A select group of four riders left Moulton at 9.00 a.m. on an overcast but warm and humid morning for a full day’s ride. Soon after Sywell we met rolling hills through Mears Ashby, Castle Ashby and on to Olney, on relatively quiet roads. Here we stopped for coffee and sat outside in the café courtyard enjoying toasted tea cakes as the sun came out. Showing just how small the world is Anne and Ken discovered that they had both grown up in the same area of Lancashire. The hills of Northamptonshire apparently have nothing on those in the north west!! This was to be well tested later in the ride.
From Olney we headed north-east to Turvey and on to Carlton where we did a loop to Odell, Sharnbrook and through the picturesque village of Bletsoe before we turned back though Milton Ernest and more quiet roads. We returned to the Emmaus Centre at Carlton for lunch at 1.00 p.m. The weather was now warming up with blue skies and highs of 23C. We were ready for a break.
After a very convivial lunch we headed up to Poddington and Wollaston before dropping into the Nene valley at Great Doddington. From here it was all uphill via Wilby to Sywell which was the highest point on the ride, not that it was an obvious summit finish.
We arrived in Moulton at 3.45 p.m. after a pleasant day in the saddle. Ideal cycling weather, summer at last! Thanks to Iain for devising and leading the ride.
What a great day for a ride! Bright winter sunshine and no rain – what’s going on?!! So good was the weather in fact, ten of us turned out a brisk and bumpy ride to Irchester Country Park. An excellent opportunity to ‘burn off’ some of that Christmas pud!
Splitting into two groups meant we could cater for different riding speeds and appetites and I think we all enjoyed breezing through the villages of Whiston, Castle Ashby, Bozeat and Hinwick before regrouping at the country park for coffee and cake refuelling!
We split again for the return via the Wollaston-Great Doddington route which incidently is still rideable for bikes despite closure notices for vehicles while they strengthen the bridge over the river -there’s a footbridge available for pedestrians.
My thanks to Brian for leading the other group today.