Ride Report – Sunday 5th May

Iain Dawson led this ride – “A Ride of Two Rivers” – and writes:

There were five of us ready, outside the Canoe Centre, for this trip on Sunday morning and the weather was looking promising as well. Better than it did last time I tried to lead this ride anyway.

After a short deviation into the industrial estate, we picked-up National Cycle Route 6 in Great Houghton, rode on past Salcey Forest, and down through Haversham on the north side of Milton Keynes. Then we turned onto a gated road that brought us out by Stantonbury Wharf and the Grand Union Canal. We followed this, more or less, half way to Willen Lake, the only snag being that whoever drew the Buckinghamshire street map didn’t know where the bridges over the canal were! Redway navigation is tricky at the best of times, because you never see the street signs, but to have bridges spring up out of nowhere? That’s a new one on me! Anyway, after a couple more pauses to check the map and the signs on nearby streets (thanks Karen and Dave), we found a sign, an actual sign, for “Willen Lake” and were duly delivered to the café there.

Refreshed, we took to the Redways once again to cut through a corner of the original Milton Keynes, with its 12th-century church, and past the Open University, which wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped. We did, however, get to see a lot of the greenery that Milton Keynes has to offer before we cut through the car parks at the west end of the shopping centre and headed up past Linford Wood to the old railway line that now serves as a pedestrian/cycle link between northern MK and Newport Pagnell. A short ride from there – up through Sherington and Emberton Country Park – saw us installed in our favourite Olney café for lunch, sitting out in the sun. I have to say, each time we crossed the Ouse I was getting more and more tempted to drop down to it and take a dip. The weather was magnificent for May.

With only the few miles separating Olney (on the Ouse) from the Canoe Centre (on the Nene), we set off with just Cogenhoe hill left requiring any real work ahead of us and we had an uneventful final leg back to Northampton to finish around 4pm. Not bad for a 52 mile ride taking in some very congested Redways with a couple of navigation errors thrown in to temper the pace.

All-day Ride on Sunday 5th May

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

This Sunday we meet at 9.30 a.m. at the Canoe Centre in the Bedford Road.

We will be traversing the land between the Nene and the Ouse as we make a 50 mile-ish loop down to Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire, with a stop at Willen Lake, some Redway cycling and a stop in Olney thrown in for good measure.

The ride is not too arduous (I’m still tweaking the route though, so be nice to me), and it’s still too far out for a decent weather forecast (although currently it looks warm and dry). I’m using a mix of old favourites and new routes so it will hopefully hold something of interest for everyone.

A short part of the route is on broken tarmac, so go steady if you’re on skinny tyres, but MTBs will not be needed!

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.

Ride to Olney – Sunday 20th January – CANCELLED

Today’s ride is cancelled. Iain writes: Due to the current road conditions, and the weather for Sunday, the ride has been canceled.

Apologies to anyone planning to ride but it really isn’t safe and that has to be my primary concern.

Hopefully conditions will improve during the week. And the ride will be added to a future programme.

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

Weather permitting, we’ll be riding out Sunday morning from the Canoe Centre on Bedford Road for a 45-mile-ish loop down to Olney and back, visiting the delights of Salcey Forest and the northern edge of Milton Keynes en route.

We should be back comfortably in daylight but, as with any ride at this time of year, it would be sensible to bring lights, at least ‘be seen’ lights, with you.

We will be keeping an eye on the weather!

Hope to see you there Sunday morning, 9.30 a.m.

Ride Report – Sunday 16th September

Phil Letts, our “Mountain-Pass Junkie” went on this ride and writes:

Six of us rode out with ride leader Mike Hart today for his “mystery tour”.

And mystery it remained as we headed off from the Canoe Centre blindly following our leader who refused to divulge any clues as to route or destination.

We were probably all too busy chatting to really notice where we were but I did spot a sign to Harold Country Park at one point and then one to Olney!

What wasn’t such a mystery were the ramps before and up to Cogenhoe – then we REALLY knew where we were-nearly home!

Pleasant ride! Thanks Mike!

Events in May

Sunday 6th May – Day ride to the route of the HS2 High Speed Railway on the Oxfordshire border

Bride Tunbridge led this ride. Report to follow.

Saturday 12th May – Day ride connecting the parishes of Wellingborough and the Nene Valley

Coinciding with the Waendel Walks Weekend, Phil Letts leads this ride of about 45 miles, starting at 9.30 a.m. from Moulton Co-op.  Lunch at Irchester Country Park.  Phil is on 07707 118389

Sunday 20th May – Day ride to Market Harborough

Iain Dawson leads this ride of about 50 miles, starting at 9.30 a.m. from Moulton co-op.  Elevenses at Kelmarsh; lunch at Market Harborough.  Iain is on 07909 992468

Saturday 26th May – Afternoon ride to Olney – “The William Carey Ride”

Philip Gray leads this ride of about 35 miles with a visit to Olney Museum and to note the influence of Olney on William Carey of Moulton.  See The Carey Experience.

The museum celebrates two great men who lived in Olney in the 18th century: the poet and letter writer William Cowper and his friend, John Newton, who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”.  It is housed in the building that the poet lived and worked in. It has beautiful, well tended gardens and a lovely summerhouse.

The ride starts at 1.00 p.m. from the Canoe Centre, Bedford Road.  If the weather is dry, it may include an off-road section.  Philip is on 01604 720522.