Milton went on this ride organised by Tim and writes:
A chilly morning, and a late start for fear of a frost that didn’t in fact linger, found five ready for Tim’s big adventure to the Old Dairy Farm Craft Centre at Upper Stowe. We split into a quick riding group of three who were to take a longer route to coffee and a sensible, (do I give myself away here?) group of two. The two sensibles soon became three as one of the other lot found that Christmas excess had not yet cleared the system and he hadn’t a hope of staying the course for the next 27 miles. Next month Giles,next month!.
The sun came out as we trundled through Pattishall, Adstone, Preston Capes and Farthingstone. The roads were dry, the fields were full of fat sheep, the lambs not far away now, and a kestrel sat confident on a hedge only feet from us as we sped past, and it was bliss to be on a bike.
The three sensible ones arrived at the cafe only a few moments ahead of the other two who regaled us with tales of derring-do, monster hills and terrifying descents which we chose not to believe.
Much colder after a 40-minute stop (how does the weather manage to change so radically during every coffee break?) we all dashed back together through Upper Heyford, Bugbrooke, and Kislingbury until, at just after 2pm, we were back in East Hunsbury.
Lovely, well devised route,(thank you Tim) which meant we had space to really enjoy the trip – which we did!
Tim, our Webmaster, has planned these rides and writes:
Start: 10.00 a.m. – changed to allow for possibility of frosty roads and lanes! Meeting point: East Hunsbury Library, Overslade Close, NN4 0RZ Distance: Brisk 37 miles; moderate 30 miles Anticipated Speed: Brisk 14-16 m.p.h.; moderate 10–12 m.p.h. Refreshments: Old Dairy Farm Cafe, Upper Stowe
There are two rides this Saturday, one will be at a brisk pace (led by Tim) and the other at a moderate pace (led by Milton). The moderate ride will be a shorter distance so that we should all arrive at the Upper Stowe tea stop at about the same time.
Both rides head out south westwards from East Hunsbury along Banbury Lane before splitting just north of Blakesley to take alternative routes to Preston Capes. After a short shared section they again divide before rejoining just before the stop for tea and cakes at Upper Stowe. Both rides then follow the same route back (via Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke & Kislingbury) to the start point at East Hunsbury Library.
Current weather forecast is frost free. Both routes are tarmac throughout, but some sections may be muddy at this time of year.
Lights would be a good idea for added day-time visibility, but we should be back at East Hunsbury sometime around 1.30 p.m.
The proposed routes can be viewed (and downloaded as gpx files) from the CTC Northampton pages on RideWithGPS:
Rowan, our Ladies Rep, went on this ride and writes:
Eight riders (including 3 ladies!) met at East Hunsbury for the second of our “moderately-paced” 30-mile rides. We were pleased to see a mixture of cyclists joining us today from regular riders to those returning to cycling and a few who had not ridden with a group on very many occasions before. Tim led the group, with myself as “Tail End Charlie”, through Rothersthorpe, Gayton Marina, Dalscote and Fosters Booth and on to the hillier section of the ride on Banbury Lane and north to Maidford and Farthingstone. Along the route we met with Peter Crighton who had donned his winter cycling attire for what was becoming both a sunny but still chilly and a little windy ride. Great to see you out again, Pete!
We then made it up a particularly steep hill to the bluebell wood outside Everdon Stubbs and were pleased to see plenty of flowers still in full bloom along with some stunning white wild flowers (does anyone know the name of these flowers? – see CTC Facebook in a few days for some images of the wood). The café at Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe was a welcome tea stop (aren’t they always?!) where we had a mixture of mid morning snacks and early lunches, plus seemingly endless coffee!
As Tim described in his ride brief, the route back saw us crossing the A5 once more en route to Nether Heyford, Bugbrooke, Kislingbury and Rothersthorpe before the final climb back up to East Hunsbury library (thanks Tim!).
Thanks again to everyone who came out today. I believe a few of you may be out on tomorrow’s ride too!
Our next moderately-paced ride is on Sunday 29 May and will be a longer 45-mile route led by Phil G taking in the north of the county and into Leicestershire.
How nice was it to get out today in the sunshine after all that snow with a convivial group of eight keen riders eager to shake the winter blues out of their legs. Patches of ice here and there meant we needed to keep a sharp lookout but no-one, not even Ian, threw themselves to the ground!
It was pretty cold with a biting wind but we didn’t care as we tackled a ‘bumpy’ route out via Dodford and Everdon to The Dairy Farm for a welcome coffee, cake and warm by the stove. (Bad luck to those whose table was too far away! Ride-leader’s privilege!)
We kept the pace up on the route back and totalled a good 35 miles. Nice to ride and chat with everyone.
Ian Macsporran was on the ride and adds his thanks to Phil. The route is here.
The CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes Christmas lunch was held today at our usual venue, The Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe. Thirty members were in attendance.
Six members from CTC Northampton rode to the Lunch from Hunsbury: John W, Eleanor, Bob, David, Ian and our leader Bill. (Phillip and Rowan made an assisted journey; John C was meeting up with Max in the Bramptons; Phil L broke his chain – and mangled his gear changer – on the way to the start; he returned home and rode solo to the Lunch on another bike!) On a dry, sunny, mild morning we made our way through Milton Malsor, Rothersthorpe, Bugbrooke and Nether Heyford to a sociable elevenses stop at Flore (The Paddocks tea-room). David returned home at this point.
Cycles neatly parked at The Old Dairy Farm
Despite our pause for elevenses, we found we were among the very first to arrive at the Lunch venue where festive delights awaited us in the pleasant upstairs room set aside for our party.
Festivities have commenced
Thoroughly refreshed, we made our own ways back home. My total mileage to the venue was 20 and my return 11. A splendid start to Christmas – and big thanks to the organiser, John Weller!