Ride report – Great Cransley – Sunday 16th February

Phil J went on this ride, led by Milton, and writes (with pictures by Dave):

A misty but fairly warm morning greeted the group of five riders on this rerouted ride.

Taking in a number of familiar roads and one or two less known to us, we headed off through plenty of villages including the picturesque Ecton and Orlingbury further along.

Rowan had an early mechanical but nothing to hold up the steady pace we were making. The route undulated as expected but the group coped admirably.

Traffic levels seemed high in parts but so was the level of cyclists that we regularly passed en route – a positive sign indeed.

The cafe stop at Great Cransley was a welcome sign where Nick joined us from his start in Welford. The small but friendly café at Bugtopia provided enough fuel for us to continue our journey where we were now a group of six.

Entrance to Bugtopia Café

Entrance to Bugtopia Café

Our welcoming host at Bugtopia

Our welcoming host at Bugtopia

The sun finally broke through the clouds and raised the temperature a degree or two as we left the café making the return journey a much better prospect than on the way out. At least for a while. The hills at Loddington that were approaching were mentioned several times by our leader during the morning and they didn’t disappoint as hills go. Coming in quick succession as well.

Iain departed soon after the climbs having put the miles in already with his ride in but not before a superb display of short sharp climbing from the back of the pack right to the front.

Nick took his preferred route back shortly after and the remaining four pressed on towards Old. The anticipated climb at Brixworth didn’t materialise as Milton found a more pleasing route through Scaldwell to soften the blow which was most welcome to all. Another of the group – Rowan – said her goodbyes leaving a trio to carry on with the ride.

We cruised over some of the flatter parts of the route thereafter which was useful in keeping us warm as the sun had disappeared again, dropping the temperatures.

We returned through Ecton and eventually along the familiar cycle paths parallel to the A45. Again the group split with Milton and Dave heading home and just myself returning to the Canoe Centre.

Thanks for the ride Milton! Good riding all!

Brisk ride – Saturday 7th June

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, is leading this ride and writes:

This Saturday we’ll be heading out on a brisk(-ish) 30*-miler with plenty of ups and downs but nothing too long or sharp for a Saturday morning.

We’ll head north from Moulton, duck across the Pitsford causeway then head across to Old before the long, gentle descent into Loddington, some hill work across to Broughton, Pytchley and Little Harrowden then a slightly flatter stretch back to the Beckworth Emporium (at 26 miles) for a comfort stop and an espresso (or drink of your choice). Then it’s straight back to Moulton.

There is nothing overly taxing on the route but there is plenty of up and down to keep the legs turning. It’s all tarmac so I intend to be back home in time for lunch!

*28 miles if we take the shortcut at Loddington, less another mile if we avoid Walgrave (which we may do if the roads are wet).

Ride Report – “La Petite Étape” – Sunday 11th May

Five Cycling – Report written by Nick (Enid Blyton being unavailable)

Five riders made the rendezvous point at the Windhover/BVW to enjoy the delights of this ride led by Alex (Alex, Miriam, Terry, Milton and Nick).  Maybe it would have been more but the previous evening’s weather forecast was not particularly fair.  As it turned out however the rain had cleared, the sun was out and the wind was blowing.  A great day for drying your washing but an even better one for riding a bike!

We set off in good spirits and headed north through Church Brampton before hitting the hills on the roller-coaster roads heading east from Holdenby through Spratton and up to Brixworth.  Happily each of the hills was easily conquered with the large helping hand supplied by the not inconsiderate tail wind.  It was then north and north-east through the picturesque lanes linking Brixworth to Cottesbrooke and Haselbech.  On the hill up to Haselbech we were reminded of the need for caution when riding near horses when an oncoming beast (with rider) was seriously spooked.  Apparently it was something to do with the sight of Milton’s knees!

Onwards to Naseby and then a seriously fast descent in the direction of Clipston (wind-assisted) but then turning south-east to Kelmarsh and Arthingworth.  From here we climbed the Strava Queen of the Mountains section used in Wednesday’s Stage One of the 2014 Women’s Tour of Britain.  At the top, outside the Tollemache Arms pub, we paused for a breather.  It was at this point that we realised that we had actually ridden three of the four Queen of the Mountain stages used on Stages One and Two of the Women’s Tour.  A little bit of messing about with a smart phone and we were ecstatic to discover that all five of us had ridden two of the sections faster than the professional riders on Wednesday and Thursday had.  FANTASTIC – however, just for the record we did it in the opposite direction …..

Not long after Arthingworth it was pay back time; we turned right and headed south and south-west across the flat land of the former aerodrome at Harrington which put us right into the teeth of the gale!!!  Alex was the leader so we all hid behind him.  We took a hilly detour off this road through Draughton – its a strange day when you prefer including a hill to avoid the flat – but it did cheat the wind.

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

Through the villages of Old, Walgrave, Hannington and Holcot before closing on the destination of Moulton.  Terry and Milton peeled off for home whilst those left enjoyed a coffee at the J-Gallery in Moulton before wending our way home.

Game for a laugh!

Game for a laugh!

Grateful thanks to Alex for leading this ride. It lived up to its name and happily, despite the often ominous clouds scudding along, we did not get rained upon.

The route is here on Garmin Connect.

Morning leisure ride – a Lamport Loop – Saturday 8th March

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, will be leading this ride and writes:

We will be assembling in Moulton at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday for a leisurely morning ride.

Our route will take us through Holcot and Hannington and up to Walgrave (where we will, no doubt, be taking a very careful look at the manhole covers) and then through Old and Brixworth, which will see us missing Lamport itself (sorry).  It’s a straight run from there down the Brampton Valley Way to the old station before we cut across to Church Brampton for our brew stop.

The final couple of miles will take us back to Moulton through Boughton.

As you’ll have noticed, the route’s not entirely flat but none of the hills are terribly steep or particularly long and we’ll be keeping a fairly relaxed pace as we amble round this little route (which may be subject to slight variation on the day, according to circumstance). The weather’s due to be quite clement as well.

A total of 20 miles at a leisurely pace.  Iain is on 07909 992468.

See you on Saturday at 9.30 a.m. outside Moulton Co-Op, NN3 7TB.

Late report on Sunday 19 January ride

Ian M went on this ride, led by Iain D, and writes:

Apologies to Iain D!  I promised to write up a report on his ride to Kelmarsh and then forgot!

A dozen riders gathered at Moulton for Iain’s ride and, once again, he took us on a route that was different from one we had ridden before; and certainly not what any of us were expecting.  That’s always a bonus!

Gathering at Moulton

Gathering at Moulton

 We left Moulton along the Pitsford road and then headed up to the reservoir, crossed the dam, and pedalled into Brixworth.  We left that village on the Creaton road before heading into Cottesbrooke, crossing the A5199, and climbing up to Guilsborough.  This was indeed going to be a different route to Kelmarsh!
Next we were off to Cold Ashby before going through Welford and approaching Naseby from the west!  Then we were over and under the A14 – on some lovely smooth tarmac which Iain had deliberately sought out – and into Kelmarsh (and the World Peace Café at the Buddhist Centre) by noon.  In a large group, which constantly re-arranged itself, these twenty-five miles flew by with conversation and banter!

A breather at Cold Ashby

A breather at Cold Ashby

 The café proved up to serving twelve hungry cyclists and showed that we don’t have to have beer with every meal!
We started again after lunch going further north to Arthingworth and signposts for Desborough before turning south through Harrington, crossing the A14 (for the sixth time!), and pedalling through Old, Walgrave and Holcot on our way back to Moulton.  Fifteen miles after lunch.
Thanks to Iain for a well organised route: at this time of year a one-stop ride means we got the mileage in and were home early in the afternoon well before the need for lights.  This could be a model for one or two rides in the summer on occasions when members don’t want to be out all day.  Everyone certainly enjoyed themselves!
And the weather was kind to us too!
The route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

Ride to Kelmarsh – Sunday 19th January

Iain D is leading this ride and writes:

We’ll be heading out to the Buddhist Centre in Kelmarsh on Sunday.  Sadly, their free drink for the New Year offer has ended but their café always has something suitable on the go for hungry cyclists so it will be a pleasure to visit again, I’m sure.

The route out takes us through Brixworth and Cold Ashby and into Welford before ducking back towards Naseby and Kelmarsh. The return leg involves Arthingworth and Old and should bring our mileage for the trip up to around 45 miles. This is a one-stop-only ride after all!

The route is a little contorted, mainly so I can include a couple of my favourite stretches of tarmac – no apologies – but also to give us a shortcut in case of cruddy weather. Which hopefully won’t be the case. I’m hoping Cold Ashby won’t be living up to its name too faithfully either.

Although we should be back well before dark, it would be sensible to bring lights to be seen by.

See you Sunday, 9.30 a.m. in Moulton.  (Outside Moulton Co-operative Store, NN3 7TB)

Ride Report – Saturday 20th June – Petite Etape de Northants

Brian (our Rides Secretary) went on this ride led by Alex and writes:
On the day the Tour de France covered the same route as this years Etape (successfully completed by our own member Philip Gray two weeks ago) Alex had lined up a hilly route for a brisk morning ride. The challenge was 2600ft and 35 miles. At the end Alex extended the route to just complete a total of  3000ft of ascent according to his GPS logger. A mere trifle compared with real Etape I suspect.
Six riders, including a new CTC member Terry, set out from the Brampton Valley Way / Welford Road meeting place at 9.30 a.m. in cloudy and cool conditions. This lasted throughout the ride and made for very pleasant cycling compared with the previous few days, although potentially the forecast was hot.
The route took us through Holdenby, Spratton and Brixworth in a series of undulations to Cottesbrooke where we had a brief spell on the flat before the long climb up to Haselbach.  Then we pedalled a short stretch to Nasby before turning down to Clipston and then to Kelmarsh. A slight problem was a sign that the road to Kelmarsh was closed over the weekend but we pressed on to find that the reason was a major event at Kelmarsh Hall with a one way system for traffic to its car park. Luckily we were able to walk the short stretch to the A508 and cross to Arthingworth. More hills followed in a loop to Harrington on some very pleasant narrow roads.
Whilst we were bidding farewell to Iain – he left to pedal to Kettering – an elderly gentleman cyclist passed us on his way to a wedding (not his) in Harrington. A drop into Draughton and then up to Lamport Hall before more gentle undulations through Old and Hannington and then the final few hills and a short detour to complete 3000ft of ascent before ending at Moulton.
We arrived at the J Gallery Café in the village at 12.30 p.m. for a welcome cup of tea in the gardens. Alex’s Bianchi kit was much admired by the other customers who were cycling-friendly.

(l to r) David, Alex and Brian in the J Gallery Café garden

(l to r) David, Alex and Brian in the J Gallery Café garden

Many thanks to Alex for planning and leading a very pleasant ride through quiet picturesque Northamptonshire lanes. A route definitely to be recommended.

Ride Report – Sunday 7th April

Brian Tunbridge, our Secretary, led this ride and writes:
Seven riders met at Moulton Co-op for a ride to Braybrooke. Spring must have been in the air as two “best bikes” (Bianchis) were taken out of winter storage. The temperatures were not quite up to normal and there was still snow alongside some of the lanes, but it was sunny and dry.
With a tail wind we set a brisk pace up through Old and Draughton and on to Braybrooke where we crossed the River Jordon before hitting the outskirts of Market Harborough. I’d forgotten just how long the hill up to East Farndon is and that both Clipston and Kelmash each sit on the top of their own hills. However, we made the Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre at Kelmarsh by 11.30am in good time for brunch, only to find at least four other cycling groups had the same idea. Brunch was only coffee and cake with few seats available and we departed for home after only a short stay.
The ride back was into quite a cold breeze which showed that Spring has not yet sprung but it was still good cycling weather.

Tourist Trial – 7th October – Report

David took part in this event, run by Max Scott and based at Hannington.

David writes:

I have never done a Tourist Trial before.  It involved 3 sheets of questions and a 141 OS Map.

1. Answer ten questions from the map like “What is the highest point?”

2. Familiarise oneself with the morning route and answer eight questions while riding the route. Then return for lunch and give sheet 2 in to be marked before going out in the afternoon to do sheet 3.

3 Further points were gained by taking the right equipment and answering a general knowledge quiz on route. This was done by Peter at a stop in Old the questioning being biased to ornithology.

At the end of the day I scored 44, Brian 45, Bill 50 and Iain 57. Philip, Max and the CTC National Champion Mike Bates (on 62) were still out looking for answers.

Not sure I would do it again????