Sunday 23 July – Annual Guy Barber Memorial Rides

Brian, our Rides Secretary, writes about one of the high points of  our calendar:

Start times: 8.15 a.m. (97 miles); 9.45 a.m. (66 miles or 56 miles)
Start points: Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ (97 miles); Market Square, Buckingham, MK18 1NJ (66 miles or 56 miles)
Parking in Buckingham:  Cornwalls Meadow Car Park MK18 1RP is free on Sundays.  It is well signposted and is off the High Street behind Waitrose.
Refreshments: Twyford Village Shop (coffee), Café Couscous Oxford (lunch) on all three rides.  Afternoon stops: Farthingstone on 97-mile ride; Stowe Park on 66-mile ride; Hogshaw on 56-mile ride.

Every year we host the Guy Barber Memorial Ride in aid of the local branch of Headway.  Guy was a member of CTC Northampton and a supporter of the charity.  He had two favourite rides: one to Cambridge and one to Oxford.  On one occasion he rode both routes on the same day!  For 10 years we have ridden the Cambridge / St Neots route in his memory.  This year we are riding to Oxford for the first time.

To enable everyone to lunch together in Oxford we have two start points.  The long ride (97m) starts in East Hunsbury at 8.15am and the other two options (66m and 56m) start in Buckingham at 9.45am and join the group from Northampton as we ride to the community-run shop and café in Twyford village.

Lunch is in Oxford at Café Couscous.  This serves a wide range of sandwiches, baguettes, and Mediterranean dishes including vegan options; good coffee and tea as well.  Bikes can be left outside in view of the seating or one can sit outside with them.  Within fifty metres, there is both a pub serving lunches and a Subway franchise.

Most of the route is on fairly quiet country roads and is undulating rather than hilly.  Then from the outskirts of Oxford there are good cycle paths into the city centre, some separated from the main road.

A donation of £5 to Headway Northampton is requested.   For planning purposes we would be grateful for an email if you intend to ride, stating from which start point.

The options

Route 1 Start 8.15 a.m. from East Hunsbury.

Route is Stoke Bruerne, Leckhampstead, Buckingham (20m).  Meet others. Twyford  (Coffee 27m), Boarstal, Oxford (46m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (59m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Farthingstone (Café 77m), Wappenham, Greens Norton, Tiffield and back to East Hunsbury (97m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029855

Route 2 Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route is Twyford (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Islip, Kirtlington (38m) from where there is a National Route (unsurfaced road/track) for two miles to Tackley Station (OK in the dry) and then Steeple Aston to Somerton. (If wet there is a direct route on the road from Kirtlington to Somerton.)  Leave Route 1 at Ayhno (52m), Finmere, Stowe Park (64m – café possibly), Buckingham (66m).

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23028989

Route 3  Start 9.45 a.m. from Buckingham Market Square.

Route Twyford Village Shop (Coffee 7m), Boarstal, Oxford (25m).  Return: Beckley, Horton-cum-Studley, Brill (40m) Hogshaw Green Dragon Eco Centre (Café 47m), East Claydon, Gawcott, Buckingham (56m). This is a very flat route, easy going.

Link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/23029058

More details?  Contact Brian Tunbridge (tel: 01604 622073; text: 07722 055149).

Many thanks!  We look forward to seeing you!

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Ride Report – Ninth Annual Guy Barber Ride – Sunday 13th July

Bill, our Treasurer, organised this ride and writes:

Numbers taking part = 18. We raised £90 for Headway Charity though a cheque for £100 was forwarded to them.

Though eighteen took part, sadly, this year we had no female presence. Not sure off-hand if this was a first …

Of the eighteen, there was one new CTC member: Hartley from Northampton. We had Phil from St. Andrews Hospital who worked with Guy and is a close friend of the Barber family. It was good to have him on board. Also with us was Harry from Milton Keynes, who would win the prize of the elder statesman with us. I believe he is around the 73-74 years of age so should Harry read this, well done! We raise our helmets to you. [John, another regular rider, adds: “Phil was the old rider I think. At 78 he rode from Milton Keynes and back as well!”]

The other riders were a mix of Northampton, Milton Keynes and one CTC member from Wellingborough. Most of you have supported this ride over the last 9 years and the fact that you still do is very much appreciated by the benefactors Headway.

Riders gathering early at the start

Riders gathering early at the start

As for the ride itself, it is always a ride that produces great spirit… The ride through the east side of the county as it heads for Bedfordshire through the villages of Sharnbrook and Thurleigh to name but two, just seem to fly by effortlessly, with a constant chatter of voice and the sounds of gears and wheels. As is normal on this ride the bunch splits with some stopping and enjoying the fayre at Thurleigh (the healthy food option) while others prefer to get the bulk of the ride behind them and they press on to St. Neots. As usual the groups meet at St. Neots at The Market Café for a short exchange of pleasantries of the ride encountered thus far.

The split at St. Neots continued, only the split of two groups became three. Then as the ride heads for home the chatter recedes as it progresses on the road towards Kimbolton. This is always a sign that a headwind is encountered and so it proved to be… Poddington Garden Centre is always a welcome break from that constant element, and an enjoyable stop for afternoon coffee.

The final miles back to Northampton seem to fly by. As far as I am aware, no p*nct*res were experienced though we did have one mechanical problem to deal with, soon put to rights by John and George ….

So in conclusion, the question must be asked, what will the 10th G.B. memorial ride bring? We wait to find out. Hopefully we may enjoy the company of a few female riders along with all the usual suspects who have supported this event over the years …

Many thanks on behalf of Headway!

[The 65-miles route is here on RideWithGPS]

 

Ride Report – Sunday 1st July

Bill Simpson organised and led the Guy Barber Memorial Ride and writes:

Eighteen riders rolled out from the Bedford Road start, heading eastward, with the company of the River Nene for the opening miles.  I say there were eighteen riders who started, but we were joined by a nineteenth somewhere en-route (but this is another story, isn’t it, Brian?)

Three of the nineteen taking part were females, one of whom, Pippa from Milton Keynes, shared a tandem with her partner Mike Slater.  This I think was a first on the Guy Barber ride.  The other two were Northampton’s Eleanor Weller and Sylvia from Milton Keynes.

The peloton of riders came from an almost 50 percent mix of Northampton and Milton Keynes C.T.C. all of whom are to be thanked for their support.

Between us we raised a total of £95, but we will forward a cheque for £100 to the Headway Charity.

The ride towards St. Neots and the River Ouse on which it sits went by without any hitches.  No mechanicals or punctures encountered, just good banter shared by all as we took advantage of some assistance from the strong wind that was our companion until the return journey.

On the way back it was huddle together and fight the wind, enabling all to return safely via the excellent café stop in the garden centre in Poddington.  Mostly we avoided the rain (mostly).  Many thanks once again for your support.

I look forward to next time.