Ride Report – Leisure Ride – Saturday 25th October

Rowan went on this ride, led by Iain D.  She writes:

Four of us met up at the entrance to the Brampton Valley Way (BVW), near the Windhover pub on Saturday afternoon for what was the last of our summertime rides.

Luckily for us, the sun came out and we enjoyed some very mild, if a little windy, weather as Iain D. led Milton, Dave U. and myself northwards up the BVW path, over loose chippings and through some puddles (eek!) until we hit a beautifully smooth surfaced (in comparison) road towards Creaton village and up the rather steep but scenic hill!

Our ride was rather challenging in terms of ups and downs; certainly it was for me after having a few weeks off from suffering a twisted neck muscle but as we got into the swing of it I would say we might have re-titled our ride “brisk”.

We rode through Creaton, Hollowell, Ravensthorpe, East Haddon and lastly along the Holdenby road towards our refreshment stop, Café Monde, Church Brampton. We went “up hill and down dale” for the whole ride, but I seemed to go up a few gears on the final stretch towards my waiting coffee! Milton left us at this point to go and walk his dog ….

The remaining three of us were very pleased to meet up at our tea stop with John Alcock , who had cycled over from his home in Duston to be with us. Thanks to John we had a great conversation ranging from our shared re-collections of Chesterfield and Worksop to the future of our CTC groups.

Thanks to Iain D for organising this ride and for everyone else’s company.

Ride Report – Sunday 1st June

Eleanor went on this ride, led by Ian M, and writes:

Eight of us arrived promptly at the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) near The Windhover for our ride, a loop around Daventry.  One new rider (Ken from Morecambe) who was visiting family in the area joined us.  We set off enjoying blue sky and sunshine – which lasted all day – along familiar and then less-well-known lanes taking in lovely views over a very green countryside.  After our coffee stop at The Willows in Barby, we left on schedule along quiet lanes dotted with gates and cattle grids to negotiate.  Our final obstacle was a flock of sheep we herded along and off into a field before arriving at The Windmill in Badby for lunch.

Eleanor discovers her inner shepherdess

Eleanor discovers her inner shepherdess near Lower Catesby

With the few delays and after a longer lunch we eventually got moving and headed for home.  Four of us split just before Flore, the rest heading back to BVW.  I hope you all arrived safely home and like me enjoy a great day out.

Thanks to Ian M for his time in organizing and leading the ride.

The route is here on RideWithGPS.

 

Ride Report – “La Petite Étape” – Sunday 11th May

Five Cycling – Report written by Nick (Enid Blyton being unavailable)

Five riders made the rendezvous point at the Windhover/BVW to enjoy the delights of this ride led by Alex (Alex, Miriam, Terry, Milton and Nick).  Maybe it would have been more but the previous evening’s weather forecast was not particularly fair.  As it turned out however the rain had cleared, the sun was out and the wind was blowing.  A great day for drying your washing but an even better one for riding a bike!

We set off in good spirits and headed north through Church Brampton before hitting the hills on the roller-coaster roads heading east from Holdenby through Spratton and up to Brixworth.  Happily each of the hills was easily conquered with the large helping hand supplied by the not inconsiderate tail wind.  It was then north and north-east through the picturesque lanes linking Brixworth to Cottesbrooke and Haselbech.  On the hill up to Haselbech we were reminded of the need for caution when riding near horses when an oncoming beast (with rider) was seriously spooked.  Apparently it was something to do with the sight of Milton’s knees!

Onwards to Naseby and then a seriously fast descent in the direction of Clipston (wind-assisted) but then turning south-east to Kelmarsh and Arthingworth.  From here we climbed the Strava Queen of the Mountains section used in Wednesday’s Stage One of the 2014 Women’s Tour of Britain.  At the top, outside the Tollemache Arms pub, we paused for a breather.  It was at this point that we realised that we had actually ridden three of the four Queen of the Mountain stages used on Stages One and Two of the Women’s Tour.  A little bit of messing about with a smart phone and we were ecstatic to discover that all five of us had ridden two of the sections faster than the professional riders on Wednesday and Thursday had.  FANTASTIC – however, just for the record we did it in the opposite direction …..

Not long after Arthingworth it was pay back time; we turned right and headed south and south-west across the flat land of the former aerodrome at Harrington which put us right into the teeth of the gale!!!  Alex was the leader so we all hid behind him.  We took a hilly detour off this road through Draughton – its a strange day when you prefer including a hill to avoid the flat – but it did cheat the wind.

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

The tightly formed peleton close to Lamport

Through the villages of Old, Walgrave, Hannington and Holcot before closing on the destination of Moulton.  Terry and Milton peeled off for home whilst those left enjoyed a coffee at the J-Gallery in Moulton before wending our way home.

Game for a laugh!

Game for a laugh!

Grateful thanks to Alex for leading this ride. It lived up to its name and happily, despite the often ominous clouds scudding along, we did not get rained upon.

The route is here on Garmin Connect.

Afternoon ride – Saturday 12th April

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

We have a leisurely ride planned, leaving from the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / Welford Road crossing at 2.00 p.m.  (Postcode NN6 8AA; parking at BVW car park up Brampton Lane opposite The Windhover.)  We will cross the dam at Pitsford, tackle part of the BVW and the Gamboro Plantation track to Cottesbrooke.   Then we head back through Creaton and Holdenby to Church Brampton for coffee; then it’s back down the hill to where we started.

Only one significant climb but please note that one of the tracks is unsurfaced so we might all be walking that one (short) rough stretch!

Weather forecast is currently dry so I hope to see you down at the Brampton Valley Way at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday.

Iain is on 07909 992468.

Morning off-road ride – Saturday 22nd March

Phil L is leading this ride and writes:
We start at 9.30 a.m. from the Brampton Valley Way (BVW)/A5199 Welford Road crossing (NN6 8AA).  [There is a BVW car park up Brampton Lane opposite “The Windhover”.]
The route is partly off-road and so a off-road or mountain bike is required.  We’ll go to Harlestone Firs and then follow the Grand Union Canal towpath to Gayton Marina before going on to Bugbrooke, Nether Heyford and Flore.  At Flore we’ll leave the towpath for a coffee stop.  We then head to Little Brington and return, via Althorpe and Harlestone Firs, to the BVW.  Altogether between 25 and 30 miles.
Phil is on 07867 388592

Ride to Catthorpe – Sunday 2nd February

Philip G will be leading this ride and writes:

This Sunday’s CTC Northampton ride takes us to the corner of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, with lunch at the Manor Farm Tearoom in Catthorpe. This is not a long ride (40 – 45 miles), but the route is quite undulating in places.  We start at 9.30 a.m. at the Brampton Valley Way / A5199 crossing.  There is a car park on Brampton Lane opposite The Windhover.

After a couple of hills there will be an early coffee stop at Seaton’s in Guilsborough (10 miles). The rest of the route includes Yelvertoft, Catthorpe and, after lunch, Barby, Long Buckby and Great Brington.

Currently the forecast for Sunday is relatively good: dry with sunny intervals, fairly cool (3 to 7 degrees) with a light wind from the south-west. Please keep an eye open and dress appropriately.

I look forward to seeing you.  Please let me know if you have any questions: 01604 720522; philip.g@ctc-northampton.org.uk

Ride Report – Sunday 5th January

Ian M went on this ride today and writes:

It was lovely to get back riding with the group today. When we met at the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) / A5199 crossing, the temperature was just above freezing. Although there were occasional slushy bit of ice early on, we were to be very fortunate with the weather. Two leaders (Bill and Brian) marshalled eight riders – including one new rider from Brixworth – and numbers were to fluctuate as there were joiners at Waterloo Farm Café and leavers at Sibbertoft. Bill was leading those who had booked the New Year’s Lunch at Sibbertoft Reading Room; Brian promised to lead home those who hadn’t booked! Rowan made sure that females were represented.

A unanimous vote chose an on-road route to Waterloo Farm. We CTC members don’t seem to like the BVW (well, not in this weather).

Bill took us up through Spratton and Creaton where we left the A5199 to head to Cottesbrooke and Kelmarsh – where we joined the A508 to Great Oxendon and the café. Reasonably sized refreshments were eaten at this point – even by those faced with only a short ride to lunch. Iain D, who joined us at this point, thought that a balmy 36F didn’t merit more than a t-shirt and a hi-via waistcoat – although he did wear long trousers rather than shorts!

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

A larger group pedalled after the café, heading via Clipston to Sibbertoft and there we split. Brian kindly made sure there were several more hills for those of us riding home at this point. Naseby, Thornaby, Guilsborough and Holdenby were conquered. The rain – forecast for days – only began between Teeton and Holdenby and then only gently! True to his plan, Brian led us back to our starting point just before 2.00 p.m.

A hearty thank you to Bill and Brian; and personal thanks from me to you all for your splendid company!

Our route is here on RideWithGPS.

First ride of 2014 – Sunday 5th January

Brian & Bill are leading this ride.  Brian writes:

Start at 9.30 p.m. from the Brampton Valley Way where it crosses the A5199 near The Windhover pub.  There is a car park opposite the pub on Brampton Lane.

We will ride leisurely to Waterloo Farm Café at Great Oxendon near Market Harborough where we will join Kettering CTC for coffee.  Bill and those who have booked for New Year Lunch at Sibbertoft will carry on to the village “Reading Room”.  (Last year’s lunch here.)

Brian and those who have not booked for lunch will treat Waterloo Farm Café as a brunch stop and return to our start point, with a total ride of about 40 miles.  Given the time of year, lights to be seen by would be advised, although we plan to be back before 2.00 p.m.

The Sibertoft lunch group will need full lights and will be making their own way home.

More details from Bill  07736 600858 or Brian 01604 622073 (07722 055149 on the day).

Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path (part 3)

Blog posts back in January and February this year were pretty positive about the upgrading work that is being done done to the Brampton Valley Way (BVW) between the A5099 crossing (near “The Windhover”) and Mill Lane.  See Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path and Upgrading the Brampton Valley Way Cycle Path Part 2

Now this is also National Cycle Network Route 6 and so an important cycle path – and one local CTC member, Peter, reports on his dissatisfaction with the upgrading nine months on.

Last week I chanced my luck and tried out the Route 6 through to Kings Heath from Kingsthorpe, going under the railway and along side the Nene. This section had been finished for some time, but access had been inhibited by the work that continued on the Kings Heath side of the bridge. Thanks to Phil’s info – we now know it’s open !!
We’d had quite a bit of rain, but not a “flood”. The river had subsided into its bed and the tunnel under the railway was mostly clear of running water.  I am not all together enamoured with the final result. Perhaps I’m niggling, or perhaps I’m not alone in my criticisms.
The lower section has a layer of mud and stones left by the flood river, which does not wash out with the flow of water. The upper “dry” section of path leads onto a quagmire before reaching the new tarmac path up to the green (?) lane.
P1050644
P1050650
The slope of the land and bank must drain directly in to the river at this same point, but no account of this seems to have made in this “improvement”.
P1050649
To my mind there hasn’t been a great deal of joined-up thinking put into what must have been an expensive project. Surely a few minor and inexpensive amendments might be made which could make all the difference to a good job done and an inferior bodge.
I’m not only a grumpy old man, I like my cycling and would like to see my taxes spent wisely!

Petite Etape de Northants ride – Saturday 20th July

We start at the Brampton Valley Way – BVW or National Cycle Route 6  (Welford Road Crossing, near The Windhover) at 9.30 a.m.  Distance = 36 miles.  Pace = brisk (say, 14 m.p.h average).  Finish at The J Gallery Café, Moulton.  Alex will be leading and he has worked out a route with 2,536 ft of ascent!  His contact number is 07710 911158.  He looks forward to seeing you.

Alex notes that at the moment the BVW is signposted “closed” for 12 weeks between Mill Lane and the Welford Road Crossing but he has been using it OK from the “horse field” at Kingsthorpe.

After the ride, you could pedal on to Karen’s Coffee Day at 33 Grange Road, Stanwick, NN9 6PZ.  CTC member Karen rode from London to Paris in aid of “Against Breast Cancer” in June this year; in June next year she’s tackling the Three Cities Ride (London to Brussels to Amsterdam).  On Saturday she’s holding a Coffee Day (10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. – not just a Coffee Morning!) as part of her fund-raising for “Prostate Cancer UK”.  There’ll be cakes and other refreshments – and a tom bola / raffle.  Karen would love it if you could call in and support her!