only annual promotion of all kinds of cycling activities – a nationwide programme of rides and events.  The aim is to get more people cycling more often – to have fun, get fit and feel free!

Here are some local events:

Saturday 15th June MK Millennium Cycle Route – 12 miles from the Great Linford Festival, Milton Keynes, starting at 10.30 a.m. (organised by Phil Ashbourn)

Sunday 16th June (1) The Sustrans Kingsthorpe Festival

Sunday 16th June (2) A 25-mile Mystery Ride from the Newport Pagnell Medical Centre, starting at 10.00 a.m. (organised by Phil Ashbourn)

Thursday 20th June Bike Week Breakfast at the Salcey Forest Café.  Two CTC rides both at7.30 a.m. (1) from the Canoe Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton – led by Philip Gray (2) from Wolverton Railway Station, Milton Keynes – organised by Phil Ashbourn

Saturday 22nd June Morning Leisure Ride  – 10.30 a.m. from Midsummer Meadow, Bedford Road, Northampton (led by Brian Tunbridge)

Sunday 23rd June All-day Challenging Ride – 9.30 a.m. from Hunsbury Hill Library, Overslade Close, Northampton to Stowe Park and return.  Lunch at Sulgrave Manor.  Led again by Brian Tunbridge.

Contact details

Phil Ashbourn 01908 698063
Philip Gray 01604 720522
Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073
Sustrans @SustransUoN

Leisure Ride on Saturday 18th May – 2.00 p.m.

Philip Gray leads this ride and writes:

Join us at 2.00 p.m. this Saturday.  We meet at the Canoe Centre, Bedford Road, for a leisurely ride of about 20 – 25 miles. The route will meander along the (slightly hilly) Nene Valley / Castle Ashby area before crossing to Earls Barton. The teastop will be at the Jeyes Apothocoffee shop, where you can also visit its small museum of local life and learn about the enterprising Jeyes family. 

Please let Philip know if you have any questions – on 01604 720522 or 07557 670831.

Ride Report – Sunday 5th May

Iain Dawson led this ride – “A Ride of Two Rivers” – and writes:

There were five of us ready, outside the Canoe Centre, for this trip on Sunday morning and the weather was looking promising as well. Better than it did last time I tried to lead this ride anyway.

After a short deviation into the industrial estate, we picked-up National Cycle Route 6 in Great Houghton, rode on past Salcey Forest, and down through Haversham on the north side of Milton Keynes. Then we turned onto a gated road that brought us out by Stantonbury Wharf and the Grand Union Canal. We followed this, more or less, half way to Willen Lake, the only snag being that whoever drew the Buckinghamshire street map didn’t know where the bridges over the canal were! Redway navigation is tricky at the best of times, because you never see the street signs, but to have bridges spring up out of nowhere? That’s a new one on me! Anyway, after a couple more pauses to check the map and the signs on nearby streets (thanks Karen and Dave), we found a sign, an actual sign, for “Willen Lake” and were duly delivered to the café there.

Refreshed, we took to the Redways once again to cut through a corner of the original Milton Keynes, with its 12th-century church, and past the Open University, which wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped. We did, however, get to see a lot of the greenery that Milton Keynes has to offer before we cut through the car parks at the west end of the shopping centre and headed up past Linford Wood to the old railway line that now serves as a pedestrian/cycle link between northern MK and Newport Pagnell. A short ride from there – up through Sherington and Emberton Country Park – saw us installed in our favourite Olney café for lunch, sitting out in the sun. I have to say, each time we crossed the Ouse I was getting more and more tempted to drop down to it and take a dip. The weather was magnificent for May.

With only the few miles separating Olney (on the Ouse) from the Canoe Centre (on the Nene), we set off with just Cogenhoe hill left requiring any real work ahead of us and we had an uneventful final leg back to Northampton to finish around 4pm. Not bad for a 52 mile ride taking in some very congested Redways with a couple of navigation errors thrown in to temper the pace.

All-day Ride on Sunday 5th May

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, will be leading this ride and writes:

This Sunday we meet at 9.30 a.m. at the Canoe Centre in the Bedford Road.

We will be traversing the land between the Nene and the Ouse as we make a 50 mile-ish loop down to Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, with a stop at Willen Lake, some Redway cycling and a stop in Olney thrown in for good measure.

The ride is not too arduous (I’m still tweaking the route though, so be nice to me), and it’s still too far out for a decent weather forecast (although currently it looks warm and dry). I’m using a mix of old favourites and new routes so it will hopefully hold something of interest for everyone.

A short part of the route is on broken tarmac, so go steady if you’re on skinny tyres, but MTBs will not be needed!

Club ride to Gayton – Saturday 23rd March

Iain Dawson (of shorts in snow fame) will be leading this ride and writes:

Brian has put together a lovely route for us for Saturday – including a lane that I didn’t even know existed, so I’m looking forward to trying that out.

Unfortunately, he can’t lead on Saturday so I’ve been nominated in his place (you’d better hope I can find that lane) and we may have a surprise waiting in Gayton, if we time things right.

If you read the ride report for last week, you’ll know the weather’s being extremely fickle at the moment so come prepared!

Hope to see you on Saturday at 2.00 p.m. outside the Canoe Centre.

John Cutler, our Right to Ride Officer, adds:

The forecast for Saturday is scarcely credible, but, if it turns out anything like accurate, you will break more records and win a medal for the bike ride.