Ride Report – Sunday 19th July

Brian, our Rides Secretary, was on this ride led by Eleanor and writes:

Seven riders left the Canoe Centre heading for Quinton.  It was cloudy with
quite a breeze which we headed into for most of the morning.  We made our
way almost due west out through Towcester, Wappenham and Weedon Lois
before turning north to Canons Ashby and on to the café at the
equestrian centre in Woodford Halse.  Not many horses in view but popular
with cyclists.  At nearly 30 miles we were ready for the bacon butties on offer especially as the route had been quite hilly as well.

When we emerged from the café the sun came out, the day warmed up and we
had a pleasant trip back with a tail wind, through Maidford and across
to Pattishall.  Eleanor – with, no doubt, encouragement from John – managed to
find a few more challenging hills up to Gayton from where, as they say, it
was all downhill (well nearly).

On the way back Sylvia (MK) was asking where were all the cars?  The
lanes had been very quiet.

Many thanks to Eleanor for leading the ride and for getting us back in
time to watch most of the Tour.

Ride report – Sunday 21 June

Brian, our Rides Secretary, led this ride and writes:

On the official first day of summer, four riders set out from East Hunsbury with a brisk cool westerly wind.  We wound our way across to the A5 and over to Duncote, then Canons Ashby and on to our first visit to the café in the equestrian centre on the road approaching Woodford Halse.  In the sheltered courtyard we enjoyed coffee and toast in the sun. We had arranged to meet Geoff from Wellingborough who joined us for the rest of the ride.  John Dunkley arrived shortly after, just to join us for coffee.

We were running slightly behind schedule mainly because of the head wind the sun was out and the temperature rising.  The route up to Napton was on unusually quiet roads.  We skirted the “hill” at Napton-on-the-Hill and with the wind now on our backs headed for
Priors Marston.  To get out of the village there is a 12% hill and then we were almost at Hellidon where we enjoyed a light lunch in the pub.  Whilst there, a steam car arrived looking vintage but with pristine bodywork. The give away was the disc brakes. It was, however, definitely steam powered – and an internet search confirmed it was a replica US 1912 ‘coffin nosed’ Stanley steamer.IMG_2244We finished a welcome break and given a strengthening tail wind we “steamed” back to Northampton again on exceptionally quiet roads and with the warm sun on our backs.
It was 54 miles and quite hilly but the route took us through some of the most attractive parts of the County.  A great day to be out on a bike and good company to boot with Rowan, Ken, David and Geoff!

Wishing Phil a speedy recovery!

This morning’s ride was planned by Phil L – “brisk” of course! Phillip G stepped into the leader’s rôle.  We all took time at the start to pose for Phil – and especially in the wave to wish him a speedy recovery!  All the best, Phil!

Riders gather at the start

Riders gather at the start

We pose - looking ready for a "brisk" ride!

We pose – looking ready for a “brisk” ride!

And we wave, "All the best, Phil!"

And we wave, “All the best, Phil!”

Brisk morning ride to Canons Ashby – Saturday 26th April

Phil L originally planned a brisk ride this Saturday.  As he gets better from his accident, we’re grateful that Philip G has volunteered to lead it.  He writes:

This is a “brisk” cycle ride to Canons Ashby.  The aim is to maintain 14-15 mph average with as few stops as possible.  A shorter alternative route will be available for those who want a slower pace.  The route, which includes several hills, is roughly Brampton Valley Way – Althorp – Little Brington – Flore – Weedon – Everdon Stubbs – Sustrans Route 70 (south) to Canons Ashby (teastop).  Then return by Banbury Lane – Pattishall – Kislingbury. Distance 35 miles, return by 1.00 pm.

This should be a varied, enjoyable but slightly demanding route with a nice teastop at 20 miles.  Current weather forecast for Saturday is unsettled with a risk of showers, possibly heavy, 10 – 12 degrees with moderate breeze from the SSE.  So nothing the right clothing won’t deal with!

Road bikes are advised. Meet Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing (NN6 8AA) for a 9.30 a.m. start.  The BVW car park is on Brampton Lane opposite The Windhover.

New riders welcome.

For further information contact Philip on 01604 720522 or philip.g@ctc-northampton.org.uk

Ride Report – Sunday 2nd March

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

Twelve of us braved the wind to meet at East Hunsbury to participate in what had been billed as “Hannah Barnes’ Favourite Ride” (or a ride based thereon).

And it didn’t disappoint, with our chairman and Twitter-meister confirming that our ride had acquired the seal of approval from the lady herself.Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 19.51.53We headed out along the usual route towards Towcester, with a couple of new faces getting used to riding in a group like ours, and then cut across from the south side of the village towards the Silverstone circuit.  Unbeknownst to us, yesterday was also the day of the Silverstone Half-Marathon so the traffic on the approach to the circuit from Silverstone village was horrible.  Fortunately, once we got up near the circuit itself, we could take advantage of the cycle/footpath before leaving the motorists behind and heading down to the impressive new visitor centre at Stowe National Trust with its Nevillery Café.

After refreshments, and an early lunch for some, we set out to cross flooded roads (well, one) and several hills as we tracked north-west with a cross-wind to our second NT property of the day (has Brian got shares in the National Trust?) for lunch (or afternoon tea, depending) but the weather had started to turn a little damp. Still, plenty to keep us warm with the south Northamptonshire dips and climbs on the way over to Canons Ashby.

Neil and Chloe at lunch - or afternoon tea

Neil and Chloe at lunch – or afternoon tea

With one of our number electing for an early finish and not stopping for tea at Canons Ashby, we were reduced to eleven riders as we headed back (with the wind now mostly, and very thankfully, behind us). A short sprint down the A5 kept it interesting then we were back onto the quiet lanes through Caldecott, Tiffield and over the canal bridges back to Northampton.

Many thanks to Brian for what turned out to be a surprisingly energetic ride (I blame the headwind) and for keeping the group together so well on the road.

Our route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

 

“Hannah Barnes’ Favourite Ride” – Sunday 2nd March

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

This ride was inspired by an article in Cycling Weekly in July 2013 which described the favourite training route of national rider Hannah Barnes who lives in Towcester and starts/finishes her route there. Hannah does her 40 mile route in about 2 hours but we will probably take a little longer and not just because we start in Northampton!

We’ll start from Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ (behind the Tesco Superstore) at 9.30 a.m. prompt.

Route: Blisworth, Shutlanger, short stretch of A5 then across to Silverstone.  Down past Stowe School and on to Chackmore and the Stowe National Trust property and through the Corinthian Arch for coffee.

On then to Biddlestone, Helmdon, Sulgrave, Thorpe Mandeville, and across to Canons Ashby for lunch at the NT property (sandwiches and baked potatoes are available).  It is a short ride back via Litchborough, Greens Norton and Tiffield to Northampton.  That makes for 54 miles.  It’s hilly in parts but the roads are mainly very quiet.

We will return mid-afternoon. (If you want to join us for just the morning, you could return to Northampton from Stowe.)

Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073 (07722 055149 on the day)

You can see the route here on RideWithGPS.

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.

Ride Report – Middleton Cheney – Sunday 25th August

Iain D went on this ride, led by Ian M, and writes:

First thing on Sunday morning, things were looking decidedly autumnal. The air was cool and damp and it hadn’t long finished raining. One breakfast later, I was headed over to East Hunsbury, not bothering to dodge the showers as they were very light and wondering whether we’ve been spoiled by all the recent sunshine. Crossing Northampton, it all dried up and, in fact, we didn’t see another drop of rain all day after that.

It was still quite cool though as the three of us assembled for a ride that promised some new roads, Banbury being an area we seldom visit.

Following Ian’s newly acquired Garmin box, we headed out through Tiffield and Greens Norton to Sulgrave Manor for elevenses (and received a much warmer welcome than last time!) and it was still autumnal enough to justify their “ye olde 16th century hot chocolate” – interesting blend – before heading on to Middleton Cheney and the local golf club for lunch, by which time, of course, the sun was out and it was getting rather warm and summery once more.

Note to webmaster: it’s worth adding the golf club to our list of food stops. All-Day veggie breakfast is great value.

Having navigated the hitherto unseen “Barley Hill” in Culworth on the return leg, we were FORCED by the heat to stop at Canons Ashby, where we ran into a couple making the most of the long weekend on their Pino tandem (if you’ve never heard of one, google web-search it. It looks like a sit-up-and-beg rear-ended a recumbent but they ride a lot better than that sounds), and Ian’s satnav then brought us back through Pattishall to our start point making a total trip of just under 48 miles with nothing, really, in the way of hills above the usual Northamptonshire rolling countryside. The Endomondo trace of the route is here, with the usual wandering around at tea stops: http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/235886762/5180977

I’m sure Ian will be posting his GPS trace up as well, to see how the two compare.

I’m afraid the rest of you missed out on a rather decent ride!

Reminder – Sunday’s Ride to Middleton Cheney

Just a quick reminder:

  • Meet at 9.30 a.m. at Overslade Close, Hunsbury
  • Elevenses at Sulgrave Manor (18 miles)
  • Lunch – bar snacks – at Cherwell Edge Golf Club (25 miles)
  • Tea stop – if wanted – at Canons Ashby (33 miles)
  • Return to Hunsbury (47 miles)
The route passes through a succession of idyllic villages.  The stops have good refreshments and clean toilets.  The forecast is light cloud until noon and then the possibility of light showers.
Allowing for four hours riding time, we should easily return by mid-afternoon.

Ride to Middleton Cheney this Sunday!

Ian M will be leading this ride on Sunday and writes:

I had a good recce today of a route for Sunday’s ride.
You can see my meader to Banbury and back here  on http://www.ridewithgps.com.  (I just thought I’d have a change from Endomondo.)
I set off from Hunsbury at the usual time for a Sunday and reached Sulgrave Manor just as it was opening.  Same times on Sunday!
I then pedalled slowly to Middleton Cheney, thinking that that would be a better stop for lunch than Banbury.  And it has lovely Morris & Co stained glass in the church – a complete set from 1862.  But The New Inn is closed until next year and The Dolphin is just, well, closed!
So I pedalled on to Banbury, enticed by several signposts indicating I was on the Oxfordshire Cycleway.  I was led into enormous roadworks and a completely pedestrianised town centre.  Avoiding Debenhams tea room and a Pizza Express, I found the Banbury Cross – and a pub called “The Banbury Cross”.  Open but no food.  Will you have food over the Bank Holiday weekend?  No, mate – there’s no call for it here!
I struggled out of Banbury and pedalled back on a different route to Middleton Cheney.  The Dolphin was still closed.  I then pedalled a different route north and came across the Cherwell Edge Golf Club.  An A-board at the road advertised carvery lunches on Sundays!  At the entrance to the club house, bar meals were advertised!  A quick bacon butty later and I had learned that while the carvery might require booking for Sunday, the bar meals did not.  Seemed good!
I did have a tea stop in the afternoon at Canons Ashby.
If I’m not selling this route to you, may I say that the cycling is delightful and through many wonderful villages we don’t normally pedal through.  The villages are quite close together so that there’s always a feeling of moving on.  Helmdon was voted Best Northamptonshire Village in 2011.  So here’s the route for Sunday in terms of villages (with my timings from today):
Leave Overslade Close, Hunsbury (0940)
Milton Malsor
Tiffield
Caldecote
Duncote
Greens Norton
Brandon
Slapton
Wappenham
Helmdon
Sulgrave (1105-1125)
Marston St Lawrence
(edge of) Thenford
Middleton Cheney
Lunch at Cherwell Edge Golf Club
Thorpe Mandeville
Culworth
Moreton Pinkney
Canons Ashby (1440-1455)
Adstone
(towards) Blakesley
Cold Higham
Pattishall
Gayton
Milton Malsor
Back at Overslade Close, Hunsbury, at 1555.
That route is really delightful!
I haven’t reserved a table for the carvery at the Golf Club.  I’m assuming that on a warm August day (sunny day with isolated showers, high of 21 degrees C) colleagues would prefer a lighter bar meal.  We can always top up with tea at Canons Ashby – or not!
So, meet at Overslade Close, Hunsbury at 0930 for a splendid day.  We’ll go at a simple pace and so I can’t absolutely promise to be back for 1555.  Just over 50 miles.
Questions?  01604 843894 / 07960 302095 or ian.m@ctc-northampton.org.uk
I hope to see you there!