“Boundary Rides” – Two morning rides circling Northampton – Saturday 11th March

Phil L has organised these two rides and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW)/A5199 crossing near The Windhover, NN6 8AA.  There is a BVW car park just up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 40 miles (brisk), 35 miles (moderate).
Refreshments: Salcey Forest Café

This circuit of Northampton skirts/circles the Borough boundary keeping the Express Lift Tower as our “hub” all morning – taking in Boughton, Moulton, Overstone, the Houghtons and Salcey Forest for an early brunch.  Then we complete the circuit through Quinton, Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe, Kislingbury and return to BVW.

Brisk ride led by Phil L; moderate ride led by Brian.

Questions?  Phil is on 07867 388592.

Ride review – Sunday 19th February

Phil J led this ride and writes:

Seven riders gathered at the start for this undulating ride to Naseby including new rider Peter B on his first group ride.

The first descent out of the blocks had a surprising headwind which seemed to be present on a few more of our subsequent drops.  Once through the eco village of Upton, St Crispin’s provided the first unlikely climb of the day as we settled into the ride.

We levelled off towards Harlestone before we all got into the small chainring and the slow grind up Church Brampton.

Sedgebrook Hall passed by during another long haul which split the group a bit and took us up to the Market Harborough road and the route to Pitsford.  A rapid descent on the busy road was then quickly followed by another testing rise to the entrance of Pitsford Water.

Through Brixworth the group went, when Phil L and I suddenly found ourselves on our own.  We’d turned left in full view of the rest of the group but they continued over. Head scratching ensued before the group appeared from another direction much to our relief and amusement.

The fast downhill on the Spratton road came next with Milton suggesting this could be one of the fastest downhills in the area.  We all took full advantage of the opportunity and headed for Spratton.  The bridge closure wasn’t on our route and we climbed uninterrupted through the village before regrouping at the top for a well earned breather and refuelling.

Over the Welford Road another opportunity to test the descending skills.  We dropped swiftly towards Teeton and as expected we soon started to climb as the road ramped up once more.

The journey to Guilsborough was perfect “active recovery” and we enjoyed the dry country roads and comfortable speeds.  The road to Cold Ashby seemed rather more caked in dried mud but it was pleasant nonetheless as we started to see the signs for Naseby.

With another couple of miles in our legs All Saints church at Naseby came into view.  We arrived at The Old Vicarage café just as some cyclists were leaving but they insisted they had left some cakes for us.

With renovations underway outside we were lead along the corridor to possibly the grandest venue we may have ever had refreshments in.  A large dining room with a table that was almost impossible to reach over due to its huge size and a chandelier over the centre.  We almost expected a butler to start serving us but various group members took that role upon themselves.  The service was equally splendid and the food exquisite.

The loop continued through the Cottesbrooke estate and probably the most hair raising descent of the day.  Plenty of gravel and uneven tarmac at the base making it a heart in mouth situation just before entering the village.  All safely down and the gated road to Brixworth lead us to the steep climb back into the centre and onto Pitsford once again.

Four of us were lured by a second stop at the Willow Tree Café whilst the remaining three continued home.

The rest of the ride back mirrored the ride out with another mix of testing ascending and fast descending.

This was a pretty difficult ride today with over 3000ft of climbing but all riders performed superbly.

Ride Report – Saturday 11th February

The plan for Saturday 11th February was to run both a brisk and a moderate ride to the Skylark Cafe in Staverton near Daventry.  Here’s how it went…

Six hardy riders were setting out to ride; Phil Letts rang in sick – and then there were five.
Five hardy riders at Hunsbury Library door; Brian had the wrong bike, and then there were four.
Four hardy riders started in the freeze; Milton wasn’t feeling brisk, and then there were three.
Three hardy riders made it through the snow; John raced off to see TV, and then there were two.
Chris and Philip found a jam(*); diverting on the Norbital, they easily made it home.
Philip went on one more loop, and then there was one.

A good morning out despite zero degrees, snow, rain and generally wintry conditions! Thanks to all for their company.

Philip (with apologies to “Anon”!)

(*) Tailback on A508 in Kingsthorpe…

Ride Report – Sunday 5th February

Milton went on this ride led by Tim and writes:

Seven of us braved a fairly dark and chilly morning to meet up at East Hunsbury for Tim’s 52-mile steady ride around Northampton.

The half-way point saw us getting stuck into cake and coffee and sausage rolls (possibly in that order) at the cafe in Brixworth Country Park having swept round the south and west of the county through Kislingbury, East Haddon and Spratton climbing what felt like most of the Northants cols on route.before Brixworth.

The second stage included Holcot and Earls Barton before crossing the river and climbing up the day’s last mountain to the peak at Castle Ashby where we stopped for more coffee and cake.  We had dropped Phil L off by this stage but picked up another, Elspeth, at the Castle so we were still seven and then we lost Geoff who was nearer home than he would be at any other time and so we were six.

We six nipped back towards East Hunsbury via Denton and Preston Deanery at which point three more of us set off homewards and the remaining three – well, who knows – I was safely tucked up at home with coffee and a well deserved couple of slices of cake.
I heard later that the final three made it back to the start point safely, so a good day out was had by all.  A well devised route with thanks to Tim!

Ride report – Saturday 21st January

Milton went on this ride organised by Tim and writes:

A chilly morning, and a late start for fear of a frost that didn’t in fact linger, found five ready for Tim’s big adventure to the Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre at Upper Stowe.  We split into a quick riding group of three who were to take a longer route to coffee and a sensible, (do I give myself away here?) group of two.  The two sensibles soon became three as one of the other lot found that Christmas excess had not yet cleared the system and he hadn’t a hope of staying the course for the next 27 miles.  Next month Giles,next month!.

The sun came out as we trundled through Pattishall, Adstone, Preston Capes and Farthingstone.  The roads were dry, the fields were full of fat sheep, the lambs not far away now, and a kestrel sat confident on a hedge only feet from us as we sped past, and it was bliss to be on a bike.
The three sensible ones arrived at the cafe only a few moments ahead of the other two who regaled us with tales of derring-do, monster hills and terrifying descents which we chose not to believe.
Much colder after a 40-minute stop (how does the weather manage to change so radically during every coffee break?) we all dashed back together through Upper Heyford, Bugbrooke, and Kislingbury until, at just after 2pm, we were back in East Hunsbury.
Lovely, well devised route,(thank you Tim) which meant we had space to really enjoy the trip – which we did!

Saturday morning ride – 7th January

Philip G is leading us on Saturday morning and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way / Welford Road crossing. (This is on the A5199 near The Windhover; there is a BVW car park up Brampton Lane.)
Distance: 37 miles (brisk) or 31 miles (moderate)
Refreshments: The same stop on both ride: either at Mini-Meadows, Welford, at 18 miles or Café Monde, Church Brampton, just before the finish.  We’ll agree which one at the start.

These two rides towards Naseby and Welford include varied terrain and some hills.

The brisk ride goes via Naseby, Sibbertoft, Welford, Cold Ashby, Watford and Long Buckby and is here on RideWithGPS.

The moderate ride follows the same route to Cold Ashby and then returns via Guilsborough.  It’s here on RideWithGPS.

We hope to see you!

Please let Philip know if you have any questions.  Phone 07557 670831 or e-mail philip.g@ctc-northampton.org.uk.

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The last time we were at Mini-Meadows Farm Café

Boxing Day Ride Report

Milton led this ride and writes:

Perfect weather saw ten cyclists with nothing but coffee and cake in mind meet up at the Canoe Centre for a simple 28-mile drift through the south east of the County.

Little Houghton, Cogenhoe, Castle Ashby, Yardley Hastings, Weston Underwood and Ravenstone gently slid past as we sauntered slowly but with great determination to cake at Salcey.

Down the hill through Great Houghton and we were back at the Canoe Centre just after mid-day and heading home to some cake and mince pies and whatever chocolates were left before getting stuck into lunch.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!