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.

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Sunday 04th September – Ride to Market Harborough

Apparently summer ends when August ends (let us hope the weather disagrees) so we return to an 09:30 start for this weekend’s ride out to Market Harborough.

The route is just over 50 miles in total and does feature a couple of hills, although we shouldn’t be climbing as much as on the last two rides, and we have two stops for recovery (Kelmarsh and Waterloo Farm).

If you plan on riding skinny tyres, make sure they’ve got plenty of air in them. Some of the tarmac is a little broken and some of the route* is best described as “pavé”. Don’t worry, we won’t be hurrying over this bit and your tyres will be fine so long as they’re properly inflated. MTB tyres will not be required.

The planned route is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16229338 although, as ever, the Leader reserves the right to amend it on the day if (s)he sees fit. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

At time of writing, the weather is forecast to be dry with not too much wind and temperatures in the high teens (60s in old temperature). Almost perfect conditions!

Hope to see you outside Moulton Co-op, 9.30 am on Sunday.

* northern-most section of the Brampton Valley Way, which is cobbles sprinkled with a little light gravel. No big rocks, no mud, no need for fat tyres.

 

Ride Report – Sunday 17th January

Philip G led this ride and writes:

For some reason, turnout was low today … just two of us.

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At the start of the ride!

We kept to salted roads and enjoyed the strangely unfamiliar snowy landscape.

We had an interesting historical glance around Haselbech churchyard and a welcome coffee (and toasted cheese scones) at Kelmarsh.

In view of the cold and the time, we decided to leave the Welland Valley for another day.

Hardest part, ironically, the was slushy / sludgy Brampton Valley Way (BVW) on way back and so we rejoined the road at Brixworth.

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Leaving the BVW

We didn’t do the full intended route but nonetheless a grand day out with some added challenge.

I’ll try to run the full ride and reveal the secret of Haselbech churchyard, another time.

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Indeed!

Ride Report – Sunday 20th May

Ian Macsporran went on this ride, led by Iain Dawson, and writes:

Five members assembled outside Moulton Co-op at 9.30 a.m. – Iain D (our leader for the day), Brian, Dave, Mike and Ian M – for a loop to the north, around Market Harborough.  Elevenses were planned for the Waterloo Café at Great Oxendon and lunch for the World Peace Café at the Buddhist Centre in Kelmarsh.  It was also agreed that we’d use roads, rather than the Brampton Valley Way, to get to the first café. We started promptly.

 

The route can be found here.  (Speed and ascent details are missing but Brian gives the total ascent as 2,700’.) It was a splendid route, taking us into parts of south Leicestershire we don’t often visit and such delights as a very smoothly surfaced descent from Harrington to Newbottle Bridge and a memorable lane north out of Market Harborough over the A6.

 

We were in good spirits at the Waterloo Café and a bacon sandwich was consumed prior to the expected vegan cuisine of the Buddhists’ café.  Market Harborough and Great Bowden were quiet.  The lane from Great Bowden to Welham is accessible really for non-motorised travellers only and was full of cycles, horses, dogs and ponies.  The descent on the B6047 south of the Langtons was enjoyable then we were up into Foxton and Lubenham and Iain D’s favourite climb through East Farndon.  Quiet lanes took us to the Buddhist Centre at Kelmarsh where disaster almost struck – the café was closed because the Buddhists had all gone to a Spring Celebration.

 

A short detour took us to Kelmarsh Hall and its tea-room.  Added bonus – although it’s probably not official CTC policy to admire motor cars – was to find the Mercedes-Benz Club’s W123 Rally taking place with a host of classic Mercs parked on the drive in front of the Hall.

After lunch, it was a straightforward pedal back though Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth to cross the dam at Pitsford Water and return to Moulton.  Brian was a Good Samaritan outside Brixworth, helping a lady cyclist who was trying to get to Hinckley without a map!

 

It was a cool day.  Everyone arrived at the start with plenty of layers on – and none were shed during the entire ride!  We all agreed at the finish, however, that it had been an excellent day’s cycling and that big thanks were due to Iain D.

P.S. Tales of Bromptons, Manchester and Rain!

Further to my stories at the Waterloo Café of the Brompton World Championship Launch last month – riding my Brommie around the Manchester Velodrome, the rain in Manchester, and the Bromptonaut from Sunderland pedalling into the Bridgewater Canal – here is some further amusement/evidence:

The official Brompton Bicycles video of the event with good footage of the velodrome is here – it’s short (1’31”) and even if you don’t blink at 1’07” you’ll miss me.

The best video of the Bromptonaut in the canal is from my friend Mick Blackman here.

My own photos are here.

Ride to/around Market Harborough, Sunday 20th May

Iain Dawson leads this ride and writes:

This  ride combines two of our favourite teastops with some familiar (and some less-familiar roads) to the north of the town.
We’ll be heading out from Moulton up towards Arlingworth for a stop at Waterloo Farm before making a loop of Market Harborough to return via the Buddhist Centre’s café in Kelmarsh. Those of you requiring something more substantial at lunchtime might want to take advantage of the shops in Market Harborough to grab a sandwich, or bring your own (it is nearly summer after all!), as the food on offer at Kelmarsh reflects the Buddhist ethos of the centre and so is a bit light on beef, chicken, pork etc.
Depending on riders and weather, we may choose to avoid the Brampton Valley Way and ride up the main road in to and out of Waterloo Farm. If this raises any concerns, let me know at the start of the ride.
See you at Moulton Co-op on Sunday at 9.30 a.m.