Ride report – Sunday 30th April

Milton went on this ride led by Tim and writes:

Eleven cyclists set off from the canoe centre last Sunday on a warmish breezy day for Tim’s 56 miler to Keysoe. Good to see new rider Mark on a fine traditional steel Thorn with Rohloff hub gears and a front hub dynamo – a true touring set up – and to welcome again Chris.

With the quite fierce breezes in our faces it was nearly a struggle to reach Scald End Farm just outside Thurleigh, but very worth while. We were welcomed at the cafe by exceptionally cheery and efficient service and a few full breakfasts were ordered to say nothing of the bacon butties. The addition of cake was too much after that, but most of us managed.
Homeward bound then with bulging stomachs, but with the wind behind us, saw the peloton split in a number of places. Front runners were deservedly punished for going through a junction ahead of the leader by taking a wrong turning at Felmersham and had to be called back. One was too far ahead to hear and, no matter that attempts were made to phone him, he was never seen or heard from again. We hope you made it home John C, but if not and you’re still out there pedalling like mad, I can recommend a fine B and B in Glasgow which, at the speed you were going, you should have reached by now!
We had eaten too much for there to be any excuse to stop at Castle Ashby, so we did, and the coffee and cake was as fine as ever.
Back to base and we realised that we’d all averaged something over 14mph which, for a ‘steady ride’ was not at all bad. Couldn’t have been done without the cake.
Lovely ride Tim, thank you. Good quiet roads and a certain amount of new territory covered..
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Ride to Keysoe – Sunday 30th April

Tim, our webmaster, will be leading this ride and writes:

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Meet: Nene Whitewater Canoe Centre, Bedford Road, Northampton, NN4 7AA. (If coming by car, don’t park within the car park barrier.  There is plenty of space on the approach road.)
Distance: 56 miles
Speed: 12-14 m.p.h.
Refreshments: Scald End Farm, Thurleigh (at approx 30 miles)

From the Canoe Centre we head out in a generally eastwards direction through the villages of Cogenhoe, Grendon, Bozeat, Odell, Sharnbrook and Riseley en route to our most easterly point at Keysoe.  From here we turn south and west to our stop for refreshment at Scald End Farm, located just outside Thurleigh.  Here you can feast on the breakfast “fit for a king” or maybe one of the several cakes on offer.  There is also the benefit of a cosy wood burning stove to warm oneself by.

Once replete, we continue south westwards through Milton Earnest, Harrold and Lavendon before heading north & west on our final homeward leg via Yardley Hastings, Castle Ashby (where a second tea stop is eminently possible) and Cogenhoe Hill before arriving back at the Canoe Centre.

The route can be viewed (and downloaded as a gpx file) at: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20043554

Any questions?  Please contact Tim on 07749 477231.

Three rides coming up: 27 June, 4 July & 12 July!

A reminder about three rides coming up:

1. Annual London Ride – Saturday 27th June

Time: 10.00 a.m. (The 0850 train from Northampton arrives at Euston at 0949)
Start: Euston Station (outside Caffe Nero at the Melton Street exit)
Distance: 28 miles
A sight-seeing ride, north and south of the river, with plenty of stops for refreshments and photographs. Some unusual sights guaranteed!
Finish: Back at Euston by 5.00 p.m. (but if booking a particular train home, allow for unforeseen delays).
Contact: Ian M on 01604 843894 or 07960 302095

2 Audax Event – The Reservoir Challenges – Saturday 4th July

Organised by Kettering CTC, starting and finishing at Oundle.
Options for 100km, 155km and 200km.
Registration and a fee of £5 is required in advance by post – see www.aukweb.net for entry forms and for .gpx files of the three routes.

3 Annual “Guy Barber” ride to St Neots – Sunday 12th July

Time: 9.15 a.m.
Start: The Canoe Centre (Nene Whitewater Centre, Bedford Road, NN4 7AA)
Distance: 66miles (with the option of a shorter distance to Thurleigh)
This is an annual ride in memory of Guy Barber and a donation of £5 to the Headway Charity is requested on the day.  It is a “Bike Week” event advertised nationally and there is usually good support from Milton Keynes and Kettering CTC groups.
Contact: Brian on 01604 622073 or 07722 055149

Ride Report – Sunday 17th August

Words by Phil J; photos by David.

Nine riders met outside the Canoe Centre under gloomy skies for a slightly longer ride than normal to the picturesque location of Grafham Water over the border in Cambridgeshire.  Right on cue the heavens opened and all riders donned wet weather gear somewhat earlier than we expected to.  We therefore departed a little later than scheduled but fortunately the rain subsided pretty quickly but it had left plenty of surface water around making conditions tricky for some of the group especially down the fast decent at Cogenhoe early on.

A wet start

A wet start

 

Nonetheless decent pace was made towards the first cafe stop at Thurleigh with the suspicion falling on a strong tailwind that might have its revenge on the return leg.  All riders came in out of the cold at Thurleigh to warm up with hot drinks and snacks. Phil L was riding well and after refuelling decided – understandably – to play it safe and return to Northampton accompanied by Eleanor.  Well done, Phil!

As we left Thurleigh it seemed like a completely different day as the sun came out and skies cleared to lift the mood of the remaining cyclists.  All pressed on towards Grafham and enjoyed plenty of fast riding through some beautiful villages along the way.  The odd mechanical gave us a chance to admire some splendid scenery.

The odd mechanical

The odd mechanical

As the destination came into view it was decided to use the main café rather than the boating club giving us an extra couple of miles to reach lunch.  We actually rode round some of the cycle path around the reservoir before deciding to get back on the road to find the regular entrance.IMG_1952

A busy café greeted us – full of Sustrans rangers and other visitors to the reservoir. Talk turned to the strength of the wind and also how Milton had managed to polish off two oversized pieces of cake in one day with one more stop to come!  Phone calls were made by some of the group to other halves to soften the blow of an anticipated late return.

The café at Grafham

The café at Grafham

We reluctantly left the lovely location at the side of the water and headed out on the cycle route across the dam and eventually onto the main road through Perry and beyond.  Our suspicions about the wind were immediately noticeable as all the riders were pounded relentlessly across the open terrain. Turns in direction seemed to have no effect as the wind continued to pay us back for the journey out.  Mile after mile came stronger and stronger gusts especially on exposed locations.  Wind turbines that we passed were a clear indicator of what we were riding through.

There was very little respite until the final welcoming stop at Poddington where we all enjoyed a well earned break before the final push home.

The hill at Cogenhoe proved to be the only real obstacle left.  When all the team reached the top we regrouped and talked tactics about the routes each of us would take home.  We split on the cycle paths alongside the A45 leaving just Iain D and Phil J to return to the Canoe Centre and to a much brighter setting than we had seen that morning.

A longer and tougher ride than I think any of us had expected. Well done all!

Ride Report – Ninth Annual Guy Barber Ride – Sunday 13th July

Bill, our Treasurer, organised this ride and writes:

Numbers taking part = 18. We raised £90 for Headway Charity though a cheque for £100 was forwarded to them.

Though eighteen took part, sadly, this year we had no female presence. Not sure off-hand if this was a first …

Of the eighteen, there was one new CTC member: Hartley from Northampton. We had Phil from St. Andrews Hospital who worked with Guy and is a close friend of the Barber family. It was good to have him on board. Also with us was Harry from Milton Keynes, who would win the prize of the elder statesman with us. I believe he is around the 73-74 years of age so should Harry read this, well done! We raise our helmets to you. [John, another regular rider, adds: “Phil was the old rider I think. At 78 he rode from Milton Keynes and back as well!”]

The other riders were a mix of Northampton, Milton Keynes and one CTC member from Wellingborough. Most of you have supported this ride over the last 9 years and the fact that you still do is very much appreciated by the benefactors Headway.

Riders gathering early at the start

Riders gathering early at the start

As for the ride itself, it is always a ride that produces great spirit… The ride through the east side of the county as it heads for Bedfordshire through the villages of Sharnbrook and Thurleigh to name but two, just seem to fly by effortlessly, with a constant chatter of voice and the sounds of gears and wheels. As is normal on this ride the bunch splits with some stopping and enjoying the fayre at Thurleigh (the healthy food option) while others prefer to get the bulk of the ride behind them and they press on to St. Neots. As usual the groups meet at St. Neots at The Market Café for a short exchange of pleasantries of the ride encountered thus far.

The split at St. Neots continued, only the split of two groups became three. Then as the ride heads for home the chatter recedes as it progresses on the road towards Kimbolton. This is always a sign that a headwind is encountered and so it proved to be… Poddington Garden Centre is always a welcome break from that constant element, and an enjoyable stop for afternoon coffee.

The final miles back to Northampton seem to fly by. As far as I am aware, no p*nct*res were experienced though we did have one mechanical problem to deal with, soon put to rights by John and George ….

So in conclusion, the question must be asked, what will the 10th G.B. memorial ride bring? We wait to find out. Hopefully we may enjoy the company of a few female riders along with all the usual suspects who have supported this event over the years …

Many thanks on behalf of Headway!

[The 65-miles route is here on RideWithGPS]