“Boundary Rides” – Two morning rides circling Northampton – Saturday 11th March

Phil L has organised these two rides and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW)/A5199 crossing near The Windhover, NN6 8AA.  There is a BVW car park just up Brampton Lane.
Distance: 40 miles (brisk), 35 miles (moderate).
Refreshments: Salcey Forest Café

This circuit of Northampton skirts/circles the Borough boundary keeping the Express Lift Tower as our “hub” all morning – taking in Boughton, Moulton, Overstone, the Houghtons and Salcey Forest for an early brunch.  Then we complete the circuit through Quinton, Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe, Kislingbury and return to BVW.

Brisk ride led by Phil L; moderate ride led by Brian.

Questions?  Phil is on 07867 388592.

Advertisements

Ride report – Saturday 14th May

Rowan, our Ladies Rep, went on this ride and writes:

Eight riders (including 3 ladies!) met at East Hunsbury for the second of our “moderately-paced” 30-mile rides.  We were pleased to see a mixture of cyclists joining us today from regular riders to those returning to cycling and a few who had not ridden with a group on very many occasions before.  Tim led the group, with myself as “Tail End Charlie”, through Rothersthorpe, Gayton Marina, Dalscote and Fosters Booth and on to the hillier section of the ride on Banbury Lane and north to Maidford and Farthingstone.  Along the route we met with Peter Crighton who had donned his winter cycling attire for what was becoming both a sunny but still chilly and a little windy ride.  Great to see you out again, Pete!

We then made it up a particularly steep hill to the bluebell wood outside Everdon Stubbs and were pleased to see plenty of flowers still in full bloom along with some stunning white wild flowers (does anyone know the name of these flowers? – see CTC Facebook in a few days for some images of the wood). The café at Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe was a welcome tea stop (aren’t they always?!) where we had a mixture of mid morning snacks and early lunches, plus seemingly endless coffee!

As Tim described in his ride brief, the route back saw us crossing the A5 once more en route to Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe before the final climb back up to East Hunsbury library (thanks Tim!).

Thanks again to everyone who came out today. I believe a few of you may be out on tomorrow’s ride too!

Our next moderately-paced ride is on Sunday 29 May and will be a longer 45-mile route led by Phil G taking in the north of the county and into Leicestershire.

Ride report – Saturday 8th August

Phil J led this Saturday “brisk” ride and writes:

A glorious and cloudless sunny morning was the reward for the six riders who set off from East Hunsbury to Pitsford Water near Brixworth, including first timer Liam and occasional CTC rider Giles.

First, we descended into the valley at a fast pace setting the agenda for the rest of the
ride.  Skirting Hunsbury Meadows we headed for Rothersthorpe and a couple of early inclines to raise the heartbeats of the group.  Cruising towards Kislingbury got the riders warmed up in the wonderful morning sun before making our way towards Harpole on the safe cycle path alongside the main A4500 road.  The short sharp climb out of Harpole provided the first real test of the day but everyone climbed admirably.  A short run along the Roman road at the top led to another off road stretch on the near perfect cycle paths towards Harlestone before taking the road option again past the garden centre.  Another fast descent beckoned past the Fox & Hounds on the smooth tarmac giving us momentum up the other side and the turn towards the Bramptons.  More fast descending and climbing followed towards The Windhover and eventually up to the main Market Harborough road ahead.  Two more fast downhills and long climbs lay ahead before the arrival into Pitsford and we were all grateful to see the signs up ahead.

Eleanor had already secured a table for us all and we joined her for refreshments in the open air.  After a very pleasant stop, five of us headed back whilst Eleanor and Brian made their own way home.  The first downhill out of Pitsford was accompanied by a sudden headwind, coming out of nowhere, making the subsequent climb that little bit harder to make.  The second dip was avoided though as we turned right towards Brampton Halt where new boy Liam took the helm with a turn of pace to the Northampton Road junction.  At this point Phil L branched off leaving a team of four to continue.  The road went upwards again before the rewarding dash down through Church Brampton and back past the Fox & Hounds for a second time.  Upper Harlestone was next en route which looked picturesque in the morning sunshine.  We meandered our way through the village and onto the Roman road again where a headwind hit us immediately, just as if the gods had seen us coming!  We moved swiftly though and were soon turning for the exhilarating downhill into Harpole which would be the last on the ride and one to enjoy.  Pineham provided more smooth off road riding over to Hunsbury Meadows.  The final climb to the finish went up Hunslet Lane for a change, a shorter sharper rise than the usual route we normally take and caught some of the group by surprise.  A quick dip before another rise completed the climbing and the morning’s ride.

Well done everyone!

Ride Report – Sunday 17th May

Phil J led this ride and writes:

A sunny but windy day greeted the seven riders at East Hunsbury for this second club ride to Draycote Water this year. They included new boys Norman and Geoff as well as recent newcomer Tim.

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Once over the cycle paths at Pineham, which allowed everyone to warm up, we hit the road proper at Harpole culminating in the short sharp climb onto the Roman Road. The next few miles around Harlestone allowed all the riders to recover before the long haul up to the top of Brington Hill where we saw other cyclists reaching the top just ahead of us.

The journey through the village of Whilton was pleasant and the fast decent into Whilton Locks even better although we did seem to have no choice but to pedal downhill due to the force of the wind. The sun seemed to have long gone at this point too.

The gated roads from Norton beckoned and apart from the first corner of gravel posed no problems for the group and were virtually traffic-free. We pressed on towards Welton at a steady pace and onto Barby before an impromptu stop outside Barby Nurseries for everyone to take on whatever fuels they needed.

On the move again we soon hit decent road conditions over the border into Warwickshire and another long haul towards the main road into town. Cycle paths provided much welcome protection from the busy road into Dunchurch before the last mile or two on the A426 into Draycote Water.

All but one of us chose the much talked about Draycote scones – some riders even suggesting they could eat two! At this point Geoff decided that he would make his own way back home and so the six of us set off on the return journey.

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

The lane through Grandborough was welcomed by the group as new tarmac seemed to have been laid for a good couple of miles. Willoughby was then next en route where we slowed to admire some fantastic classic cars assembled by the side of the road. We cruised through Braunston before re-joining the route we had come in on just outside Welton.

The gated roads on the way back provided one of the biggest climbs of the day with a two-tier climb before eventually reaching Norton again. A byway was the next part of the ride and proved interesting in a number of ways. Two fast descents with plenty of gravel at the base of each provided a hair raising experience for us but we all escaped unscathed. The surface then became more off road than road as we slewed and slid our way out the other side and again nobody came unstuck.

Back on solid ground we skirted around Brockhall and onto Flore with another climb or two to keep things interesting. The pace then gathered somewhat through Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke but everyone regrouped towards Rothersthorpe for the final push home. With nobody opting to go their own way all six riders returned to the start but not before climbing “Mount Tesco” – a great achievement with almost 60 miles in our legs.

Great riding everyone!

Family ride – Saturday 21st June

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

I have just finished recce’ing the routes for this Saturday’s family-friendly ride. Leaving the Canoe Centre at 9.30 in the morning, we should be out for around two hours, no more. I have devised a couple of options to keep us entertained depending on the group make-up on the day; both routes are comfortably below the 20-mile mark, being twelve miles and ten miles respectively.

Both routes stick mainly to traffic-free cyclepaths and bridleways although we will be taking in the village of Hardingstone and, for those who opt for the longer route, the quiet lanes out to Rothersthorpe and Kislingbury. Some sections are gravel and/or dirt so leave the 23-section tyres at home unless you want a Roubaix type experience. The 35s I recce’d on were more than plush enough and so MTBs are strictly optional.

If you are bringing the family, an idea of numbers would be helpful, but not essential.

Likewise, if any of our more regular riders are likely to be joining us, I’d appreciate the help.

See you Saturday morning, 9.30 a.m. at the Canoe Centre,

Brisk local ride – Saturday 26th October

Phil Letts is leading this ride and writes:

We’ll start at 9.30 a.m. where the A5099 crosses the Brampton Valley Way for a brisk ride around the Northampton boundary of about 40 miles. We’ll circle the borough, keeping the Express Lift Tower as our ‘hub’ throughout the ride.  We’ll take in The Bramptons, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe before pausing at Salcey Forest for an early brunch. Then we’ll complete the circuit through Quinton, The Houghtons, Ecton, Overstone, Moulton and Boughton.
Phil is on 07867 388592 for any questions.

Christmas Lunch – Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes CTC – Sunday 16th December

The CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes Christmas lunch was held today at our usual venue, The Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe.  Thirty members were in attendance.

Six members from CTC Northampton rode to the Lunch from Hunsbury: John W, Eleanor, Bob, David, Ian and our leader Bill.  (Phillip and Rowan made an assisted journey; John C was meeting up with Max in the Bramptons; Phil L broke his chain – and mangled his gear changer – on the way to the start; he returned home and rode solo to the Lunch on another bike!) On a dry, sunny, mild morning we made our way through Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe, Bugbrooke and Nether Heyford to a sociable elevenses stop at Flore (The Paddocks tea-room). David returned home at this point.

IMGP5608Cycles neatly parked at The Old Dairy Farm

Despite our pause for elevenses, we found we were among the very first to arrive at the Lunch venue where festive delights awaited us in the pleasant upstairs room set aside for our party.

IMGP5607Festivities have commenced

Thoroughly refreshed, we made our own ways back home.  My total mileage to the venue was 20 and my return 11.  A splendid start to Christmas – and big thanks to the organiser, John Weller!