Cyclists’ slide-show, Wednesday 27th February

This year’s CTC Northampton winter slideshow is happening on Wednesday 27th February and features three great topics:

  • Riding the Classic Cols of the Tour de France (Phil Letts)

SEPT 11 033_med

  • Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive (Philip Gray)


  • The Elbe Cycle Path from Hamburg to Dresden (Ian Macsporran)

For a preview see

Date & time: Wednesday 27 February, 8.00 p.m. Doors open 7.30 p.m. Refreshments available

Venue: Park Avenue Methodist Church, Park Avenue North (corner of Abington Avenue), Northampton NN3 2HT

Entry £3 (suggested donation).  Refreshments available

Further information: Tel 07909 992468

Everyone is very welcome – hope to see you there!


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.


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)

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

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.

Midweek rides – any thoughts?

Our rides secretary, Iain Dawson, has had a request for the next rides planning meeting to consider offering mid-week rides.  Brian, our secretary,  and Philip, our chair, certainly remember the mid-week evening rides – to a pub venue for a social – which happened a few years ago.  When Iain mentioned the request, I had the following thoughts:

First, I’m probably in the “target group” that would enjoy mid-week rides and I should therefore put myself forward for leading one or two.

It seems to me that there could be several models of ride:

  • Copy the Sunday rides – meet at 9.30 a.m., ride through the day with stops for elevenses and lunch.
  • Copy the Saturday rides – meet at 9.30 a.m. or 2.00 p.m. for just a morning or afternoon ride
  • Copy Kettering’s Thursday Club rides – meet at the elevenses stop, ride together to the lunch stop, then ride separately home
  • Copy the 40+ Club rides – ride separately to and from a lunch stop social meeting
  • And the evening rides that Brian remembers – meet at 7.00 p.m. and ride to a pub to ride home in the dark (more a summer than winter activity for most, I should think)

Now Philip has suggested that the AGM (on Wednesday 24th October, 7.30 p.m., Park Avenue church Rooms) would be the place to gauge interest.  Iain is presenting his report as rides secretary (Item 3d) and there’s another chance to put forward ideas for the coming year’s programme at Item 9.  So here are some questions to think about – if you too are in the “target group”:

  • Should we stick to one model of ride?
  • Or mix and match?
  • Stick to a set day of the week?

I’d be happy to offer to lead one or two rides on the Thursday Club model, just sorting out a route between elevenses and lunch.

What do you think? I’m hoping for a short but interested discussion at the AGM.

Slideshow: Cycling in France

Wednesday 29 February, 8.00 p.m. – doors open 7.30 p.m. – at Park Avenue Methodist Church

Modesty almost forbids me quoting our Chairman:

Come along to an entertaining evening of pictures and stories about cycling in France!

  • Hear about Ian Macsporran’s epic ride “From Caen to Cannes: France North to South”
  • Experience the colour of “A French cycling festival: the Semaine Federale 2011” by Philip Gray & Rowan Ellis.

Entry £2 in aid of Always a Chance.  Refreshments.

The church is on the corner of Park Avenue North and Abington Avenue. The postcode is NN3 2HT.

Just turn up on the night or, for tickets and further information, telephone 01604 720522 or email

From Caen to Cannes. Each letter represents an overnight stop.

By the Chapel of St Michel in Le Puy-en-Velay - day 9

A village decorated to welcome the Semaine Federale

In the peleton at the Semaine Federale

Wednesday 29th February – A slideshow and social evening

Ian Macsporran presents “From Caen to Cannes: France North to South”, an account of three weeks cycling the length of France in 2011; Phillip Gray and Rowan Ellis present “The Semaine Federale 2011”, an account of a week at a French cycling festival in also in 2011.  It all takes place at Park Avenue Methodist Church Rooms, on the corner of Park Avenue and Abington Avenue, Northampton, starting at 8.00 p.m. (Doors open at 7.30 p.m.; refreshments)  Entry is £2.00 in aid of Always A Chance.