Ride to Keysoe – Sunday 30th April

Tim, our webmaster, will be leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meet: Nene Whitewater Canoe Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN4 7AA. (If coming by car, don’t park within the car park barrier.  There is plenty of space on the approach road.)
Distance: 56 miles
Speed: 12-14 m.p.h.
Refreshments: Scald End Farm, Thurleigh (at approx 30 miles)

From the Canoe Centre we head out in a generally eastwards direction through the villages of Cogenhoe, Grendon, Bozeat, Odell, Sharnbrook and Riseley en route to our most easterly point at Keysoe.  From here we turn south and west to our stop for refreshment at Scald End Farm, located just outside Thurleigh.  Here you can feast on the breakfast “fit for a king” or maybe one of the several cakes on offer.  There is also the benefit of a cosy wood burning stove to warm oneself by.

Once replete, we continue south westwards through Milton Earnest, Harrold and Lavendon before heading north & west on our final homeward leg via Yardley Hastings, Castle Ashby (where a second tea stop is eminently possible) and Cogenhoe Hill before arriving back at the Canoe Centre.

The route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) at: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20043554

Any questions?  Please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

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Ride report – Saturday 16th July

Brian went on this ride led by Iain D and writes:

A select group of four riders left Moulton at 9.00 a.m. on an overcast but warm and humid morning for a full day’s ride.  Soon after Sywell we met rolling hills through Mears Ashby, Castle Ashby and on to Olney, on relatively quiet roads.   Here we stopped for coffee and sat outside in the café courtyard enjoying toasted tea cakes as the sun came out.  Showing just how small the world is Anne and Ken discovered that they had both grown up in the same area of Lancashire.  The hills of Northamptonshire apparently have nothing on those in the north west!!  This was to be well tested later in the ride.

From Olney we headed north-east to Turvey and on to Carlton where we did a loop to Odell, Sharnbrook and through the picturesque village of Bletsoe before we turned back though Milton Ernest and more quiet roads.  We returned to the Emmaus Centre at Carlton for lunch at 1.00 p.m.  The weather was now warming up with blue skies and highs of 23C.  We were ready for a break.

After a very convivial lunch we headed up to Poddington and Wollaston before dropping into the Nene valley at Great Doddington.  From here it was all uphill via Wilby to Sywell which was the highest point on the ride, not that it was an obvious summit finish.

We arrived in Moulton at 3.45 p.m. after a pleasant day in the saddle.  Ideal cycling weather, summer at last!  Thanks to Iain for devising and leading the ride.

Ride Report – Sunday 7th February

Milton went on this ride led by Brian and writes:

On a fairly cold and windy but clear skied morning only three of us were at the Canoe Centre for the start.  As it was one of the few dry starts of the past couple of months, it was surprising to see so few people.  Perhaps we’ve got out of the habit in recent wet and windy times.

We set off to Cogenhoe and on to Grendon where we found Geoff waiting to join us – and on his “fixie” too, which he rode all day as if it had a multiplicity of gears!  On to Wollaston to Poddington and to Melchbourne and Souldrop before stopping for our only break at the Garden Centre in Milton Ernest.  The world’s most expensive cakes surprised us, but the newly re-furbished room was warm and welcoming and not too busy, so we forgave them the £3.00 bits of cake and ordered meat and potato pies instead.

We returned via Harrold, Bozeat and Castle Ashby and were back by 2.30 p.m. as promised.

Largely blown to Milton Ernest, we fought a stiff breeze for most of the way home, and, with 55 miles on my computer, we were pretty knackered.

The rain stayed largely where it should, in the clouds, and I think we had a cracking day of it.  Lots of quiet country roads with little traffic meant it had been, unsurprisingly, well planned, and was well led, and our thanks, as ever, to Brian.

Ride Report – Easter Monday

Iain D, our Chairman, went on this ride led by Brian, our Rides Secretary, and writes:

Eight of us gathered on a spectacularly warm – for early April – Monday morning at the Canoe Centre on Bedford Road, including two faces I’d not seen before and the ever-welcome Ken.

Brian led us out through Cogenhoe, Wollaston and Poddington where we encountered the first problem of the day: the Brompton – my ride for the day – didn’t want to make the turn at the bottom of Poddington’s hill. It was eventually persuaded round but the front tyre was looking rather empty. I think the two are linked.

Which leads me on to the second problem of the day, and a lesson for all of us: bring your tyre levers AND the right pump for the inner tube. Honestly, who puts a Presta valve on a 16″ tube ? Won’t be buying those again … . Anyway, thanks to Milton, we got rolling again fairly quickly and on to something I’m not used to – being passed by a bin wagon. A little reminder that we were out on a weekday, for a change.

The day’s route spent a few miles running against the grain on previous years’ Guy Barber route before cutting down to Sharnbrook and following the same in the more familiar direction, and since the café in Sharnbrook was closed, we looped over the A6 again and back to Milton Ernest for lunch at their fine garden centre.

Leaving Milton Ernest, we hit snag no. 3: Network Rail’s ongoing plan to raise bridges on the Midland Main Line. Rather annoyingly, the road closure signs promised 26 weeks of closure starting 03rd October last year. We’re now into week 27 and they’re a long way from done yet. I’m told the current estimate is completion by 31st May. Fortunately, there’s a well-trodden path across an adjacent OSR field that leads out to another road. Phew.

Carlton – Harrold – Bozeat – Castle Ashby and you know the rest. All completed without further mishap and not a single drop of rain.

Many thanks to Brian for a pleasant day’s outing and I promise to be better equipped next time out.

Ride Report – Sunday 3rd March

Iain Dawson went on this ride and writes:

Six of us gathered in the bright but chilly forecourt of the Canoe Centre – three of us equipped in usual day-ride trim, two on fixed gears and one poor soul who’d decided to see how his bike rode with a week’s worth of touring gear strapped to it!

Brian led us off into the sunshine and down the A45 cycle-path before dispatching the climbs into Cogenhoe and Grendon in a brisk-ish fashion before we hauled ourselves through Wollaston and into Podington to find Eleanor basking in the sun while waiting for us to turn up.

After a quick comfort/shopping stop at the garden centre, we rolled eastwards and out onto the A6 (the road itself, because some berk had parked his car right on the cycle path) then past the motte-and-bailey at Yelden and up to the old airfield at Bedford, familiar to those who’ve ridden the Guy Barber ride.

Lunch was at a very good garden centre café in Milton Ernest. Not only had they reserved us a table but they’d had to because the place was so busy. I guess it must be spring or something. Anyway, highly recommended for future stops.

The return leg was just as pleasant with a steady roll through Felpersham, sorry Felmersham, and Bozeat before hitting the lovely swooping lanes behind Castle Ashby. Discretion being the better part of valour, Brian elected to give Whiston Hill a miss and so we took the easy way round to Cogenhoe (with its unmissable hill), the group starting to split as various riders turned for home on the way. The small rise to Little Houghton and a brief sprint along the A428 brought the ride (well just me actually, the others all having split off by now) back to the Canoe Centre just before a quarter past three, with the sun still shining and the forecourt considerably warmer than it had been when we left.

Thanks to Brian for a pleasant day’s ride, and for searching out a new lunch stop for us.

See you next time!

Rides Programme – January to March

Compiled by Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, here is our programme of rides for January, February and March:

Day/Date Time Miles Rating Type Start Route/Destination Stop(s) (if known) Leader/ Organiser
Sun Jan 20 9:30 45 B Club CC Nene and Ouse – From one to the other and back Olney Iain Dawson 07909 992468
Sat Jan 26 13:30 17 D Leisure BVW Guilsborough   Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073
Sat Feb 2 9:30 35 B Club BVW Brisk morning ride via Dodford, Newnham, Litchborough and Kislingbury   Phil Letts 07512 425957
Wed Feb 6 19:30 Rides Planning Meeting FOLLOWED BY Committee Meeting Iain Dawson 07909 992468
Sun Feb 10 9:30 20 D Leisure EH Towcester Cycle-Jumble
Towcester Bill Simpson 07736 600858
Sun Feb 17 9:30 50 D Club BVW Into Leicestershire – just! Saddington (pub) Ian Macsporran 01604 843894
Sat Feb 23 14:00 20 D Leisure MCP Ecton and Earls Barton Beckworth Emporium Iain Dawson 07909 992468
Wed Feb 27 19:30 Social Open to all Park Ave. Methodist Church Illustrated Talks featuring Classic Tour de France Passes, the Giant’s Causeway Sportive and Hamburg to Dresden on the Elbe Cycle Path.Suggested Donation: £3 Iain Dawson 07909 992468
Sun Mar 3 9:30 53 B Club CC Melchbourne Milton Ernest, Wymington Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073
Sat Mar 9 9:30 35 C Club EH Canons Ashby NT Canons Ashby Philip Gray 01604 720522
Sun Mar 17 9:30 50 D Club SIX Farthingstone Farthingstone GC Iain Dawson 07909 992468
Sat Mar 23 14:00 18 D Leisure CC Gayton Gayton Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073
Wed Apr 17 – Tue Apr 23 CTC Northampton visits ADFC Aachen (Germany) – please email if interested. Iain Dawson 07909 992468
We aim to run every ride as advertised above.  Any changes or, exceptionally, cancellations will be advertised on our Yahoo e-mail group, our website and our other social media.  Check for messages or contact the leader a day or two before the ride for any updates!

For insurance purposes, these rides are for CTC members but we welcome non-members on a trial basis for up to three rides.  Special events are open to all.

KEY

RATING
A = Advanced (typically over 60 miles, 14+ mph average riding speed)
B = Challenging (typically 45-60 miles, 12 mph average riding speed, or shorter-and-faster)
C = Moderate (typically 35-45 miles)
D = Leisurely (typically 10-30 miles)
E = Easy/beginners (typically 10-20 miles)

TYPE
Club = steady ride
Tourist = includes historical or other visit
Leisure = short distance, easy pace
NMK = ride run by CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes
National = CTC or other national event
Evening = Evening ride to a social meet
Social = Social meet without a planned ride

START
BVW – Brampton Valley Way, Welford Crossing NN6 8AA
EH – Hunsbury Hill library, Overslade Close, East Hunsbury NN4 0RZ
MCP – Moulton Co-op NN3 7TB
CC – Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road NN4 7AA
Maps are available for start locations here.
We aim to cater for a wide range of rider abilities. On C, D & E rides we will wait for the last rider. On A & B rides, riders are expected to meet the average speeds indicated or be able to make their own way home.

For contact on the ride (e.g. if you miss a turn or have a problem at the back of the group), or need to contact the group at the start of the ride, the following are regular riders’ mobile phone numbers:
Secretary – Brian Tunbridge 01604 622073
Rides Secretary – Iain Dawson 0790 999 2468

Mobile phones must not be relied upon but are there as a secondary means of communication on the ride in the event of a problem.

Riders must be prepared for foreseeable problems such as punctures.

Please contact the rides secretary if you would like to attend the Rides Planning Meeting. You are also welcome to forward any suggestions prior to the meeting.