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
Many thanks to Alex for planning and leading a very pleasant ride through quiet picturesque Northamptonshire lanes. A route definitely to be recommended.
We start at the Brampton Valley Way – BVW or National Cycle Route 6 (Welford Road Crossing, near The Windhover) at 9.30 a.m. Distance = 36 miles. Pace = brisk (say, 14 m.p.h average). Finish at The J Gallery Café, Moulton. Alex will be leading and he has worked out a route with 2,536 ft of ascent! His contact number is 07710 911158. He looks forward to seeing you.
Alex notes that at the moment the BVW is signposted “closed” for 12 weeks between Mill Lane and the Welford Road Crossing but he has been using it OK from the “horse field” at Kingsthorpe.
After the ride, you could pedal on to Karen’s Coffee Day at 33 Grange Road, Stanwick, NN9 6PZ. CTC member Karen rode from London to Paris in aid of “Against Breast Cancer” in June this year; in June next year she’s tackling the Three Cities Ride (London to Brussels to Amsterdam). On Saturday she’s holding a Coffee Day (10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. – not just a Coffee Morning!) as part of her fund-raising for “Prostate Cancer UK”. There’ll be cakes and other refreshments – and a tom bola / raffle. Karen would love it if you could call in and support her!