Ride report – Sunday 3rd July

Our new – for July & August – start time of 9.00 a.m. saw 13 riders congregate in Moulton for a planned 64-mile round trip to Oundle.  The sky was cloudy but it was warm, it was dry and we had a slight tailwind for the outward leg. In fact, all looked well for a great day’s riding.

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Gathering outside Moulton Co-Op for the start

Did I mention there were 13 of us?

We hit potholes and had an off while we were still in Moulton! Very unpleasant for Colin!

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You might not see the pothole in the shade …

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… but it caused us grief!

We were rolling again after a few minutes, with Colin gamely opting to continue the ride, and ran to Harrowden without incident where the route was altered slightly to avoid the unmade surface of Furnace Lane, given that we’d already had problems and lot of riders were on 23s, but that did allow us to rendezvous with a fourteenth rider on The Slips near Irthlingborough and we had an problem-free run then all the way through to Oundle.

When we got there, it was packed.  The cafés were overflowing with cyclists and there were bikes parked four-deep in places.  Fortunately the Coffee Tavern had upstairs space for us and we managed to get ourselves fed and watered and ready for the next leg.  One of our number left us at this point to return directly home complaining that she hadn’t done enough mileage this year.  She doesn’t know what she missed.

If you’re the ride leader, it pays to keep an eye on the map to ensure that the ride goes where you said it would go.  Our ride leader – me – didn’t bother, having memorised the route the night before, and so the route didn’t exactly go where it was planned to!  In fact we added a few miles of tarmac between Oundle and East Carlton that weren’t in the original plan at all.  (Sorry!)  But it was good tarmac and people seemed to enjoy it so no harm done.  Might as well take advantage of the weather when we can, eh?

Also, since we were passing the bottom of Rockingham Hill, we allowed those up for the challenge the chance to tackle the climb.  I mean, it’s not like we get out there every week is it?  And we had a few fast riders who felt they wanted a go so why not?  In total, six tackled the climb, including Dave who was probably keen to try out the new bike on a proper hill.

East Carlton was again busy, though sadly not with cyclists, but we did get a couple of tables out in the sun, the clouds long since having disappeared.

The final leg saw us back from East Carlton by way of Harrington where the group finally split.  Some of the faster riders continued straight through back to Moulton, others dived in to the Tollemache Arms to refill water bottles and such like, but we all made it back to Moulton in one piece, some of us having clocked 74 miles, some 75 (it’s that hill at Rockingham).

All in all, a good day’s ride (Colin’s early mishap excepted) with decent pace (13+ mph even at the back of the group), plenty of new roads and views unfamiliar to us and I promise I’ll keep an eye on the map for the next ride I lead.

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An appropriate refreshment in the garden of the Artichoke in Moulton at the end of the ride!

Ride the Route of Stage 3 of the 2015 Women’s Tour of Britain – Sunday 7th June

Ride the Route of Stage 3 of the Women’s Tour of Britain with CTC Northampton on Sunday 7th June – starting at Oundle Market Square at 9.15 a.m.

The race route, which runs to the north of the County, is through some of the best countryside in Northamptonshire.  It is over mainly quiet and attractive country roads.  Our ride will be a slightly abridged version of the route.

This is a CTC Northampton club ride open to non-members and registered as a 2015 Bike Week event – http://bikeweek.org.uk/event/ride-stage-3-of-womens-tour/.  Entry is free.

The ride starts at Oundle and ends at Kettering.  The main ride will be 105 km (66miles), with optional self led variants of 115 km (72 miles) and 74 km (46 miles) towards the later parts of the route.  The main group will expect to average 20 kph (13mph).  There will be two stops along the way, at East Carlton Country Park (Coach House Café) and Kelmarsh (World Peace Café).  For further details or to register for the ride please contact secretary@ctc-northampton.org.uk.

Limited transport will be available at the end, from Kettering to Oundle, on a first come basis.  Kettering to Oundle is 25 km (16miles).

Some CTC members are planning to pedal back to Northampton either from Kelmarsh (after lunch) or from Brixworth (the nearest point on the route to Northampton) rather than continue to Kettering – and so, if you wanted to do this, you would have company.

Car parking in Oundle is free. The car park is next to the Joan Strong Centre, PE8 4BY.

Directions to car park:
From the A605 (avoiding the first turn at Barnwell which may have road works) take the A427 signed Oundle.  Pass Gorilla Cycles on left.  Take next left into East Road.  Pass Waitrose, go across next roundabout and continue on East Road.  Take next left just before another roundabout to the Joan Strong Centre (the Scout Hut on the left). The public car park is beyond the Centre on the left.  Beware height barrier if cycles on the roof.

Route from car park to Market Place:
Leave car park and return to East Road.  Turn left to roundabout and then right along East Rd.  At T-junction, turn right into St. Osyth’s Lane which leads to Market Place.  The Coffee Tavern café at 34 Market Place opens at 9 a.m.

The start of our 2014 Ride the Route event

The start of our 2014 Ride the Route event …

... and the finish

… and the finish

If you have space on a car to transport a rider and bike, or if you would like a lift to Oundle, please contact secretary@ctc-northampton.org.uk.  Contact details of riders wanting transport will be passed onto potential drivers offering lifts, with the onus on the driver offering the lift to make the first contact.

Our route for 7th June can be found on RideWithGPS.  A gpx file can be downloaded from this site by clicking on the “Export” tab at the top right).

If you wish to discus the event please ring Brian Tunbridge (CTC Northampton Rides Secretary) on 01604 622073.

We look forward to seeing you!

Rutland Ride – Sunday 6th October

Philip Gray leads this ride and writes:
This Sunday’s ride takes us from the gentle hills of The (Northampton)Shire to the remote and craggy Kingdom of Rutlandia. Travelling via Broughton, Rothwell and Rushton, we shall seek refreshment from the good Caterers of East Carlton (Country Park) before entering Rutlandia. Then our route will take us north past Eyebrook Reservoir to sanctuary and a midday meal with the Travelling People (whom some call the Camp-Caravanners) of Sweet Hedges.
We will return through the seductive Vale of Welland and hamlets of Medbourne and Weston, to the hidden Dale of Dingley, before re-entering the Shire by a little-known route and tackling the gradual ascent to the plateau of Harrington and Lamport. From there it is a brief down, up and down back to Moulton.
Assuming we do not fall victim to any Orcs, Nazgul or the rumoured Worm of Uppingham, we shall have covered 55 miles and around 1000 metres of climbing by our return.
If you feel called to this adventure as one of the Fellowship of the Flying Wheel, please gather at the Co-op in Moulton on Sunday 6 October. As this is a longish and slightly arduous route, I would like to leave promptly at 9.30 am, so please aim to be there at 9.15.
Please let Philip know if you have any questions. Tel 01604 720522 or email philip.g@ctc-northampton.org.uk.

Ride report – “A Hilly 100” – Sunday 5th August

Ian Macsporran took part in this event and writes:

Four riders assembled at East Carlton Country Park to attempt “A Hilly 100”, an Audax-style event organised for CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes by Max Scott.

Denise (from Daventry) is an LEL lady and so she just left us at the start – and probably didn’t stop for anything.  Elevenses?  Lunch?  Clearly for wimps.

John Weller was also quick and determined but did stop for elevenses!
Bill Simpson was very kind and accompanied me around the route.  We enjoyed elevenses at Sweethedges near Stockerson and, at Bill’s suggestion asked for fresh sandwiches for lunch en-route.  (So I wasn’t slowed down, as last year, by a couple of pints at Tilton-on-the-Hill!  And, as a result, pedalled Max’s complete course.)  Afternoon tea at Church Langton certainly didn’t disappoint – sitting “in the body of the kirk”!
After 64 miles – like cycling over a giant egg box – with over 4,200 ft of ascent (at least) – I was weary but exhilarated on return to the Country Park.
You can see the route on Endomondo here  – the ascents and descents are different because the app uses GPS for these and, I think, more accurate measurers (Garmin) uses barometers as well.
Why not tackle this event next year?  It’s a serious challenge but well worth achieving!
Many thanks to Max!  And my own personal thanks to Bill!

Ride report – Sunday 4th March

Ian Macsporran went on this ride to Kelmarsh and writes:

No “unseasonably clement weather” today.  Just one leader (Brian – many thanks) and one follower (me – I’d sent Brian an email on Friday so I felt I had to turn up!).  We met under the garage canopy in Moulton.  Decided not to go to East Carlton Country Park but only as far as Kelmarsh where we could throw ourselves at the mercy of the Buddhists.

We went the scenic route to Kelmarsh – just over 17 miles.  It rained heavily all the time.  The downhills weren’t all that much fun – just wetter!  We chatted about all sorts of stuff, including camping on glaciers (an achievement of Brian’s; I gathered a lilo makes a reasonable insulator).

The kind Buddhists allowed us in ten minutes before they opened.  This was the dry and warm part of the ride.

When we emerged, it was snowing (it wasn’t lying when it hit the ground) and it kept snowing till we got back to Northampton.

I’ve been playing about with the Endomondo app.  My fingers were so cold by the time we got to Kelmarsh that I tapped the wrong part of the screen.  But our route is recorded as two routes: for out see www.endomondo.com/workouts/40528344 ; for return see www.endomondo.com/workouts/40558604.

It was cold.  And wet.  Even the pure-hearted Sir Galahad would have said, “Bugger this for the Grail!”

A Sunday Ride to East Carlton Country Park – 4th March

Brian Tunbridge leads this ride and writes:

This is a challenging ride of 43 miles and hilly (with an average pace of 12 m.p.h.).  We’ll meet in front of the Co-Op in Moulton (NN3 7TB) for a 9.30 a.m. start.  The ride will stop only at East Carlton Country Park (for brunch in the café) before returning.

The route will be out through Kelmarsh and back through Loddington mainly on quiet roads except for a short stretch on the A427.

Brian’s contact number is  01604 622073 (or 07722 055149 on the day).

 

Events in March

Sunday 4th March – A ride to East Carlton Country Park

Brian Tunbridge, our Secretary, leads this ride from Moulton (outside the Post Office / Co-op Store).  It’ll be a challenging ride of 50 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Brian can be contacted on 01604 622073.

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March – A weekend ride to National Forest Youth Hostel, Moira, Derbyshire

Bill Simpson, our Treasurer, leads a weekend ride for advanced riders.  About 60 miles on each of the two days at an average speed of 12 to 14 m.p.h.  Bill wanted people to book with him by 5th February; if the hostel still has spaces, you could ring him on 07736 600858.

Sunday 18th March – A ride to Buckingham

Mike Hart leads this ride, starting from the Canoe Centre on Bedford Road at 9.30 a.m.  Another challending ride of about 55 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Stopping at Stoke Bruerne as well as refreshments at Buckingham.  Mike’s contact number is 01604 631965.

Saturday 24th March – A ride to Maidwell

Brian Tunbridge leads a leisurely ride of about twenty miles, starting from the Brampton Valley Way (near “The Windhover”) at 2.00 p.m.  His contact number is 01604 622073.

 

Sunday 25th March – Stevenage & South Hertfordshire CTC Member Group “Start of Summertime Special”

Not part of our programme but our friends in Stevenage offer a choice of three distances: 62, 115 and 210 kilometres starting at 8.15 a.m (210k), 10.30 a.m. (115k) and 11.00 a.m. (62k)

The 62k is an introduction to Audax riding.  The 115k is the original “Ugley Nasty Ride”.    These two events are Brevets Populaires (BP).  The 210k is a BRM event (Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux) over the classic distance.

All the details, including entry forms and route sheets, are here.

Full details about U.K. Audax rides are here.