Ride report – Saturday 17th December

Tim, our webmaster, went on this “leader-less” ride to Yelvertoft and reports:

Five riders congregated at Brampton Valley Way for Milton’s “Steady ride to Yelvertoft”.  Sadly Milton wasn’t able to be one of them having been laid low the day before by Norovirus; we wish him a speedy recovery.

We headed west via Holdenby and East Haddon before turning north at Long Buckby towards West Haddon and on to our most northerly point at Yelvertoft.  From here it was back south to Crick where we had an impromptu stop outside St Margaret of Antioch Church for an energy bar or two.

There was a minor deviation from Milton’s planned route at this point to avoid the road to Ashby St Ledgers (discovered to be coated with a rather unsavoury layer of semi-liquid mud and horse manure on a reconnaissance ride the Thursday before!).  Instead we branched off down a very pleasant gated road to Watford village before rejoining the planned route just east of Welton.

From here a section of “Milton special tarmac” (to borrow from Eric Morecombe – “all the right pieces, just not in the right places”) led us to Norton and thence to our planned stop at Whilton Locks where bacon butties were eagerly consumed.

It was then just a short ride back to the start via Great Brington and Harlestone.

All in all a very pleasant December morning out: no blue skies but warm and dry nonetheless.  Thanks to Milton for providing us with a fine selection of quiet country lanes to enjoy.

Milton will be back to lead the “Boxing Day Bash” (departing 9.30 a.m. from the Canoe Centre – 28 miles with a stop for elevenses at Salcey Forest) so why not come along and join him?

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Ride to Catthorpe – Easter Monday

Brian, our Rides Secretary, has planned a lovely ride for us this Easter weekend:

Bank Holiday Monday

Start: 9.30 a.m.
Start point: Brampton Valley Way (BVW) – Welford Crossing, NN6 8AA – near “The Windhover” – there is a BVW car park just up Brampton Lane
Distance: 47 miles
Refreshments: Catthorpe (lunch), Whilton Locks (possible tea stop)
Return by 3.00 p.m.

The ride takes us out through Guilsborough, Cold Ashby and Yelvertoft on mainly quiet country roads to Catthorpe (23 miles) for lunch at the Manor Farm Kitchen Café.

We return is via the outskirts of Rugby and through Barby and Norton with a possible tea stop at Whilton Locks.  Then through Great Brington and back to BVW.

Note that this is also the first ride of BRITISH SUMMER TIME this year !

Hope to see you there, Brampton Valley Way, 9.30 a.m. MONDAY morning.

Ride Report – Sunday 17th May

Phil J led this ride and writes:

A sunny but windy day greeted the seven riders at East Hunsbury for this second club ride to Draycote Water this year. They included new boys Norman and Geoff as well as recent newcomer Tim.

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Assembling at the start in East Hunsbury

Once over the cycle paths at Pineham, which allowed everyone to warm up, we hit the road proper at Harpole culminating in the short sharp climb onto the Roman Road. The next few miles around Harlestone allowed all the riders to recover before the long haul up to the top of Brington Hill where we saw other cyclists reaching the top just ahead of us.

The journey through the village of Whilton was pleasant and the fast decent into Whilton Locks even better although we did seem to have no choice but to pedal downhill due to the force of the wind. The sun seemed to have long gone at this point too.

The gated roads from Norton beckoned and apart from the first corner of gravel posed no problems for the group and were virtually traffic-free. We pressed on towards Welton at a steady pace and onto Barby before an impromptu stop outside Barby Nurseries for everyone to take on whatever fuels they needed.

On the move again we soon hit decent road conditions over the border into Warwickshire and another long haul towards the main road into town. Cycle paths provided much welcome protection from the busy road into Dunchurch before the last mile or two on the A426 into Draycote Water.

All but one of us chose the much talked about Draycote scones – some riders even suggesting they could eat two! At this point Geoff decided that he would make his own way back home and so the six of us set off on the return journey.

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

View of bikes, dam and reservoir from Draycote Water café

The lane through Grandborough was welcomed by the group as new tarmac seemed to have been laid for a good couple of miles. Willoughby was then next en route where we slowed to admire some fantastic classic cars assembled by the side of the road. We cruised through Braunston before re-joining the route we had come in on just outside Welton.

The gated roads on the way back provided one of the biggest climbs of the day with a two-tier climb before eventually reaching Norton again. A byway was the next part of the ride and proved interesting in a number of ways. Two fast descents with plenty of gravel at the base of each provided a hair raising experience for us but we all escaped unscathed. The surface then became more off road than road as we slewed and slid our way out the other side and again nobody came unstuck.

Back on solid ground we skirted around Brockhall and onto Flore with another climb or two to keep things interesting. The pace then gathered somewhat through Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke but everyone regrouped towards Rothersthorpe for the final push home. With nobody opting to go their own way all six riders returned to the start but not before climbing “Mount Tesco” – a great achievement with almost 60 miles in our legs.

Great riding everyone!

Roman Ride – Ride Report – 11th October

Saturday morning, six of us gathered in the rapidly-clearing mist in East Hunsbury for this brisk ride out to Whilton Locks. Two Brians and two Phils – an usual mix for our group.
 
PhilJ had obviously been doing his homework because once clear of Banbury Lane, I don’t think we hit an actual road again until  we were nearing Harlestone Firs. Cycle path all the way (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if part of that route gets used for a leisure ride next year, it was so pleasant).
 
While the mist had cleared at ground level, the cloud base was still below the top of the lift tower as we left town, when it also started raining, albeit only gently. It did seem to keep the traffic at bay on the Roman road out to Whilton though; it was very quiet for a Saturday.After meeting up with John Cutler at Whilton, the return leg promised to be a little easier on the navigation. It proved to be quite hard on tyres, however, one Phil complaining of a flat at the top the hill out of Whilton, the other Phil about 10 yards later.
 
Top tip of the day: to avoid p*nct*res, don’t be called Phil.
 
(One of those p*nct*res later turned out to be the result of a broken spoke so not the fault of the rain washing grit into the road).

The Roman road passed, as you might expect, a little quicker on the way back, being downhill and everything, although one of us did nearly come a cropper on the way through Harpole when a kindly motorist flung their door open without checking for traffic. (If you were that motorist, it pays to check… If you missed a group of highly-visible cyclists (and we were), you’d easily have missed a car and now be looking for your driver’s door somewhere down the road …). Fortunately, we were keeping our distance.

Without further incident, we returned from whence we came via the newly-christened “Mount Tesco”*, also known as “the Towcester Road”, completing nearly 30 miles of reasonably brisk riding.

Next time, Phil’s promised to take us to Draycote Water. I’m looking forward to that now.

* NB: Other retailer-based naming conventions are available.

Ride Report – Sunday 1st April

Phillip Gray led this ride to Draycote Water and Dunchurch.  He writes:

Seven riders took part in Sunday’s ride to Dunchurch. Setting off in crisp but cool sunshine, we headed west for an early teastop at Whilton Locks garden centre. This built us up for the hilly route via Norton and Welton towards Braunston. Here we took the track past the church and lost village of Wolfhamcote. About 1.5 miles of rough semi-metalled track, with several gates, tested our tyres and co-ordination but was a refreshing short-cut through isolated, picturesque farmland. Emerging near Grandborough, we headed through the village and then north along an A road to Draycote Water.

No sooner up on the reservoir wall, than we found that this was the day the flies had chosen to come out and mate, with huge swarms reminding us that the happy cyclist is the one without the flies in his teeth. Draycote was strikingly low – not surprising to learn that Severn Trent Water is working to pump water in from near Leamington Spa.  Despite this, the blue reservoir was beautiful in the sunshine.

Leaving the reservoir, after a short stint on the road, we stopped at The Green Man in Dunchurch for a good, economical pub lunch and pleasant conversation in the sunny garden.

The route back took quiet roads and a steep hill into Barby, then back to Whilton, Little Brington and Harlestone, a total 50.7 miles back at the Brampton Valley Way.

Events in April

Sunday 1st April – Day ride to Dunchurch & Draycote Water

Meet 9.30 a.m. at “The Windhover”.  50 miles.  Stops at Whilton Locks (elevenses) and Grandborough (lunch).  Leader Philip Gray (01604720522)

Saturday 7th April – Brisk morning ride encircling Northampton

Meet 9.30 a.m. at “The Windhover”.  35 miles.  Elevenses at Salcey Forest.  Return by lunch.  Leader Phil Letts (07707 118389)

Saturday 21st April – Leisurely ride exploring “Connect-2”

Meet 2.00 p.m. at the Canoe Centre, Bedford Road.  15 miles.  Leader Iain Dawson (07909 992468)

Sunday 1st April – Ride to Dunchurch & Draycote Water

Philip Gray, our Chairman, writes:

This Sunday’s ride is a 50-mile, medium-paced ride into Warwickshire, to check the levels at Draycote Water – where we should see some sailors if there is any wet stuff left … !

There will be a teastop at Whilton Locks Garden Centre and lunch at a pub near Draycote.

Meet at the Brampton Valley Way, Welford Road crossing (near “The Windhover”), at 9.30am.

The current weather forecast for the weekend is a few degrees cooler – but still no rain …!  Hope to see you then!

Philip can be contacted on 01604 720522.