Ride report: Saturday 26th August

James went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes:

Twelve of us departed from Moulton under conditions very reflective of the ride organiser’s temperament: grey, sullen and slightly damp.  At the same time, his the choice of destination – the World Peace Café at the Nagarjuna Buddhist centre in Kelmarsh – typified his more positive qualities, e.g., his lifelong commitment to the enlightened one’s emphasis on equanimity and loving-kindness as the core values of daily existence.

In order to encourage more people to come out and ride, Milton – in a familiar display of thoughtfulness – had devised faster and slower route options.  The ‘proper’ brisk route followed a slightly more circuitous path to Kelmarsh – going via Orton – than did the moderate one, which was shorter by something like five miles. Of course, the division also gave some of the slightly faster and, err, more competitive riders the challenge of trying to catch up and overtake the second group before they reached Kelmarsh.  It was childish, but I did it …

As we progressed through Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old, the sun started making increasingly frequent appearances and by the time the brisk set diverted off to Orton it was warming up nicely.  A couple of the quicker riders caught up with the “moderates” just outside of Harrington and sped on to bag some good seats in the café‘s serene back garden.  The remainder of the two groups all arrived within fifteen minutes or so, and it wasn’t long before we were all enjoying the high quality fayre we’ve come to associate with the caféand its delightful staff.  Some of us attempted to respect the Buddha’s emphasis on frugality by just taking green tea and a few biscuits.  Unfortunately, one rider, i.e., Giles ‘Bake Off’ Barringham, was less sensitive to this precept and keen to declare he was eating his fifth (large) piece of cake in five days.

By the time we departed the sun was in its full glory and this continued to be the case as we came back en masse via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke, Brixworth and Holcot.  Once back at Moulton it was blazingly hot and bright, both which served to top off a most enjoyable little jaunt.

As ever, sincere thanks must go to Milton for his patience and beautifully devised routing.

Advertisements

Rides to Kelmarsh – Saturday 26th August

Milton is organising two rides (moderate & brisk) from Moulton Co-op and writes:

Both rides will leave from the Co-op at 9.30 heading to Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old. From Old we take the lovely single track road towards Mawsley and then head towards Harrington. The moderate ride will then cross the A14 and turn left on the outskirts of Harrington and go to Kelmarsh. The brisk group will take an additional 5 mile loop that takes us east through Orton before turning west again and returning almost to the start of the loop before following the other group to Kelmarsh.

After coffee and cake at the Buddhist Centre it’s an attractive trip home via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth.  It’ll make a change going down the steep hill at Haselbech for once, rather than climbing it!

It’s quite a short flat ride for both groups so I hope that one or two people who might normally be nervous of their ability to stay with the riders might venture out on the moderate ride. And for the brisk ride, I’m expecting it to be fairly quick. The loop is put in as a bit of a test for us all to see if we can reach coffee at the same time, or before, the others.

We can expect to be back at Moulton by around 1pm. I hope to see you at the start.

Ride Report – Sunday 4th December

Iain D, our Chair, led this ride and writes:

Seven of us gathered on a crisp and bright December morning in the village of Moulton, despite some of the quieter roads in the area having turned a noticeable shade of white.  We headed off through Holcot (the bend of the bottom of the hill had been gritted!) and through Hannington and Isham to Burton Latimer.

We passed the Weetabix factory okay but things went a little bit awry in Barton Seagrave.  It seems the ride leader was following the route he’d planned, not the route RideWithGPS had published, but after a bit of frantic searching round the housing estate (while others were resting by the Ise Garden Centre), the group got itself back together and headed out to Twywell and Woodford.  This minor hiatus did at least give the sun a chance to clear most of the remaining frost.

Woodford Mill was as welcoming as ever (I believe it was the second visit of the week for some of our riders!) although in deference to the weather we sat inside instead of taking our usual riverside table.

The trip home passed garden centre in Burton Latimer and then proceeded up the Slips to Great Harrowden before the group returned to Moulton, with plenty of daylight to spare as promised.

R … Iain

PS: I didn’t make it back to Moulton.  After the rear brake failing yet again on the Galaxy I limped back to Kettering from the Blue Bridge turning.  My thanks to Brian for taking over the ride at that point.

Ride report – Saturday 23rd April

Brian, our Secretary, went on this ride led by Iain D, our chair, and writes (in poetical mood):

It was good to see ten riders assembled outside the Co-op in Moulton.  Despite the glorious sunny morning there was a distinct absence of shorts given the cool wind.  This was both St George’s Day and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.  As we had a Welsh ride leader, with a Scottish actor on board, the rest of the group showed great restraint in not shouting as we left Moulton:

Straining upon the start.  The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (Henry V)

The plan was to ride to Holcot as a group and then let riders decide how to group to continue.  We easily agreed three groups: Brisk (3), Steady (3) and Moderate (4).

We had been promised some hills en route which we duly encountered.  Most were down then up as we dropped into the many river valleys around this part of Northamptonshire, with fast descents giving a bit of help on the ‘up’.  We soon navigated Hannington, Pytchley, Broughton and on to Great Cransley.  The entrance to Green Trunks Garden Centre for the café stop was well hidden down a gravel track.  Although the restaurant was being refurbished we were given a warm welcome and some “cyclist-size” mugs of tea.
Suitably refreshed we continued in our three groups to Loddington and on to Orton where we turned for home.

Up until now we had been riding into a somewhat icy, northerly wind.  But all this changed as we rode on with a tail wind, sun and blue skies.  We sailed along quiet roads (some single track) via Mawsley and Old to Brixworth, then back to Holcot across the reservoir and on to Moulton.  Given the opportunity for some short cuts, all three groups managed to meet up at Moulton within 10 minutes or so at the end.

Suitably dressed it was a great morning for a ride. Thanks to Iain for planning the route and leading the charge.

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.

Morning leisure ride – a Lamport Loop – Saturday 8th March

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

We will be assembling in Moulton at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday for a leisurely morning ride.

Our route will take us through Holcot and Hannington and up to Walgrave (where we will, no doubt, be taking a very careful look at the manhole covers) and then through Old and Brixworth, which will see us missing Lamport itself (sorry).  It’s a straight run from there down the Brampton Valley Way to the old station before we cut across to Church Brampton for our brew stop.

The final couple of miles will take us back to Moulton through Boughton.

As you’ll have noticed, the route’s not entirely flat but none of the hills are terribly steep or particularly long and we’ll be keeping a fairly relaxed pace as we amble round this little route (which may be subject to slight variation on the day, according to circumstance). The weather’s due to be quite clement as well.

A total of 20 miles at a leisurely pace.  Iain is on 07909 992468.

See you on Saturday at 9.30 a.m. outside Moulton Co-Op, NN3 7TB.

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.