Report: Annual Guy Barber Memorial Ride, Sunday 23 July, in aid of Headway Northampton

Our Secretary Brian did much of the organising of this year’s Guy Barber Ride and he reports:

Now in its 12th year this challenging ride attracted eighteen riders from the CTC groups in Northampton, Milton Keynes and Kettering.  This was the first year of a route to Oxford with two start options of Northampton and Buckingham giving three rides of 94, 66 or 55 miles, all meeting up at Oxford for lunch.

Despite the early morning drizzle ten riders left East Hunsbury at 8.30 a.m. for the first leg to Buckingham of the 94-mile ride.  This took us on mainly quiet roads through Blisworth, Pury End and Leckhampstead.  The drizzle stopped, and the sun emerged from the cloudy skies, as the group made Buckingham at 9.45am. Perfect timing to meet the eight MK riders who had cycled out from Stony Stratford and beyond.

The Northampton group set off for the first café stop seven miles away in Twyford whilst the remaining group signed in and left a little later.  An early puncture close to the start split the second group and this was further split when the Community Café at Twyford had unexpectedly closed that morning.  The shop was open but, after a brief stop for snacks, the first group motored on to Oxford leaving a second group to pick up the punctured riders.

As we meandered through the small villages of Marsh Gibbon, Piddington, Boarstal and Stanton St John, there was little traffic on the roads.  The sun came out and we had ideal cycling weather.

Oxford “arrived” when we met the ring road, a dual-carriageway roundabout with a couple of underpasses.  Then we were through Headingley on a separate cycle path at and then onto marked tracks alongside the main road.   After a steep hill down into the centre of Oxford. it was only a short distance to Café Couscous for lunch.  Just to add to the “best laid plans” the last stretch of road before the café was closed for road works.  So much for the recent reconnoitre!

The first group arrived at noon and had just finished lunch as the second group arrived at 1.00 p.m.  This was good timing for the café.  The forecasted midday rain did not materialise and we enjoyed sun and blue skies at the café.

One rider's lunch at Café Couscous - vegetarian tagine!

One rider’s lunch at Café Couscous: vegetarian tagine!

The first group took the route back to Northampton via Islip, Kirtlington, the Heyfords and on to Aynho where Ian peeled off to Buckingham and a stop at Stowe Park for tea (the only rider to complete the 66m route) whilst the rest rode on to Farthinghoe for the last café stop.  Only twenty-two miles now, on familiar quiet roads, back to Northampton via Helmdon, Wappenham and Greens Norton. This group arrived in Northampton at around 5.00 p.m.

The second group finished a very good lunch by 2.00 p.m. and split for the return journey.  The MK riders returned via Beckley, Brill (hill !), Ludgershall and onto Buckingham, stopping at the Green Dragon Eco Centre near East Claydon for tea and possibly even cakes!

This left 4 riders to return via Islip and a detour via Brackley for tea and cookies, sitting in the late afternoon sun outside a café before returning to the original route to Northampton arriving at 6.15 p.m.

A donation of £85 has been sent to http://www.headwaynorthampton.org.uk/

Who was Guy Barber ? Please see our web site http://www.ctc-northampton.org.uk/history.html

Thanks to all who supported this event.

Advertisements

Ride the Route of Stage 3 of the 2015 Women’s Tour of Britain – Sunday 7th June

Ride the Route of Stage 3 of the Women’s Tour of Britain with CTC Northampton on Sunday 7th June – starting at Oundle Market Square at 9.15 a.m.

The race route, which runs to the north of the County, is through some of the best countryside in Northamptonshire.  It is over mainly quiet and attractive country roads.  Our ride will be a slightly abridged version of the route.

This is a CTC Northampton club ride open to non-members and registered as a 2015 Bike Week event – http://bikeweek.org.uk/event/ride-stage-3-of-womens-tour/.  Entry is free.

The ride starts at Oundle and ends at Kettering.  The main ride will be 105 km (66miles), with optional self led variants of 115 km (72 miles) and 74 km (46 miles) towards the later parts of the route.  The main group will expect to average 20 kph (13mph).  There will be two stops along the way, at East Carlton Country Park (Coach House Café) and Kelmarsh (World Peace Café).  For further details or to register for the ride please contact secretary@ctc-northampton.org.uk.

Limited transport will be available at the end, from Kettering to Oundle, on a first come basis.  Kettering to Oundle is 25 km (16miles).

Some CTC members are planning to pedal back to Northampton either from Kelmarsh (after lunch) or from Brixworth (the nearest point on the route to Northampton) rather than continue to Kettering – and so, if you wanted to do this, you would have company.

Car parking in Oundle is free. The car park is next to the Joan Strong Centre, PE8 4BY.

Directions to car park:
From the A605 (avoiding the first turn at Barnwell which may have road works) take the A427 signed Oundle.  Pass Gorilla Cycles on left.  Take next left into East Road.  Pass Waitrose, go across next roundabout and continue on East Road.  Take next left just before another roundabout to the Joan Strong Centre (the Scout Hut on the left). The public car park is beyond the Centre on the left.  Beware height barrier if cycles on the roof.

Route from car park to Market Place:
Leave car park and return to East Road.  Turn left to roundabout and then right along East Rd.  At T-junction, turn right into St. Osyth’s Lane which leads to Market Place.  The Coffee Tavern café at 34 Market Place opens at 9 a.m.

The start of our 2014 Ride the Route event

The start of our 2014 Ride the Route event …

... and the finish

… and the finish

If you have space on a car to transport a rider and bike, or if you would like a lift to Oundle, please contact secretary@ctc-northampton.org.uk.  Contact details of riders wanting transport will be passed onto potential drivers offering lifts, with the onus on the driver offering the lift to make the first contact.

Our route for 7th June can be found on RideWithGPS.  A gpx file can be downloaded from this site by clicking on the “Export” tab at the top right).

If you wish to discus the event please ring Brian Tunbridge (CTC Northampton Rides Secretary) on 01604 622073.

We look forward to seeing you!