Ride Report – Sunday 2nd March

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

Twelve of us braved the wind to meet at East Hunsbury to participate in what had been billed as “Hannah Barnes’ Favourite Ride” (or a ride based thereon).

And it didn’t disappoint, with our chairman and Twitter-meister confirming that our ride had acquired the seal of approval from the lady herself.Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 19.51.53We headed out along the usual route towards Towcester, with a couple of new faces getting used to riding in a group like ours, and then cut across from the south side of the village towards the Silverstone circuit.  Unbeknownst to us, yesterday was also the day of the Silverstone Half-Marathon so the traffic on the approach to the circuit from Silverstone village was horrible.  Fortunately, once we got up near the circuit itself, we could take advantage of the cycle/footpath before leaving the motorists behind and heading down to the impressive new visitor centre at Stowe National Trust with its Nevillery Café.

After refreshments, and an early lunch for some, we set out to cross flooded roads (well, one) and several hills as we tracked north-west with a cross-wind to our second NT property of the day (has Brian got shares in the National Trust?) for lunch (or afternoon tea, depending) but the weather had started to turn a little damp. Still, plenty to keep us warm with the south Northamptonshire dips and climbs on the way over to Canons Ashby.

Neil and Chloe at lunch - or afternoon tea

Neil and Chloe at lunch – or afternoon tea

With one of our number electing for an early finish and not stopping for tea at Canons Ashby, we were reduced to eleven riders as we headed back (with the wind now mostly, and very thankfully, behind us). A short sprint down the A5 kept it interesting then we were back onto the quiet lanes through Caldecott, Tiffield and over the canal bridges back to Northampton.

Many thanks to Brian for what turned out to be a surprisingly energetic ride (I blame the headwind) and for keeping the group together so well on the road.

Our route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

 

“Hannah Barnes’ Favourite Ride” – Sunday 2nd March

Brian, our Secretary, is leading this ride and writes:

This ride was inspired by an article in Cycling Weekly in July 2013 which described the favourite training route of national rider Hannah Barnes who lives in Towcester and starts/finishes her route there. Hannah does her 40 mile route in about 2 hours but we will probably take a little longer and not just because we start in Northampton!

We’ll start from Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ (behind the Tesco Superstore) at 9.30 a.m. prompt.

Route: Blisworth, Shutlanger, short stretch of A5 then across to Silverstone.  Down past Stowe School and on to Chackmore and the Stowe National Trust property and through the Corinthian Arch for coffee.

On then to Biddlestone, Helmdon, Sulgrave, Thorpe Mandeville, and across to Canons Ashby for lunch at the NT property (sandwiches and baked potatoes are available).  It is a short ride back via Litchborough, Greens Norton and Tiffield to Northampton.  That makes for 54 miles.  It’s hilly in parts but the roads are mainly very quiet.

We will return mid-afternoon. (If you want to join us for just the morning, you could return to Northampton from Stowe.)

Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073 (07722 055149 on the day)

You can see the route here on RideWithGPS.

Ride to Newport Pagnell – Saturday 22nd February

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:

We’ll start at 9.30 a.m. at Hunsbury (Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ) for a ride of approximately 38 miles at a brisk pace (say 14 mph).

The route takes us out via Blisworth, Ashton and Castlethorpe to Newport Pagnell for brunch.  We’ll return via Hanslope and NCR 6.

This is slightly shorter than the route originally in the programme due to the recent flooding but allows us to stop for coffee and cake/snacks in Newport Pagnell instead of at Willen Lake.

Phil is on 07867 3889592.

Ride to Towcester – Sunday 16th February

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, writes:

We’ve got off relatively lightly with the weather of late, in comparison with other parts of the country, but it’s not exactly been lovely for cycling this week. And we scheduled a ride to Towcester for the A5 Rangers cycle parts, extras and “jumble” sale this Sunday …
Well, I’m pleased to say that the forecast is looking pretty good for the day itself and Bill still intends to lead this ride. Here’s what he has to say:
The ride is just a straight out and return – approx 25-30 miles.
 
There is the usual tea and cake at the A5 Rangers club house plus attempts to pick up stuff from the jumble sale etc.
 
I will be there as per normal even if weather inclement.
 
It’s usually a good opportunity to stock up on consumables for the year as well – and you can stay as long or as short as you like in Towcester, if you’re happy to make your own way back.
One other note from Bill:
leave 9.30 a.m. … sharp
See you Sunday, 9.30 a.m. (sharp!), Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ.
Bill is on 07736 600858

Ride Report – Saturday 30th November

Phil L led this ride and writes:

I think for the four of us who rode today, it was quite refreshing to ride a fair bit off-road and without having to constantly be on the lookout for wayward drivers.  So, having dusted off our mountain bikes, we took a route in the morning sunshine which linked the parks of Delapre, Becketts, Sixfields, Upton, Hunsbury Hill and Grange emerging not far from Salcey Forest for a loop of the woods and a coffee stop.

Our return via bridleway to Piddington and Brackmills Cycle Network didn’t take too long despite some interesting wheel-gripping sections of mud on-route.

An enjoyable change.  So a “New Year’s” resolution: do more off road!

Ride Report – Saturday 23rd November

Iain, our rides secretary, went on this ride led by Phillip G and writes:

An overcast start to the morning meant that we would, at least, be riding without fear of drivers being blinded by the sun.  It also meant that our leader had much to do to keep us motivated. Seven of us were motivated enough to be there at the start but there had been mention of shortcuts.

We departed East Hunsbury fairly briskly on the usual route out through Blisworth to Roade and from there past the pub at Ashton where the Christmas meal is being held this year. There did seem to be a fair amount of mud on the junctions round here, not that it caused us any problems, but it is that time of year so take a bit of care if you’re out that way.

We made it over the rail line to Long Street in good time and nobody opted for the shortcut, so Phillip’s route must have been keeping our spirits up, besides which it wasn’t cold enough to cause problems – once you’re moving, that is. It was rather chilly whenever we stopped.

We looped south through Hanslope and back up again to Stoke Goldington, passing Olney signs on the way, before escaping from the Milton Keynes district to cut across the middle of Salcey Forest and head to the café for coffee. The café was doing good trade for a winter’s morning and there were even a couple of non-cyclists in there, though they were hugely outnumbered.

Between Salcey and Quinton, we passed the construction entrance for the M1 Windfarm that’s currently under development and which will boast nine smaller-than-planned turbines by the time it’s finished. At Quinton the group split. Riders from the east side of town opted to avoid the west turn to Courteenhall, as did Rowan who, with a dangling front light, was opting for the shortest route home, leaving a much reduced group to brave the A508 between two lovely stretches of country lane. That road doesn’t get any better, which is a shame because the lanes to and from it are lovely and very quiet.

The stretch back through Blisworth to East Hunsbury brought us up to the 29 mile mark, according to my route planner, rounding off a very pleasant, briskish, winter’s morning ride.

Thanks to Phillip for organising the route.

Morning ride – Saturday 23rd November

Philip G will be leading this ride and writes:

Join CTC Northampton for a brisk(ish) ride to Salcey Forest this Saturday, 23 November 2013.
The route will take us south-east through Roade and Hanslope to Gayhurst, then back north-west through Stoke Goldington to Salcey. There is the option for a teastop at Salcey Café, after which we return to the start via the pretty Courteenhall Road. The aim is to ride with as few stops as possible, at a good but sensible pace for the time of year (12-14 mph). Terrain is reasonably flat apart from Hunsbury Hill and Roade to Hanslope. Road bikes are ideal.
The full distance will be 27 miles – with various optional shortcuts available.
The weather forecast is cool (2 to 5 degrees C) but dry with a light northerly wind, and potentially some sunshine.
Ride starts from East Hunsbury (Overslade Close, near Hunsbury Library) at 9.30 am.
Hope to see you there!