Ride Report – Sunday 16th February

David went on Bill’s ride to Towcester and writes as follows.  He also took the pictures!

Bill led the annual ride to the A5 Rangers’ Cycle Jumble Sale at their clubhouse in Towcester.  This year we had a cold start but it was sunny through out the day: a respite from the record-breaking daily rainfall and gale-force winds we have had on the last few rides.

Outside

Outside

Inside

Inside

The club served tea and cake and the stalls had many vintage bicycle parts to buy.  Some of us bought super sized pannier racks and struggled to put them in our pannier bags!  I purchased a tool wallet, containing many useful tools, which will be easier to travel with. Max got large handlebars to enable him to breathe better whilst cycling.

One of the stalls

One of the stalls

An interesting table top

An interesting table top

Three of us returned back together to Northampton, passing a buzzard sitting on a hedge watching a earthy field for prey.  It promptly flew away as we passed by!

Ride to Towcester – Sunday 16th February

Iain D, our Rides Secretary, writes:

We’ve got off relatively lightly with the weather of late, in comparison with other parts of the country, but it’s not exactly been lovely for cycling this week. And we scheduled a ride to Towcester for the A5 Rangers cycle parts, extras and “jumble” sale this Sunday …
Well, I’m pleased to say that the forecast is looking pretty good for the day itself and Bill still intends to lead this ride. Here’s what he has to say:
The ride is just a straight out and return – approx 25-30 miles.
 
There is the usual tea and cake at the A5 Rangers club house plus attempts to pick up stuff from the jumble sale etc.
 
I will be there as per normal even if weather inclement.
 
It’s usually a good opportunity to stock up on consumables for the year as well – and you can stay as long or as short as you like in Towcester, if you’re happy to make your own way back.
One other note from Bill:
leave 9.30 a.m. … sharp
See you Sunday, 9.30 a.m. (sharp!), Overslade Close, East Hunsbury, NN4 0RZ.
Bill is on 07736 600858

Ride Report – Sunday 23rd June – Stowe Park Loop

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

For various reasons, not least of which may have been the damp and dismal weather forecast, only three of us turned out for Sunday’s Stowe Park Loop ride. This was disappointing but we are nearing peak season for other cycle-related activities so perhaps it’s not too surprising that turnout was low. Brian, David and I enjoyed ourselves though.

Heading out into the wind, we worked our way down through Stoke Bruerne, past the southern tip of Towcester and onto the lanes that lie between Paulerspury and Milton Keynes, passing a familiar Sustrans face heading the other way, before Brian navigated us down into Buckingham while managing to avoid traffic completely.

Looking for coffee in Buckingham, we wandered into a courtyard arrangement, similar to where we go in Olney, which held not just a brasserie/bistro but also a bike shop. The shop staff made it clear that there are only two decent places in which to get coffee in Buckingham, and there was nowhere to park bikes within sight of one of them. That left the bistro in the courtyard as the other (and our preferred) choice. Highly recommended, especially for Canadian-style pancakes.

A couple of mini-roundabouts and a short climb saw us out of Buckingham and on the straight, and very grand, approach to Stowe Park but rather than head into the grounds we skirted round them for a short stretch before turning off towards Biddlesdon and thence to Syresham, which appeared to have been taken over by scarecrows for the weekend. From there, the plan was to head up through Helmdon to Sulgarve Manor for lunch but this was a little scuppered when we discovered that the road to Helmdon was closed. After a quick review of the map, it was determined that we could simply do the other two sides of the square so we were stuck on the main road a little longer than had been anticipated, but when we finally turned off it: Tailwind!

Sulgrave was also busy, it being open garden weekend. (And also open-your-car-door-without-looking weekend! Don’t ride too close to parked cars).

Lunch was, I have to say, a disappointment. We’ve been to Sulgrave over and over again and it’s always been fairly reasonable but not so on this trip. I don’t know why it’s changed but changed it has and much for the worse. Thank heavens for coffee-stop pancakes.

Brian had cunningly contrived to make the home leg of the route tailwind-assisted all the way so we made excellent time back to Northampton, Greens Norton’s signpost deficit notwithstanding. Sadly, it wasn’t quite an excellent enough time to prevent us from getting drenched on the A45 cycle path. It seems that the weather had got fed up with us ducking under trees for a couple of minutes when it threw a light shower down and decided to throw everything it had at us when there was no shelter around. It was going alright up until then.

Thanks to Brian for a different and interesting route. The full details are to be found here, with a bit extra (although don’t believe all you read there. It appears to show us getting lost, exceeding 100 mph and climbing a mere 2000 feet)!
See you next time and don’t forget Wednesday’s BBQ,

Day ride – Sunday 9th June

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

This Sunday we’ll be heading over to the west of the county and through the village of Eydon. There’s no special reason for visiting that spot, although I’m sure it’s lovely, but it will give us a chance to try out a different mix of lanes to those we usually ride on.

Total distance is a shade over 50 miles (12 m.p.h. average speed at a steady pace), elevenses will be at Canons Ashby, lunch in Towcester and the weather looks set to continue fine into the weekend so I’ll see you all on Sunday – start at East Hunsbury (Overslade Close, by the library, NN4 0RZ) at 9.30 a.m.

Iain is on 07909 992468

Club ride to Farthingstone – Sunday 17th March

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

This Sunday we’re off to Farthingstone on a 50-mile jaunt taking in a few of the less severe hills to be found in the western half of Northamptonshire.

This is a one-stop ride and Farthingstone Golf Course (where we’ll be taking lunch) is almost exactly at the turning point so we’re looking at two 25-mile legs. Bring extra supplies as necessary.

The route out is fairly circuitous incorporating Everdon Stubbs while avoiding Dodford and Newnham.  The route back brings us through Silverstone and almost through Towcester.  It should be an interesting trip.

We’ll be meeting at a new start location – outside TGI Friday’s at Sixfields at 9.30 a.m.

(If you’re coming to the start by car, please don’t leave it at the start location; there is plenty of parking available down by the lakes, a mere 200 yards away).

See you on Sunday!

Report – Ride on Sunday 10th February

Ian Macsporran went on this ride, led by Bill Simpson, and writes:

Just like the last time we cycled to the A5 Rangers Club-House in Towcester (for the CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes AGM), four wet riders met in the pouring rain at Hunsbury.  This time we were Ian, David, Phil L and our leader Bill.  This time the venue was hosting the annual Cyclists’ Jumble Sale!

Again, we didn’t hang about after 9.30 a.m. and Bill set a good pace to get us to Towcester and dry shelter!  It was the first time I’d been to this annual event and it was fascinating – not just for the items for sale but for the coffee and cake and, of course, the conversations with old friends.

IMGP5682The plan was always that we would make our ways home independently.  Phil pretty much turned round for the return leg straightaway; David must have followed him shortly afterwards; and Bill was to head for a cycle shop in Milton Keynes.

I had two lots of coffee and cake and felt fortified enough not just to skip lunch at Greens Norton (my original plan) but to add to that part of the loop by going through Abthorpe, Slapton and Bradden as well.  Route here.

From Hunsbury back to Hunsbury, this was 26 miles.  Add to and from home, and I enjoyed a damp but worthwhile 37 miles.

Footnote: returning to the town centre down Towcester Road, I stopped to photograph two houses which a friend who grew up in the area told me were the only houses built in a proposed Northampton Garden Suburb.  Photos and more details in my personal blog here.

 

Ride to Towcester – Sunday 10th February

Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, writes:

On Sunday morning, at 9.30 a.m., we will be gathering in East Hunsbury for a ride over to Towcester and the annual cycle jumble at the A5 Rangers Clubroom.

Bill will be leading the group there but it may be a case of making your own way back, especially if you divert to Greens Norton for lunch.

Bring some pennies and stock up on brake blocks and p*nct*re repair kits (or bring some pounds and see what bigger stuff takes your fancy).