Ride to Barby & Everdon, Sunday 29th October

James who is leading this ride writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point:
Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing, NN6 8AA.  There is a BVW car park a little way up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 52 miles
Refreshment stops: Barby Garden Centre (16 miles), Plough Inn, Everdon (34 miles)
Pace: Steady

This Sunday’s steady ride is taken from the Macsporran archive.  Whilst the great man himself is (sadly) unable to join us, the route he’s plotted is fun, very scenic and – if Tuesday’s recce is anything to go by – full of surprises.

Starting off from Brampton Valley Way, we’ll head out towards Norton via Great Brington and Whilton.  Once in Norton we then take a delightfully quiet, albeit ‘agricultural’ lane in the direction of our first coffee stop: Barby Garden Centre (16 miles).  Suitably refreshed, we’ll continue on through Willoughby and Priors Marston, where we’ll be greeted by a short – but rather sharp – climb, which will strain the lungs and legs of even the fittest among us.  Heading on towards Badby and then Everdon, we’ll again be on some very quiet lanes populated by wandering hens, lost sheep and the occasional duck pond.

Our lunch stop will at be The Plough Inn in Everdon. It’s a very welcoming place, popular with other cyclists and walkers, and serves a varied menu including an impressive array of local ales and, err, gins.  It’s quite a quirky joint with its own junk/bric a brac shop in the garden, where the range of sailor’s hats, ancient sheepskin coats and old brogues – all at very reasonable prices – is sure to satisfy the most discerning of CTC members.

The final stage of our journey sees us heading us back to Northampton via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke and Harlestone.

At the risk of overselling it, I’ll repeat that this is a really nice route – not too demanding -with some lovely picturesque sections.  Whilst there are a few steep(ish) areas, it’s fair to say its undulating rather than hilly with a total distance around the 52 mile mark.

More details from James on 07841 933046.

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Ride report – Saturday 14th May

Rowan, our Ladies Rep, went on this ride and writes:

Eight riders (including 3 ladies!) met at East Hunsbury for the second of our “moderately-paced” 30-mile rides.  We were pleased to see a mixture of cyclists joining us today from regular riders to those returning to cycling and a few who had not ridden with a group on very many occasions before.  Tim led the group, with myself as “Tail End Charlie”, through Rothersthorpe, Gayton Marina, Dalscote and Fosters Booth and on to the hillier section of the ride on Banbury Lane and north to Maidford and Farthingstone.  Along the route we met with Peter Crighton who had donned his winter cycling attire for what was becoming both a sunny but still chilly and a little windy ride.  Great to see you out again, Pete!

We then made it up a particularly steep hill to the bluebell wood outside Everdon Stubbs and were pleased to see plenty of flowers still in full bloom along with some stunning white wild flowers (does anyone know the name of these flowers? – see CTC Facebook in a few days for some images of the wood). The café at Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe was a welcome tea stop (aren’t they always?!) where we had a mixture of mid morning snacks and early lunches, plus seemingly endless coffee!

As Tim described in his ride brief, the route back saw us crossing the A5 once more en route to Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe before the final climb back up to East Hunsbury library (thanks Tim!).

Thanks again to everyone who came out today. I believe a few of you may be out on tomorrow’s ride too!

Our next moderately-paced ride is on Sunday 29 May and will be a longer 45-mile route led by Phil G taking in the north of the county and into Leicestershire.

Ride report – Sunday 27th July – Hellidon

IainD, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

Yesterday morning, 7 of us – including a remarkably fresh looking PhilL – gathered at the Canoe Centre in the Bedford Road.

Also there was the leader for the day’s Sky Ride, which was heading off along the riverside at 10:00. We wished him luck as we were starting out in the same direction.

Shortly after 09:30, Milton led us out through the town along the river, and then the canal, before emerging onto Banbury Lane to head for the hills of western Northamptonshire. Litchborough, Farthingstone (at which point PhilL left us, being under strict instructions to build mileage slowly. He did tackle the steepest hill on the ride before peeling off though. I’m sure that was a coincidence), Everdon, Badby and Catesby came and went fairly quickly. So quickly, in fact, we arrived at lunch before the pub was open!

After settling down to sandwiches, baguettes and chips for an hour, we took to the road again with Milton promising us that (almost) all the hills were done with, and it proved to be a remarkably level trip back through Charwelton, Preston Capes and Maidford before we dropped over the A5 and then had to climb again to Gayton, working our way round the south of the town and down the last hill through Great Houghton (where of course we’d followed the route of the Women’s Tour 12 weeks earlier. Anyone know what Vos and Armitstead were up to yesterday?).

Many thanks to Milton for laying on such an interesting route, ordering the tailwind for the return leg and showing us some different stretches of tarmac in an area we all thought we knew pretty well already.

Curate’s egg GPS track of the route can be found here: https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/379944685/5180977

Club ride to Farthingstone – Sunday 17th March

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

This Sunday we’re off to Farthingstone on a 50-mile jaunt taking in a few of the less severe hills to be found in the western half of Northamptonshire.

This is a one-stop ride and Farthingstone Golf Course (where we’ll be taking lunch) is almost exactly at the turning point so we’re looking at two 25-mile legs. Bring extra supplies as necessary.

The route out is fairly circuitous incorporating Everdon Stubbs while avoiding Dodford and Newnham.  The route back brings us through Silverstone and almost through Towcester.  It should be an interesting trip.

We’ll be meeting at a new start location – outside TGI Friday’s at Sixfields at 9.30 a.m.

(If you’re coming to the start by car, please don’t leave it at the start location; there is plenty of parking available down by the lakes, a mere 200 yards away).

See you on Sunday!

Report – Ride on Saturday 2nd February

Phil Letts led this ride and writes:

How nice was it to get out today in the sunshine after all that snow with a convivial group of eight keen riders eager to shake the winter blues out of their legs. Patches of ice here and there meant we needed to keep a sharp lookout but no-one, not even Ian, threw themselves to the ground!

It was pretty cold with a biting wind but we didn’t care as we tackled a ‘bumpy’ route out via Dodford and Everdon to The Dairy Farm for a welcome coffee, cake and warm by the stove.  (Bad luck to those whose table was too far away! Ride-leader’s privilege!)

We kept the pace up on the route back and totalled a good 35 miles.  Nice to ride and chat with everyone.

Ian Macsporran was on the ride and adds his thanks to Phil.  The route is here.