Army Cyclist Corps

A Great War Cyclist is buried in Kingsthorpe cemetery

Army Cyclist Corps.

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Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path (part 3)

Blog posts back in January and February this year were pretty positive about the upgrading work that is being done done to the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) between the A5099 crossing (near “The Windhover”) and Mill Lane.  See Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path and Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path Part 2

Now this is also National Cycle Network Route 6 and so an important cycle path – and one local CTC member, Peter, reports on his dissatisfaction with the upgrading nine months on.

Last week I chanced my luck and tried out the Route 6 through to Kings Heath from Kingsthorpe, going under the railway and along side the Nene. This section had been finished for some time, but access had been inhibited by the work that continued on the Kings Heath side of the bridge. Thanks to Phil’s info – we now know it’s open !!
We’d had quite a bit of rain, but not a “flood”. The river had subsided into its bed and the tunnel under the railway was mostly clear of running water.  I am not all together enamoured with the final result. Perhaps I’m niggling, or perhaps I’m not alone in my criticisms.
The lower section has a layer of mud and stones left by the flood river, which does not wash out with the flow of water. The upper “dry” section of path leads onto a quagmire before reaching the new tarmac path up to the green (?) lane.
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The slope of the land and bank must drain directly in to the river at this same point, but no account of this seems to have made in this “improvement”.
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To my mind there hasn’t been a great deal of joined-up thinking put into what must have been an expensive project. Surely a few minor and inexpensive amendments might be made which could make all the difference to a good job done and an inferior bodge.
I’m not only a grumpy old man, I like my cycling and would like to see my taxes spent wisely!

Ride Report – Saturday 12th October

David went on this afternoon leisure ride and writes:

Iain and Milton were at the start point where the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) crosses the A5099 when I arrived, followed shortly by John C suffering the effects of a bad cold, that he was sure would be the death of him.

We followed Iain along the newly tarmacked section of the BVW towards Mill Lane going under the recently completed railway underpass that has been designed to allow passage by bicycle or walker even when the river overflows with a raised section just wide enough to get through and under.

NCN Route 6 as it goes under the Northampton-Long Buckby railway line

The Brampton Valley Way (NCN Route 6) as it goes under the Northampton-Long Buckby railway line

While heading up towards the Cock Hotel Brian joined us as we began the urban cycle ways of Kingsthorpe, passed the University Campus and through Moulton to Pitsford Reservoir.

Urban cycling in Kingsthorpe

Urban cycling in Kingsthorpe

The ride round Pitsford Reservoir on the gravel track provided a pleasant view of the sailing boats as the terrain gradually changed to woods and tarmac again crossing the dam to the Willow Café for refreshments.

Around Pitsford Reservoir

Around Pitsford Reservoir

After a brief look at what the cycle shop had on show, we took the rough track trail connection back from Brixworth to our BVW start passing Brampton Halt and the trains along the way. A lot of varied and interesting sections from Iain’s led route.

Merry Tom Lane connects Brixworth to the Brampton Valley Way

Merry Tom Lane connects Brixworth to the Brampton Valley Way

Our shortest ever ride?

On Sunday 17th March, despite leaving home with the sleet falling we were convinced that the weather forecast  “4°C with rain later” would be correct. Four of us met up at the new start point at Sixfields – Iain (the ride leader and in high spirits as he’d ridden the newly-surfaced Brampton Valley Way and through the flooded underpass at Kingsthorpe, although he noted that the track to Mill Lane from the BVW is as rough as ever), Brian, Ian and Phil J. We were of one mind.  Plan 1: 25 miles to Farthingstone and 25 miles back.

At 9.30 a.m. – our start time –  the sleet turned to light snow flakes so we amended our plan. Plan 2: ride to Flore and make a decision over elevenses. The day was bound to warm up and, besides, the snow wasn’t sticking.

Riding through Upton the snow flakes got larger and by the time we reached Duston the snow was heavy and lying.  The slush was deep.

IMGP5793 Phil and Brian on the cobbles of Upton

At this stage we adopted Plan 3: head to Sainsbury’s for coffee and a reassessment of the day.  We watched the snow continue to fall. It was over an inch deep in the supermarket car park.

With the snow / slush that substantial we adopted Plan 4: head for home! Iain and Ian walked to Kingsthorpe, Phil was picked up by car, and Brian walked into town. By the time Brian reached Billing Road the roads were wet rather than icy and he managed to cycle on after that, getting home by mid-day.  Likewise, for Iain and Ian, by the time they reached Kingsthorpe and were able to cycle home in wet / slushy roads rather than ice and snow.

IMGP5794It wasn’t like this when we started

IMGP5795The view from Mill Lane looking towards Kingsthorpe Church

The weather forecast was certainly a long way out but it was a good day to  test out the rain-wear. Iain will probably confirm that shorts and bare legs are the most breathable after centuries of development.

IMGP5796Iain demonstrates that bare legs are the answer to snow

Of course, by the time each of us arrived home, the sun was about to breakout!

Thanks Iain for a short and memorable ride.  Short?  As a group, we managed just under 1½ miles!  Route here!