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.
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Ride Report – Sunday 1st July

Bill Simpson organised and led the Guy Barber Memorial Ride and writes:

Eighteen riders rolled out from the Bedford Road start, heading eastward, with the company of the River Nene for the opening miles.  I say there were eighteen riders who started, but we were joined by a nineteenth somewhere en-route (but this is another story, isn’t it, Brian?)

Three of the nineteen taking part were females, one of whom, Pippa from Milton Keynes, shared a tandem with her partner Mike Slater.  This I think was a first on the Guy Barber ride.  The other two were Northampton’s Eleanor Weller and Sylvia from Milton Keynes.

The peloton of riders came from an almost 50 percent mix of Northampton and Milton Keynes C.T.C. all of whom are to be thanked for their support.

Between us we raised a total of £95, but we will forward a cheque for £100 to the Headway Charity.

The ride towards St. Neots and the River Ouse on which it sits went by without any hitches.  No mechanicals or punctures encountered, just good banter shared by all as we took advantage of some assistance from the strong wind that was our companion until the return journey.

On the way back it was huddle together and fight the wind, enabling all to return safely via the excellent café stop in the garden centre in Poddington.  Mostly we avoided the rain (mostly).  Many thanks once again for your support.

I look forward to next time.