Ride to Naseby – Sunday 3rd April

Phil J is leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Start point: East Hunsbury (Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ)
Distance: 45 miles
Two refreshment stops

From East Hunsbury we’ll head towards the urban areas of Upton and St Crispin’s before winding our way through Harlestone and the Bramptons.  With one or two climbs behind us, we’ll soon arrive at Brixworth Country Park for our first well-earned pit stop at the Willow Tree Café with the Pitsford Cycles Shop.

On the move again, the fast descent at the back of Brixworth is then followed by the long haul up to Spratton.  Guilsborough and Cold Ashby follow soon afterwards, on quiet country lanes.  All Saints Church at Naseby will then be on the horizon where we’ll stop either at the cafe or use the convenience store nearby.  Please bring your own snacks just in case we miss both!  (Another stop back at Brixworth is an option as we return.)

The loop continues through Haselbech and the Cottesbrooke estate before climbing back into Brixworth again.  From there we’ll pretty much retrace our steps back to Harlestone before turning for a short stretch along the Roman Road.  Another fast descent through Harpole brings us to Pineham with its wide cycle paths over to Hunsbury Meadows leaving us with just a mile or so back to the start.

It’s a bit of a climber this one. Last time out Brian rode with me and clocked it at around 3000ft of climbing. But with pit stops along the way, you should be able to fuel yourself round without too many problems.

Hope to see you there!

Phil is on 07927 377191.

Ride Report – Saturday 23rd August

Brian, our Secretary, went on this ride led by Philip G.  Brian writes (with photos by Philip G):

This was a brisk morning ride through the hilly area around Creaton, Cottesbrooke and Naseby and then up to Marston Trussell.  This route confirmed the original ride description that “there are several ‘medium difficulty’ hills – nothing too vicious but they may mount up.”  Digital maps and GPS reveal all and on the 36-mile route only 20% of the route (7 miles) was on the level and the hills added up to 2500ft of ascent.

At Haselbech

At Haselbech

Nevertheless, Philip led the pace – fresh from his L’Etape du Tour in the Pyrenees – with the four remaining riders hanging on in what seemed a continuous head wind – even on the way back!  We had plenty of sun but the temperature was distinctly autumnal.  We nearly entered the A14 by mistake – oops! – but a hasty retreat up the slip road and we were back on quiet country lanes with little traffic.

Returning via Sibertoft, and a final challenging hill up to Guilsborough, we were soon in the Café Monde at the Stables in Church Brampton enjoying well-earned coffee and cake.

Outside the coffee stop

Outside the coffee stop

A really good morning ride.  Many thanks to Philip.

Ride Report – “La Petite Étape” – Sunday 11th May

Five Cycling – Report written by Nick (Enid Blyton being unavailable)

Five riders made the rendezvous point at the Windhover/BVW to enjoy the delights of this ride led by Alex (Alex, Miriam, Terry, Milton and Nick).  Maybe it would have been more but the previous evening’s weather forecast was not particularly fair.  As it turned out however the rain had cleared, the sun was out and the wind was blowing.  A great day for drying your washing but an even better one for riding a bike!

We set off in good spirits and headed north through Church Brampton before hitting the hills on the roller-coaster roads heading east from Holdenby through Spratton and up to Brixworth.  Happily each of the hills was easily conquered with the large helping hand supplied by the not inconsiderate tail wind.  It was then north and north-east through the picturesque lanes linking Brixworth to Cottesbrooke and Haselbech.  On the hill up to Haselbech we were reminded of the need for caution when riding near horses when an oncoming beast (with rider) was seriously spooked.  Apparently it was something to do with the sight of Milton’s knees!

Onwards to Naseby and then a seriously fast descent in the direction of Clipston (wind-assisted) but then turning south-east to Kelmarsh and Arthingworth.  From here we climbed the Strava Queen of the Mountains section used in Wednesday’s Stage One of the 2014 Women’s Tour of Britain.  At the top, outside the Tollemache Arms pub, we paused for a breather.  It was at this point that we realised that we had actually ridden three of the four Queen of the Mountain stages used on Stages One and Two of the Women’s Tour.  A little bit of messing about with a smart phone and we were ecstatic to discover that all five of us had ridden two of the sections faster than the professional riders on Wednesday and Thursday had.  FANTASTIC – however, just for the record we did it in the opposite direction …..

Not long after Arthingworth it was pay back time; we turned right and headed south and south-west across the flat land of the former aerodrome at Harrington which put us right into the teeth of the gale!!!  Alex was the leader so we all hid behind him.  We took a hilly detour off this road through Draughton – its a strange day when you prefer including a hill to avoid the flat – but it did cheat the wind.

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

Through the villages of Old, Walgrave, Hannington and Holcot before closing on the destination of Moulton.  Terry and Milton peeled off for home whilst those left enjoyed a coffee at the J-Gallery in Moulton before wending our way home.

Game for a laugh!

Game for a laugh!

Grateful thanks to Alex for leading this ride. It lived up to its name and happily, despite the often ominous clouds scudding along, we did not get rained upon.

The route is here on Garmin Connect.

Afternoon ride – Saturday 12th April

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

We have a leisurely ride planned, leaving from the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road crossing at 2.00 p.m.  (Postcode NN6 8AA; parking at BVW car park up Brampton Lane opposite The Windhover.)  We will cross the dam at Pitsford, tackle part of the BVW and the Gamboro Plantation track to Cottesbrooke.   Then we head back through Creaton and Holdenby to Church Brampton for coffee; then it’s back down the hill to where we started.

Only one significant climb but please note that one of the tracks is unsurfaced so we might all be walking that one (short) rough stretch!

Weather forecast is currently dry so I hope to see you down at the Brampton Valley Way at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday.

Iain is on 07909 992468.

Late report on Sunday 19 January ride

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

Apologies to Iain D!  I promised to write up a report on his ride to Kelmarsh and then forgot!

A dozen riders gathered at Moulton for Iain’s ride and, once again, he took us on a route that was different from one we had ridden before; and certainly not what any of us were expecting.  That’s always a bonus!

Gathering at Moulton

Gathering at Moulton

 We left Moulton along the Pitsford road and then headed up to the reservoir, crossed the dam, and pedalled into Brixworth.  We left that village on the Creaton road before heading into Cottesbrooke, crossing the A5199, and climbing up to Guilsborough.  This was indeed going to be a different route to Kelmarsh!
Next we were off to Cold Ashby before going through Welford and approaching Naseby from the west!  Then we were over and under the A14 – on some lovely smooth tarmac which Iain had deliberately sought out – and into Kelmarsh (and the World Peace Café at the Buddhist Centre) by noon.  In a large group, which constantly re-arranged itself, these twenty-five miles flew by with conversation and banter!

A breather at Cold Ashby

A breather at Cold Ashby

 The café proved up to serving twelve hungry cyclists and showed that we don’t have to have beer with every meal!
We started again after lunch going further north to Arthingworth and signposts for Desborough before turning south through Harrington, crossing the A14 (for the sixth time!), and pedalling through Old, Walgrave and Holcot on our way back to Moulton.  Fifteen miles after lunch.
Thanks to Iain for a well organised route: at this time of year a one-stop ride means we got the mileage in and were home early in the afternoon well before the need for lights.  This could be a model for one or two rides in the summer on occasions when members don’t want to be out all day.  Everyone certainly enjoyed themselves!
And the weather was kind to us too!
The route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

Ride Report – Sunday 5th January

Ian M went on this ride today and writes:

It was lovely to get back riding with the group today. When we met at the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / A5199 crossing, the temperature was just above freezing. Although there were occasional slushy bit of ice early on, we were to be very fortunate with the weather. Two leaders (Bill and Brian) marshalled eight riders – including one new rider from Brixworth – and numbers were to fluctuate as there were joiners at Waterloo Farm Café and leavers at Sibbertoft. Bill was leading those who had booked the New Year’s Lunch at Sibbertoft Reading Room; Brian promised to lead home those who hadn’t booked! Rowan made sure that females were represented.

A unanimous vote chose an on-road route to Waterloo Farm. We CTC members don’t seem to like the BVW (well, not in this weather).

Bill took us up through Spratton and Creaton where we left the A5199 to head to Cottesbrooke and Kelmarsh – where we joined the A508 to Great Oxendon and the café. Reasonably sized refreshments were eaten at this point – even by those faced with only a short ride to lunch. Iain D, who joined us at this point, thought that a balmy 36F didn’t merit more than a t-shirt and a hi-via waistcoat – although he did wear long trousers rather than shorts!

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

A larger group pedalled after the café, heading via Clipston to Sibbertoft and there we split. Brian kindly made sure there were several more hills for those of us riding home at this point. Naseby, Thornaby, Guilsborough and Holdenby were conquered. The rain – forecast for days – only began between Teeton and Holdenby and then only gently! True to his plan, Brian led us back to our starting point just before 2.00 p.m.

A hearty thank you to Bill and Brian; and personal thanks from me to you all for your splendid company!

Our route is here on RideWithGPS.

Ride Report – Saturday 20th June – Petite Etape de Northants

Brian (our Rides Secretary) went on this ride led by Alex and writes:
On the day the Tour de France covered the same route as this years Etape (successfully completed by our own member Philip Gray two weeks ago) Alex had lined up a hilly route for a brisk morning ride. The challenge was 2600ft and 35 miles. At the end Alex extended the route to just complete a total of  3000ft of ascent according to his GPS logger. A mere trifle compared with real Etape I suspect.
Six riders, including a new CTC member Terry, set out from the Brampton Valley Way / Welford Road meeting place at 9.30 a.m. in cloudy and cool conditions. This lasted throughout the ride and made for very pleasant cycling compared with the previous few days, although potentially the forecast was hot.
The route took us through Holdenby, Spratton and Brixworth in a series of undulations to Cottesbrooke where we had a brief spell on the flat before the long climb up to Haselbach.  Then we pedalled a short stretch to Nasby before turning down to Clipston and then to Kelmarsh. A slight problem was a sign that the road to Kelmarsh was closed over the weekend but we pressed on to find that the reason was a major event at Kelmarsh Hall with a one way system for traffic to its car park. Luckily we were able to walk the short stretch to the A508 and cross to Arthingworth. More hills followed in a loop to Harrington on some very pleasant narrow roads.
Whilst we were bidding farewell to Iain – he left to pedal to Kettering – an elderly gentleman cyclist passed us on his way to a wedding (not his) in Harrington. A drop into Draughton and then up to Lamport Hall before more gentle undulations through Old and Hannington and then the final few hills and a short detour to complete 3000ft of ascent before ending at Moulton.
We arrived at the J Gallery Café in the village at 12.30 p.m. for a welcome cup of tea in the gardens. Alex’s Bianchi kit was much admired by the other customers who were cycling-friendly.

(l to r) David, Alex and Brian in the J Gallery Café garden

(l to r) David, Alex and Brian in the J Gallery Café garden

Many thanks to Alex for planning and leading a very pleasant ride through quiet picturesque Northamptonshire lanes. A route definitely to be recommended.

Report – Ride on Sunday 17th February

Ian Macsporran led this ride and writes:

On a beautifully sunny morning, nine riders gathered at the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) crossing with the A5199 at 9.30 a.m. (and a tenth was waiting for the group at the Waterloo Farm Café).  Iain D, Brian, David, Eleanor, Phil L were joined by Malcolm, Hartley and Vikki – these three being guest riders out to see what we were like.  Bill was waiting at the café.  I had chosen, in retrospect a bit of a leg-stretching ride: only 45 miles but plenty of bumps.  I had no excuse, having recce’d it only two days earlier.

Before elevenses,the high spot (literally) was pausing at Naseby Church.  Every route in to Naseby seems to involve a considerable climb.  But the sunshine and the company made it pleasant work.  We reached the café – at 18 miles – at 11.15 a.m.  I’d booked a table for eight at the Foxton Locks Inn and, by phoning ahead at this stage, was able to increase it to ten.  Through East Farndon (downhill for once – as Iain noted) and Lubenham was delightful.  We reached the locks at 12.30 p.m.

The inn was fully booked for lunches, and there was a queue – so it was good to have a table set for ten waiting for us; and a helpful waitress bringing us drinks and meals.

Leaving Foxton at 1.30 p.m. we went on some lanes new to most of the group – to Theddingworth and Sibbertoft from the north. We climbed up to Naseby again and enjoyed the fast descent.  Then the last big climb of the day was up into Guilsborough.  One or two pimples brought seven of us back through Teeton and Holdenby to the BVW and the A5199 by 3.40 p.m.  (Iain, Eleanor and Bill had peeled off at appropriate points.)

Everyone claimed to have enjoyed the route but, as a distinguished music critic once said that an orchestra is nothing without listeners, so a planned route is nothing without riders.  My thanks are heartfully felt to my nine fellow pedallers.  I hope that Malcolm, Hartley and Vikki join us again.

 

Report on recce for Sunday 17th February ride

I’m glad I left my recce to the last minute.  Today was the nicest biking weather for quite a while.

Start from the Brampton Valley Way near The Windhover at 9.30 a.m.  Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café.  Lunch at Foxton Locks Inn.  Return to The Windhover.

Out via Holdenby, Spratton, Creaton, Cottesbrooke, Naseby and Clipston to Great Oxendon at the Waterloo Farm Café  .Don’t be alarmed by the A5199 between Spratton and Creaton; we’ll use the dual-use path on the eastern side.

On via East Farndon and Lubeham to Foxton Locks.

Return via Theddingworth, Sibbertoft, Naseby, Guilsborough, Teeton and Holdenby to The Windhover.  There’s a short stretch of A road (the A4304) just before Theddingworth; it’s about ½-a-mile and the only A road on the whole day.

That makes it a very narrow figure-of-eight centered on Naseby.  As I was a history teacher for forty years, I can’t get enough of Naseby.  One of the three most important battles in English history!  (The other two being the Battle of Hastings and the Battle of Britain.)  Riding the area on a bike is a close to seeing the view from 17th-century horseback as you’ll ever get.  You appreciate why, at dawn on the day of the battle, both sides raced to control Naseby church with the view from its spire.  Fairfax’s own view on the ground is magnificent enough!

Some may want to join us at Waterloo Farm.  Some may want to say goodbye at Foxton Locks.  Timings:  if we leave The Windhover at, or shortly after, 9.30 a.m., we’ll reach Waterloo Farm at approximately 11.00 a.m.  A table is booked at Foxton Locks Inn at 12.30 p.m.  If we leave Foxton Locks at, say, 1.30 p.m. then we’ll be back at The Windhover at 3.20 p.m.

If anyone needs afternoon tea, then Seatons at Guilborough will be open and serving hot drinks, although I was given the impression that hot drinks would be from a machine.  Certainly the café space there is much reduced since I last visited.  I got the impression it was under new owners.  We’ll be in Guilsborough at about 2.40 p.m.

Distance: just over 45 miles.  Route on Endomondo here.

Here’s the Foxton Locks Inn’s menu for Sunday.  There’s a range of roasts and Sunday dinners at one end, with filled warm baguettes at the other end.  Today, I had a pint (of very good real ale) and a filled baguette.

IMAG0208and

IMAG0209I hope to see lots of you on Sunday morning!

Ride into Leicestershire – just! (Sunday 17th February)

Ian Macsporran will be leading this ride and writes:

This Sunday’s ride is to the north, just into Leicestershire.

Start from the Brampton Valley Way, near The Windhover, at 9.30 a.m.

Originally, I had intended (and it’s advertised in the rides list as such) to get to Saddington for lunch.  The Queen’s Head, unfortunately, has just been taken over by new management.  Well, that’s not unfortunate; it’s just that they closed their kitchen and are re-opening to serve food next Sunday (24th).  So I’m proposing to make Foxton Locks our lunch stop.

Out via Holdenby, Spratton, Creaton, Cottesbrooke, Naseby and Clipston to elevenses at Waterloo Farm.  (My original plan was for elevenses at Farndon Fields Farm Shop but that was close to Saddington and is just too close to Foxton.)

Return via Sibbertoft, Naseby, Guilsborough, Teeton and Holdenby to our starting point.

About 45 miles.

I should tell you that I’ve still to ride a recce!  Apologies!  I had planned to do it in January – but found the weather and a hectic social life put the kybosh on that.  I had planned again for this Monday or yesterday but I chickened out again for weather-related reasons.  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I’m a romantic and so I’m now planning my recce for Friday!  It should be milder!!

[I’m off to London on Saturday to ride my Brompton around London with some like-minded Bromptonauts.]

The BBC website is predicting cloud and sunny intervals for Sunday itself, with temperatures up to 7° which is a little more normal.

Why not join us?