James went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes:
Twelve of us departed from Moulton under conditions very reflective of the ride organiser’s temperament: grey, sullen and slightly damp. At the same time, his the choice of destination – the World Peace Café at the Nagarjuna Buddhist centre in Kelmarsh – typified his more positive qualities, e.g., his lifelong commitment to the enlightened one’s emphasis on equanimity and loving-kindness as the core values of daily existence.
In order to encourage more people to come out and ride, Milton – in a familiar display of thoughtfulness – had devised faster and slower route options. The ‘proper’ brisk route followed a slightly more circuitous path to Kelmarsh – going via Orton – than did the moderate one, which was shorter by something like five miles. Of course, the division also gave some of the slightly faster and, err, more competitive riders the challenge of trying to catch up and overtake the second group before they reached Kelmarsh. It was childish, but I did it …
As we progressed through Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old, the sun started making increasingly frequent appearances and by the time the brisk set diverted off to Orton it was warming up nicely. A couple of the quicker riders caught up with the “moderates” just outside of Harrington and sped on to bag some good seats in the café‘s serene back garden. The remainder of the two groups all arrived within fifteen minutes or so, and it wasn’t long before we were all enjoying the high quality fayre we’ve come to associate with the caféand its delightful staff. Some of us attempted to respect the Buddha’s emphasis on frugality by just taking green tea and a few biscuits. Unfortunately, one rider, i.e., Giles ‘Bake Off’ Barringham, was less sensitive to this precept and keen to declare he was eating his fifth (large) piece of cake in five days.
By the time we departed the sun was in its full glory and this continued to be the case as we came back en masse via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke, Brixworth and Holcot. Once back at Moulton it was blazingly hot and bright, both which served to top off a most enjoyable little jaunt.
As ever, sincere thanks must go to Milton for his patience and beautifully devised routing.
Milton is organising two rides (moderate & brisk) from Moulton Co-op and writes:
Both rides will leave from the Co-op at 9.30 heading to Holcot, Hannington, Walgrave and Old. From Old we take the lovely single track road towards Mawsley and then head towards Harrington. The moderate ride will then cross the A14 and turn left on the outskirts of Harrington and go to Kelmarsh. The brisk group will take an additional 5 mile loop that takes us east through Orton before turning west again and returning almost to the start of the loop before following the other group to Kelmarsh.
After coffee and cake at the Buddhist Centre it’s an attractive trip home via Haselbech, Cottesbrooke and Brixworth. It’ll make a change going down the steep hill at Haselbech for once, rather than climbing it!
It’s quite a short flat ride for both groups so I hope that one or two people who might normally be nervous of their ability to stay with the riders might venture out on the moderate ride. And for the brisk ride, I’m expecting it to be fairly quick. The loop is put in as a bit of a test for us all to see if we can reach coffee at the same time, or before, the others.
We can expect to be back at Moulton by around 1pm. I hope to see you at the start.
Brian will be leading this ride and writes:
Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meet: Moulton Co-op, Stocks Hill, Moulton, NN3 7TB.
Distance: 51 miles
Refreshments: Medbourne (25 miles)
Pace: A steady average of 13 mp.h.
Our route starts at Moulton and heads out to Holcot, Old and Harrington and then north to the A6. After a few hundred yards along the A6 we turn off to Dingley and on up to Slawston and Hallaton. There we turn south for Medbourne and the Nevill Arms Café – a café popular with Leicester cyclists – for brunch (25m).
We return via Cottingham, the Triangular Lodge at Rushton, and then through Rothwell, Broughton and Walgrave back to Moulton.
Questions? Contact Brian on 01604 622073 (07843 505213 on the day)
See the route at www.ridewithgps.com/routes/19628593
Brisk & Moderate Rides to Welford
Eleven riders – a good number for a December morning – gathered at the Brampton Valley Way meeting point for a morning organised by James. We welcomed new rider, Phil W; and welcomed back John for his first CTC ride since his accident. Drizzle in the air was not going to dampen our spirits.
A late change of plan and routes – our original café stop at Kelmarsh being unavailable because of a Buddhist holiday – meant that we were to head for a café new to nearly all of us: Mini-Meadows Farm Café just outside Welford on the Naseby road. Five riders opted for James’s brisk ride; six for the moderate route plotted by Brian and led by Ian M. James must have taken to heart Mother Theresa’s dictum that “Brisk means Brisk” and by Church Brampton the brisk group was down to four and the moderate group up to seven.
The moderates pedalled through East Haddon, Coton, Guilsborough and Welford to reach the café after seventeen miles at 11.05 a.m. finding the brisks already ensconced – having been through Holdenby, Spratton, Brixworth and Naseby after eighteen lumpier miles in an hour-and-a-quarter! The drizzle hadn’t turned to anything worse but those who had no mudguards had nice stripes-of-honour up their backs.
The café served good coffee and cakes (the Xmas Tiffin was much consumed); conversation was lengthy; and both groups set off again at 11.45 a.m. The moderates pedalled through Naseby (welcoming the easier approach from the north-west), Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Teeton and Holdenby to return to the BVW after 15 miles by 1.15 p.m. The brisks headed on to Sibbertoft, back to Naseby, and then through Kelmarsh, Harrington, Old, Scaldwell, Brixworth, and Holcot before splitting on the edge of Northampton after 28 miles just after 1.30 p.m.
So twenty-nine miles for the moderates, forty-eight miles for the brisks and a splendid morning enjoyed by all.
Thanks to James for the morning plan and to Brian for reminding us of the recommendation for the café from Peter W and the CTC Leicestershire group.
Phil J went on this ride organised by James and writes:
Eight cyclists assembled at Moulton for James’ Queen of the Mountains ride of two halves on a glorious sunny morning. Moderate or brisk? The choice was yours. The sides were quickly picked and gave us four riders in each group. We set off on the long road out towards Holcot and the groups splintered as expected. Our moderate group set into a nice steady pace which included Elspeth once again.
The sun shone but a gentle breeze cooled us sufficiently and made it one of the best days for cycling so far this year. The pace quickened for the moderate group but with still no sign of the faster riders in the brisk group ahead. We meandered through picturesque villages without much traffic to hold us up and it wasn’t long before we were entering the wonderful Cottesbrooke estate with its steep climb at the end. But we skirted round this and soon headed for Naseby with a number of testing hills there instead. Cyclists passed us as we regrouped but we managed to rein one or two of them in on the climbs as they lost power much to our satisfaction.
Some miles on after a short stretch along the busy Market Harborough road we approached the tea stop at the Waterloo Farm Café and a welcome break for us all. The brisk group hadn’t arrived yet as they were still out covering the extra miles and climbs on their own particular route but the “moderates” were ahead of time according to our leader.
We settled onto an outside table and it wasn’t long before the “brisks” arrived and joined us. The location was baked in sunshine and we all enjoyed teas and coffees whilst some got stuck into tasty fayre.
On the move again we all set off together before two became one after the first rise. The route continued through familiar territory including the long haul up Harrington Hill, the final QoM stage, ending at the Tollemache Arms which seemed rather tempting on a hot day but we continued without succumbing to a swift pint or two!
Towards Foxhall a police roadblock was in place and a helicopter circled overhead where a stolen car had been abandoned in the nearby field. Further on Old and Walgrave tested the weary legs of the group before we met up again with the brisk group just outside Holcot.
The final stretch into Moulton was the last couple of miles of the day and we blazed down the road whatever group you were in. James and I had a bunch sprint to the finish which of course he won and punched the air in delight. A great days riding with a choice of ways to do it.
Thanks to James for devising the QoM route. James lead the brisk group at a challenging pace leaving Brian, Phil and Co to enjoy a more steady pace.
Tim, our webmaster, went on this ride and writes:
Eight riders congregated at Moulton Co-op for Brian’s “Steady ride to Saddington”, including five who had been out on the previous day’s “Moderate ride to Everdon Stubbs”. Amongst this keen group of five was new rider Elspeth.
We were blessed with a fine late spring day with only the occasional blast of cold wind to dampen our spirits. We headed out northwards via the familiar villages of Holcot, Walgrave & Old and on through Harrington and Braybrooke before alighting at our morning refreshment stop at Farndon Fields Farm Shop where we indulged in a variety of tea, coffee, cakes, scones & the like to prepare us for the hillier challenges ahead.
After a short section through the outskirts of Market Harborough we were once again treated to quiet country lanes with mostly other cyclists and the odd horse for company. Our relaxed cycling was brought to an abrupt halt however by Laughton Hill, aptly surveyed by the OS to have a gradient of between 14% and 20%. It felt every bit of this as we slowly spun our way to the top where there was a very welcome pause to re-group, have a drink, nibble an energy bar and generally get our breath back.
Quite a long and hilly section then followed as we wended our way north to Saddington and then back south, passing through North Kilworth and Sibbertoft where Nick left our group to head home; and so it was that seven tired cyclists arrived at our lunch stop at Naseby Old Vicarage Tea Room. The ladies were relieved that we were late to arrive (being around 2 p.m. at this point) as they “had had a very busy day”. We had the place to ourselves so could seek out the sunniest spots to rest our tired limbs. Their “busy day” had left its impact on the menu choice – thankfully though, there was just enough to go round even if the bacon butties had to be rationed.
Once replete, we set off on the home leg to Moulton, taking the shortest (and least hilly) route through Guilsborough, Church Brampton and Boughton.
All in all a lovely day’s cycling and many thanks to Brian for organising and leading the ride.
Brian, our Secretary, went on this ride led by Iain D, our chair, and writes (in poetical mood):
It was good to see ten riders assembled outside the Co-op in Moulton. Despite the glorious sunny morning there was a distinct absence of shorts given the cool wind. This was both St George’s Day and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. As we had a Welsh ride leader, with a Scottish actor on board, the rest of the group showed great restraint in not shouting as we left Moulton:
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry “God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (Henry V)
The plan was to ride to Holcot as a group and then let riders decide how to group to continue. We easily agreed three groups: Brisk (3), Steady (3) and Moderate (4).
We had been promised some hills en route which we duly encountered. Most were down then up as we dropped into the many river valleys around this part of Northamptonshire, with fast descents giving a bit of help on the ‘up’. We soon navigated Hannington, Pytchley, Broughton and on to Great Cransley. The entrance to Green Trunks Garden Centre for the café stop was well hidden down a gravel track. Although the restaurant was being refurbished we were given a warm welcome and some “cyclist-size” mugs of tea.
Suitably refreshed we continued in our three groups to Loddington and on to Orton where we turned for home.
Up until now we had been riding into a somewhat icy, northerly wind. But all this changed as we rode on with a tail wind, sun and blue skies. We sailed along quiet roads (some single track) via Mawsley and Old to Brixworth, then back to Holcot across the reservoir and on to Moulton. Given the opportunity for some short cuts, all three groups managed to meet up at Moulton within 10 minutes or so at the end.
Suitably dressed it was a great morning for a ride. Thanks to Iain for planning the route and leading the charge.
Milton led this ride and writes:
Two of us made it to the Moulton start on Saturday for a 30-mile brisk ride to Kelmarsh via Ravensthorpe and back via Old. It was already raining steadily as we set off and would continue to do so, with a few moments of even heavier rain, until we reached coffee stop at the Buddhist Centre.
As we left for the return there was, I feel sure, a moment of almost dry before the rain began to pelt down again. It seemed very wet and very windy, but, in fact, we had been lucky. From Walgrave until home the rain showed us what it really could do and came down in Biblical proportions. Barely able to see 10 feet in front of us because of water, we were hardly able on occasions to drive the bikes forward because of the wind.
And yet I wondered where everybody was! What could have kept them away?
James and I had a great time which we hope not to experience again for many a long year.
Milton, our Secretary, led this ride – originally planned by Brian, our Rides Secretary – and writes:
Five of us set off on a hot sunny afternoon on a loop from Moulton through Sywell, Mears Ashby and on to Great Harrowden, Orlingbury, Old and Scaldwell before stopping at Brixworth for coffee and cake. We closed the loop and returned to Moulton by skirting the reservoir and shredded one of our tyres in the process – sorry Tim! That section of path is getting a little too rough for “racing” tyres.
Lovely afternoon on the bike and good to have a new rider on the trip with us – see you next time Jim!