Ride Report (or rather, Lunch Report) – Sunday 10th December

Brian, our Secretary, writes this report on our Christmas lunch at Stoke Bruerne:

Well, the snow came (about four inches of it) as forecast and at 9.00 a.m. the texts and phone calls were flowing with plans for the morning.  Were we riding to “The Navigation” or not?  The hard men went out on their bikes to test the snow, Peter on his knoblies and Alex with a cunning plan to ride to the lunch venue along the canal, complete with wet suit and snorkel just in case it was quicker in the canal.  However, it was the wrong kind of snow and sanity reigned and we grouped up in cars!

Unfortunately a few in the west found too many cars blocking the roads whilst those of us in the east were lucky to have the roads to ourselves.  Once onto the A45 and A508 it was plain sailing to The Navigation.  Ten of us made it from Northampton and six from Milton Keynes.  We almost had the place to ourselves as the expected 130 other customers that day did not turn up!

The meal was very good as was the company and I think we were glad to have made the effort.

Thanks to Mike Harris (CTC Milton Keynes) and Philip Gray (CTC Northampton) for organising the lunch and reminding us what food we had ordered!

Ride Report – Saturday 23rdJanuary

Tim went on this ride led by Phil L and writes:

Five riders set off from East Hunsbury on Phil’s “mainly off-road” route.  The conditions certainly lived up to the wet and muddy prediction so much so that one rider decided to inaugurate his own mini-triathlon with an impromptu fall in to the canal followed by a quick run to warm up before resuming cycling.  Maybe water wings should be added to the list of essentials on future rides.

“Chapeau” to the water baby for insisting on riding on, despite everyone’s concern lest exposure set in.  The lure of an open fire at the Boat Inn at Stoke Bruerne proved a stronger draw than an instant abandonment.

Suitably warmed and refreshed with flapjacks and cups of coffee we decided to stick to the road and forego the planned canal tow-path to Cosgrove.  Our return via Ashton, Hartwell and Salcey Forest was a welcome anti-climax to the morning’s trials.

Despite its diminutive 16 miles, this was a ride that will live long in our memories (if falling in to the canal wasn’t enough excitement for one ride we also suffered multiple punctures, with our leader accumulating a winning total of three) and one that has reminded me of a couple of things:

  • If you’ re going to fall off your bike, it’s best not to do so alongside a canal!
  • Hawthorn hedge trimmings & liquid mud do not make for a good bike riding surface!

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 to the Christmas Lunch – Sunday 15th December

You’ll have seen from Peter’s post here all about our Christmas lunch on Sunday 15th December 2013 at the Old Crown, Ashton (near Stoke Bruerne) – including menus and booking contact.  It’s a good venue!

Last year's Christmas Lunch at Stowe

Last year’s Christmas Lunch at Stowe

If you want to ride there in a group, Bill Simpson  (07736 600858) is leading a ride starting at 10.00 a.m. from East Hunsbury (Overslade Close, NN4 7AA) with an elevenses stop in Towcester.

How we got there last year!

How we got there last year!

A circular ride to Buckingham and return – Sunday 18th March

Mike Hart leads this ride and writes:

A gentle circular ride to Buckingham and back, suitable for most types of bike.  The ride will include a coffee stop at Stoke Bruerne, a lunch stop in Buckingham and possibly a refreshment stop on the return leg.  The weather forecast looks promising although it may be cool.  Meet at the Canoe Club, Bedford Road, for a 9.30 a.m. start.

Events in March

Sunday 4th March – A ride to East Carlton Country Park

Brian Tunbridge, our Secretary, leads this ride from Moulton (outside the Post Office / Co-op Store).  It’ll be a challenging ride of 50 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Brian can be contacted on 01604 622073.

Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March – A weekend ride to National Forest Youth Hostel, Moira, Derbyshire

Bill Simpson, our Treasurer, leads a weekend ride for advanced riders.  About 60 miles on each of the two days at an average speed of 12 to 14 m.p.h.  Bill wanted people to book with him by 5th February; if the hostel still has spaces, you could ring him on 07736 600858.

Sunday 18th March – A ride to Buckingham

Mike Hart leads this ride, starting from the Canoe Centre on Bedford Road at 9.30 a.m.  Another challending ride of about 55 miles at an average speed of 12 m.p.h.  Stopping at Stoke Bruerne as well as refreshments at Buckingham.  Mike’s contact number is 01604 631965.

Saturday 24th March – A ride to Maidwell

Brian Tunbridge leads a leisurely ride of about twenty miles, starting from the Brampton Valley Way (near “The Windhover”) at 2.00 p.m.  His contact number is 01604 622073.

 

Sunday 25th March – Stevenage & South Hertfordshire CTC Member Group “Start of Summertime Special”

Not part of our programme but our friends in Stevenage offer a choice of three distances: 62, 115 and 210 kilometres starting at 8.15 a.m (210k), 10.30 a.m. (115k) and 11.00 a.m. (62k)

The 62k is an introduction to Audax riding.  The 115k is the original “Ugley Nasty Ride”.    These two events are Brevets Populaires (BP).  The 210k is a BRM event (Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux) over the classic distance.

All the details, including entry forms and route sheets, are here.

Full details about U.K. Audax rides are here.