Extra rides this Saturday and Sunday – 10th & 11th March

On our programme this weekend is a two-day ride to the National Forest Youth Hostel at Moira.  Bill Simpson, who leads this ride, says that people who want to join in for just part of the route on Saturday and/or Sunday are very welcome.  He writes:

Should anyone wish to ride this Saturday, the group will leave Sixfields (the Cobblers Stadium as per Phil Letts recent charity ride) at 9.30 a.m.  You may like to consider riding to Cathorpe, our first stop en route to our youth hostel at Moira in Derbyshire.  You would then return from Cathorpe to Northamton at your leisure.

You may also consider riding on Sunday to Cathorpe when we return to the café sometime around 2.00 p.m. (as a rough guestimate). We can then join forces and return to Northampton.

None of these rides intends to be quick.

P.S. The Cathorpe rendezvous is The Manor Farm Shop & Tearoom, LE17 6DB.

Report – A leisurely ride to Flore – Saturday 25th February

Iain Dawson led this ride and writes:

With the unseasonably clement weather we’ve been having, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see a couple of new faces at Hunsbury Hill but I wasn’t expecting five non-regulars to turn up, four of whom have never ridden with us before!

We left Hunsbury Hill more or less on time and the group split on the climb up to Milton Malsor with one of our newcomers deciding that country jaunts weren’t her thing yet. As she lived not far from our start and was used to cycling round town she elected to return before she was committed, as it were. Disappointing, but she did make the effort.

Further on, we discovered the reason for another of our group’s lack of pace – the bike was stuck in granny ring. Some swift maintenance courtesy of Mike Hart (and some air in the back tyre) and pace became less of an issue.

Chris Willey left us at Bugbrooke to go off and cook dinner.

And then there were eight, although, sadly, we said goodbye to another of our group in Nether Heyford, this new rider claiming to have overestimated their abilities and wanting to ease their way back home (not far) at their own pace.  As you can imagine, spirits were not high at this point but both riders who left the group did so after consultation with some of the more experienced riders, and with the offer of an escort and assistance if they hit any problems. Thanks, guys!

The remaining seven made it on to Flore with no problems although, after Bill was discussing p*nct*re repairs over coffee, the inevitable happened on the return leg – Mike had to keep stopping to reinflate his tyre. The return route was adjusted to keep it as flat as possible for our newcomers so we ended-up passing the Cobblers’ stadium just after chucking-out time. We had to navigate our way round cars being driven up the wrong side of the road to get out the car park(!) but that just added more interest to the ride. We finally made it back to Hunsbury Hill just after 5.30 pm (I had promised we’d be back 5.30 latest) but those of us who made it seemed to enjoy it.

I did check with the two newcomers who’d left early – both got home safely and both were glad they’d tried the experience so not a total loss. Ahem. And I’m hopeful that we’ll see one, maybe two, of these riders again.

I am grateful to the regulars who made it out to Hunsbury Hill to swell the ranks and provide assistance and guidance: Chris, Mike, David and Bill all of whom did a sterling job keeping spirits up and ensuring the group felt happy and comfortable (although the sight of a girl on a mountain bike trying to keep up with Bill on a dual carriageway will live with me for a long, long time).

Footnote from your blogger:

I’m one of the few Cobblers season-ticket holders who travels to matches on a bike (a folding Brompton).  No jokes, please, about there being plenty of room in the stands for folding bikes because attendances are so low.

So it was “Chucking out time” – and you didn’t pause to commiserate with me?  Cobblers had just lost 1 – 2 to Port Vale.
Footnote

Always A Chance Ride – national publicity

There’s been some media coverage for the opening leg of the Always A Chance 92-Club-Relay ride which look place nine days ago from Sixfields Stadium (Northampton Town FC) to the Ricoh Arena (Coventry City FC).

Phil Letts points to an article in The Sun which mentions that,

“Many people have rallied round and taken part in activities, from baking cup cakes to skydiving, to raise money for the cause. The Duston School in Northampton, where Peter (Peter Kouzaris, father of James) teaches history, has raised more than £5,000 and a team recently started a 12-week relay event, which kicked off last week at Northampton Town football ground.

The 92 Club Relay event will see friends, family, organisations and charities run, cycle or rollerblade in a relay to all 92 football league grounds across the county. Peter hopes to run the penultimate leg from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground, as both he and James were avid United fans.

The event will finish just after the first anniversary of the boys’ death at the end of April, back at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.

Peter explained: ‘James would have been running or cycling every leg just like his friends will be doing. He was full of energy and life. We even engraved ‘loved life’ on a bench dedicated to him at Pitsford Reservoir, close to where we live.'”