Ride report – Saturday 12th December

Phil L led this ride and writes:

Following all the dire weather forecasts emanating from the Met Office for “continuous heavy rain from 5.00 a.m. onwards” I had my doubts that this morning’s planned brisk ride would even start.  By 8.30 a.m., however, it was still dry and seemed promising so I met the other three wanting to ride at the Brampton Valley Way start point.  And then it started raining!  Later than predicted but enough to make it a bit of a wet start.

But we got a good brisk pace going despite a fairly tough headwind and soon took in Flore, Nether Heyford, Stoke Bruerne, Ashton and Hartwell before it started to abate.  We called in at Salcey for a coffee and quick “steam”!

Our usual return loop through Quinton, Preston Deanery and Great Houghton was pleasantly aided by a following wind and so a good quick 35 miles were achieved and enjoyed.

Ride Report – Saturday 7th March

Phil L led this ride and writes:

Spring has sprung!  Well at least that’s what it felt like as the five off us set out for a brisk ride out towards Castlethorpe and Haversham.  There were plenty of other riders out as well – mostly in ones and twos but that’s a good sign as well.

It was surprisingly breezy as we battled our way back to Salcey – why is it that the wind always seems to be against you when out cycling?!!  But we could almost ‘smell’ the coffee a few miles out.

So over a pleasant coffee stop at Salcey it was good to recognize a fair few other cyclists and do some ‘catching up’ in the sunshine.

Good to ride with you guys!

Ride Report – Saturday 24th January

Milton, our Secretary, went on this ride led by Phil L and writes:

Five of us met at the Brampton Valley Way start point to be taken by Phil L on one of his legendary brisks!  In fact, because we had a nearly new rider with us, we were able to keep the brakes on Phil as we set off on the route round Northampton clockwise through Boughton and Moulton to Overstone and Ecton.  On through Little Houghton and up the hill at Great Houghton and via Quinton and Preston Deanery to coffee at Salcey Forest café.

We had already lost Eleanor before the cafe (Packing for the great Thailand trip perhaps?  Good luck you two!)  Our new rider decided to get a lift back home from there.  We look forward to your company again, Janne!

We three remainders continued off through Horton towards Kislingbury where Phil G left us to go to the bike shop to try out a new bike.  The remaining Phil, L that is, and I parted at Sixfields to our respective homes.

A cold and icy morning had miraculously turned into a sunny and almost warm day with only the slightest breeze.  As good a cycling day as you get. Good weather, a good route and fine company. What more can you ask for?

Ride Report – Saturday 13th September

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

Milton promised us:

  • an on-time departure
  • a brisk ride
  • a choice of coffee stop.

I arrived at Moulton bang on 9.30 a.m., just in time to take part in the where-shall-we-stop vote (Olney 4, Salcey 0, abstentions 2), and then we were rolling. Milton set a brisk, but not unmanageable, pace over the lumpy bits to Bozeat before leading us through Harrold and out on a road I don’t think I’ve ever ridden before, which took us smoothly into Olney where we scared a group of cyclists from MK into leaving town. Not quite sure how we managed that, but perhaps it wasn’t us after all, perhaps it was the traffic. Not a problem on a bike though, since it wasn’t even moving.

After a sit down and a brew, Milton led us out of Olney “the flat way”, passing the highest point of the ride in Salcey Forest before cutting back through Preston Deanery and Great Houghton.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable morning (we were back well before 1.00 p.m., as promised) with some new tarmac and a decent pace, and it’s safe to say that Milton delivered on all three promises.

It was also good to see Ken back with us for the morning.

GPS track here: https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/407515962/5180977

Ride report – Saturday 9th August

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

 With most of the club seemingly in London for the big weekend (RideLondon FreeCycle & London-Surrey 100), there were only four intrepid souls ready on Saturday afternoon to enjoy a leisure ride from the Canoe Centre through Brafield-on-the-Green down to Horton and on to the cafe at Salcey Forest for the usual excess of cake and drinks.

We returned to the Canoe Centre via Quinton and Wootton by 4.15 p.m. having covered no more than 20 miles.

A lovely fresh breezy and warm day, perfect for cycling, and a well-led trip which the four of us much enjoyed.  Many thanks to Iain D for a quality ride.

*********************

And we didn ‘t get wet!

Bank Holiday ride – Monday 21st April

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

Easter Eggs! Burn them off on the Easter Monday Bank Holiday ride.

We’ll be rolling through the wooded lanes south of Whittlebury, stopping for elevenses at Wakefield Farm in Potterspury and heading out to the west of Milton Keynes before testing the ride leader’s navigation skills on the MK Redways as we try to find Willen Lake and lunch.

If we’re successful, we’ll then leave Milton Keynes by way of Mill Road and Hanslope before passing through Salcey Forest on our way back into Northampton.

All up, it should total about 55 not-too-strenuous miles.

We meet in Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, at 9.30 on Monday morning (NOT Sunday!)

Ride Report – Saturday 22nd February

Phil L led this ride to Newport Pagnell and writes:

The six of us who turned out for today’s ride, stood blinking for a while in a strange new light, trying to figure out what was different about the day.  Ah yes!  It wasn’t raining and that ethereal light was sunshine!

It was good to welcome new rider Wojter from Poland who proved to be a fit addition to our group as we made brisk progress out via Ashton and Castlethorpe to Newport Pagnell for coffee plus.  I say that because the owner of the cafe we dropped into wasn’t keen for “Coffees only” orders which “forced” us pretty willingly to go for bacon butties etc.

The return route via NR6 and Salcey made it just about 40 miles and in time for the rugby!

Ride Report – Saturday 30th November

Phil L led this ride and writes:

I think for the four of us who rode today, it was quite refreshing to ride a fair bit off-road and without having to constantly be on the lookout for wayward drivers.  So, having dusted off our mountain bikes, we took a route in the morning sunshine which linked the parks of Delapre, Becketts, Sixfields, Upton, Hunsbury Hill and Grange emerging not far from Salcey Forest for a loop of the woods and a coffee stop.

Our return via bridleway to Piddington and Brackmills Cycle Network didn’t take too long despite some interesting wheel-gripping sections of mud on-route.

An enjoyable change.  So a “New Year’s” resolution: do more off road!

Morning ride – Saturday 30th November

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:

We shall start at the Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA) at 9.30 a.m.

It’s a challenging ride – short but fast for the morning.  We’ll be 50/50 on/off-road, using some of the lesser-known trails which connect Northampton’s parks and woods.  The surfaces are reasonable so either an MTB or a sturdy touring bike would be fine – but not your best road bike!

Coffee stop at Salcey Forest Café.

(Phil L is on 07867 388592.)

Ride Report – Saturday 23rd November

Iain, our rides secretary, went on this ride led by Phillip G and writes:

An overcast start to the morning meant that we would, at least, be riding without fear of drivers being blinded by the sun.  It also meant that our leader had much to do to keep us motivated. Seven of us were motivated enough to be there at the start but there had been mention of shortcuts.

We departed East Hunsbury fairly briskly on the usual route out through Blisworth to Roade and from there past the pub at Ashton where the Christmas meal is being held this year. There did seem to be a fair amount of mud on the junctions round here, not that it caused us any problems, but it is that time of year so take a bit of care if you’re out that way.

We made it over the rail line to Long Street in good time and nobody opted for the shortcut, so Phillip’s route must have been keeping our spirits up, besides which it wasn’t cold enough to cause problems – once you’re moving, that is. It was rather chilly whenever we stopped.

We looped south through Hanslope and back up again to Stoke Goldington, passing Olney signs on the way, before escaping from the Milton Keynes district to cut across the middle of Salcey Forest and head to the café for coffee. The café was doing good trade for a winter’s morning and there were even a couple of non-cyclists in there, though they were hugely outnumbered.

Between Salcey and Quinton, we passed the construction entrance for the M1 Windfarm that’s currently under development and which will boast nine smaller-than-planned turbines by the time it’s finished. At Quinton the group split. Riders from the east side of town opted to avoid the west turn to Courteenhall, as did Rowan who, with a dangling front light, was opting for the shortest route home, leaving a much reduced group to brave the A508 between two lovely stretches of country lane. That road doesn’t get any better, which is a shame because the lanes to and from it are lovely and very quiet.

The stretch back through Blisworth to East Hunsbury brought us up to the 29 mile mark, according to my route planner, rounding off a very pleasant, briskish, winter’s morning ride.

Thanks to Phillip for organising the route.