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.
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.
Brisk & Moderate Rides to Welford
Eleven riders – a good number for a December morning – gathered at the Brampton Valley Way meeting point for a morning organised by James. We welcomed new rider, Phil W; and welcomed back John for his first CTC ride since his accident. Drizzle in the air was not going to dampen our spirits.
A late change of plan and routes – our original café stop at Kelmarsh being unavailable because of a Buddhist holiday – meant that we were to head for a café new to nearly all of us: Mini-Meadows Farm Café just outside Welford on the Naseby road. Five riders opted for James’s brisk ride; six for the moderate route plotted by Brian and led by Ian M. James must have taken to heart Mother Theresa’s dictum that “Brisk means Brisk” and by Church Brampton the brisk group was down to four and the moderate group up to seven.
The moderates pedalled through East Haddon, Coton, Guilsborough and Welford to reach the café after seventeen miles at 11.05 a.m. finding the brisks already ensconced – having been through Holdenby, Spratton, Brixworth and Naseby after eighteen lumpier miles in an hour-and-a-quarter! The drizzle hadn’t turned to anything worse but those who had no mudguards had nice stripes-of-honour up their backs.
The café served good coffee and cakes (the Xmas Tiffin was much consumed); conversation was lengthy; and both groups set off again at 11.45 a.m. The moderates pedalled through Naseby (welcoming the easier approach from the north-west), Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Teeton and Holdenby to return to the BVW after 15 miles by 1.15 p.m. The brisks headed on to Sibbertoft, back to Naseby, and then through Kelmarsh, Harrington, Old, Scaldwell, Brixworth, and Holcot before splitting on the edge of Northampton after 28 miles just after 1.30 p.m.
So twenty-nine miles for the moderates, forty-eight miles for the brisks and a splendid morning enjoyed by all.
Thanks to James for the morning plan and to Brian for reminding us of the recommendation for the café from Peter W and the CTC Leicestershire group.
Two rides – one brisk, one moderate – starting at the same place & time, meeting for elevenses and finishing at the same place & time.
Start 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road Crossing (NN6 8AA – near The Windhover). There is parking in the BVW car park further up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 38 miles (brisk) or 32 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: World Peace Café, Kelmarsh
Return by 1.00 p.m.
James has organised the rides and will be leading the brisk one. He writes:
Saturday’s brisk ride sees us flying through some familiar, albeit occasionally challenging, territory towards the World Peace Café at Kelmarsh Buddhist Centre, where our efforts will be rewarded with fine coffee, good karma and cake. From our starting point we’ll head out in the direction of Holdenby before diverting towards Teeton and then crossing the Welford Road at Spratton.
As the more spiritually-minded among us already know, the Buddha made “Life is Suffering” his First Noble Truth, and it’s a statement we’ll all have plenty of time to reflect on as we leave Spratton and confront the arduous climb into Brixworth. From there it’s full steam ahead through to Kelmarsh via Haselbech (another testing one, I’m afraid), Naseby and Clipston. The return journey is less demanding – discounting the uphill bit at Harrington – heading back, as it does, through Lamport, Scaldwell and Holcot. The last stage diverts out through Pitsford towards Chapel Brampton before we finally reach our nirvana, a.k.a the Brampton Valley Way car park.
The tempo will be brutal (!) but, fear not, Sir Ian Macsporran will be leading out a moderately paced group for anyone wishing to take things more gently. The weather promises to be a lot milder than it has been over the past few days and rain isn’t forecast until the afternoon, by which time we’ll all be home and dry – so, no excuses…
More information from James on 07841 933046 or Ian on 07960 302095.
A ride not to be missed.
Phil J went on this ride led by Ian M and writes:
Seven riders assembled at Brampton Valley Way on a crisp sunny morning for Ian’s ride north to Kilworth. Milton showed off his new Titanium tourer in stunning silver before we left. Once we departed, the Brampton climb gave the group a heart thumping start to the morning before we settled into an easy pace. With time on our side before the first café was due to open, we ambled along without any great urgency and everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere.
The first few miles towards Teeton really undulated. One quick downhill followed by the uphill equivalent almost immediately keeping the ride interesting but the group together. Horses at the Teeton junction gave the group an impromptu stop before moving on through the village. Milton tested the tourer on the downhills and it tested him on the uphills.
Creaton passed in a moment and it wasn’t long before we were meandering through the glorious Cottesbrooke estate anticipating the big climb at the end but Ian cleverly avoided that with a left turn through easier terrain.
Naseby beckoned and with a quick u-turn along the way the seven were back on track as we headed passed the majestic All Saints Church in all its splendour in the morning sun. Skirting the Cottesbrooke estate again gave us a bit of respite along flat roads that allowed the group to up the pace towards the first cafe stop at the World Peace Café at the Buddhist Centre. Right on cue we arrived for elevenses in the tranquil setting with the sun shining perfectly. Over tea and cake riders revealed how many bikes they owned. Some going into double figures!
Leaving Kelmarsh there were six, with Milton going his own way home. The rest of us doubled back and headed up the long haul to Sibbertoft and onto the Welford Road allowing the group to open up a bit on the open roads. The gliding school alongside giving a lovely backdrop against the sunny skies. Now Nick left us. A perfect day for gliding and cycling for that matter!
At the next junction a plane flew low overhead towing a glider on a line on its way to the release altitude. Perfect timing.
A country lane or two later we approached the urban road of North Kilworth before entering the more picturesque location of South Kilworth soon after and made our way swiftly through. After Swinford we entered the impressive grounds of Stanford Hall. Roads that were made just for cycling through. Just walkers and us. Villages with names like Stanford-on-Avon and Clay Coton summed up the wonderful location we were riding in. Purely Idyllic.
Wind turbines seemed visible from all angles in the distance and all moving steadily in the breeze.
The Red Lion at Crick was our next port of call and we were accommodated quickly by the friendly staff. John Cuttler had ridden in and joined us for lunch too. Roast dinners consumed and pints put away we were soon on our way again for the last leg of the ride.
Leaving Crick we headed for Watford – as in Gap not Watford Herts. But not before long we were climbing into Long Buckby and out the other side. A road closure some way along didn’t divert our ride and we breezed through it enjoying closed roads for a while. Brington church then came into view and the mood changed with thoughts of the climb in mind. Probably the hardest climb of the day was left to the end but everyone climbed admirably. The long stretch at Church Brampton was the only rise left to do before turning back the way we had come and the finish at the Windhover.
A great days riding in perfect weather.
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.