Winter Warmer Ride to Woodford Mill – Sunday 4th December

Iain D, our Chair, will be leading this ride and writes:

Start time: 9.30 a.m.
Meeting point: Moulton Co-op (Stocks Hill, NN3 7TB)
Distance: 41 miles
Refreshments: Woodford Mill (one-stop only) 22 miles

It’s been a bit chilly this week but don’t worry: Sunday’s forecast is (currently) frost-free.

This Sunday we’ll be heading out from Moulton, nipping past Weetabix and the eastern fringe of the Kettering metropolis, and using some of the lanes we rarely see on Northampton rides to get out to Woodford Mill for our one-and-only stop of the day (unless someone’s really hungry by the time we roll back through Burton Latimer).

The return route is slightly more conventional for us but we might find time to take a side road and look at some wind turbines if anyone’s feeling especially eco-centric.

A rough outline of the route is to be found here on RideWithGPS.

See you outside the Co-op in Moulton, 0930 Sunday morning, for this back-in-daylight* 41-mile ride.

R … Iain

* That’s the plan but it’s winter so BRING LIGHTS.

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Ride Report – Sunday 21st February

Iain D, our Chairman, led this ride and writes:

By 9.30 a.m. on Sunday, a group of eight cyclists had assembled by Moulton Co-Op.  I say “by 9.30” as everyone had turned out early.  Whether that was down to the allure of a day’s ride in unseasonably warm temperatures or just due to the strong wind blowing up from town, I don’t know.

We had that wind at our backs as we headed away from Moulton towards Sywell, through Earls Barton and down over the Hardwater crossing of the Nene.  The road from Wollaston to Irchester provided a bit of a challenge for the lighter riders as we’d shifted round so that the wind was now coming from the side.  In gusts.  Straight lines were not the order of the day.

But we survived and Geoff, temporarily taking the lead, guided us through Higham Ferrers and out along the newly-surfaced Greenway over the Nene.  We paused to ponder Irthlingborough’s lantern church, so far inland, and that, plus the wind and the marshy nature of the flood plain, did prompt one rider to comment on the “coastal” nature of the ride.  We have it all here in Northamptonshire, folks!

The climb away from Irthlingborough was painless, the wind having reverted to being our friend, and we made very good time to Woodford Mill for brunch.  The Nene was running a bit high and throwing the odd bit of spray our way but it was still pleasant to be sitting out in the garden in the February sun.  And the jacket potatoes were excellent.

Now, with ineluctable logic, s/he who rides with the wind must also ride against it at some point and so we left the lee of Woodford Mill, turned our collective face to the wind and set off back to Moulton, heading first past Cranford and then over the A14 to the sheltering urban landscape of Burton Latimer.  From there to Holcot was pretty much unsheltered plain old-fashioned hard work I’m afraid.  In fact, by the time we got to Orlingbury we had split into two groups as we took turns trying to hide behind each other.  Still, we weren’t riding against the clock: we were on a Sunday Club ride, not a Saturday Brisk, and we had plenty of time in hand after our rapid earlier progress.

I’m pleased to say that we all made it back to Moulton – apart from Geoff who’d turned for home, as planned, at Burton Latimer – and in reasonable time too. Wind aside, the weather had been kind – warm, dry and bright for February.

Thanks to Brian for doing a sterling job as TEC in testing conditions!

Ride Report – Sunday 1st November

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

A colourful plethora of cyclists gathered at the Canoe Centre on this unusually warm and sunny start to November for the ride to Ringstead.  They included new boys Vic and James, as well as Northants visitor Jeanette. Ten of us set off on the busy A428 before the welcoming turn to Little Houghton and the less than welcoming climb into it. At that point our leader Ian advised that we should split into two groups of five to avoid any issues with cars and we duly obliged.

The downhill at Cogenhoe shortly afterwards provided an early blast of speed for the two groups and we blazed down gratefully giving us plenty of momentum towards Grendon before an early check on numbers at the roadside.  The route down to Bozeat was swift and the ride paused there briefly for a simple mechanical on Jeanette’s bike. And, after a quick check of one or two maps, we were on our way again.

The weather was simply fantastic as we pressed on towards Podington, all of us amazed at how lucky we were to be riding in such glorious sunshine at this time of the year. Hinwick Hall looked majestic as we skirted around it.  The road ramped up a little towards Wymington and the terrain opened up at the same time to reveal wonderful scenery as far as the eye could see.  Riders changed groups, layers came off but all made good time regardless.

Towards Chelveston and beyond, the traffic levels increased meaning more splitting of the large group to accommodate the drivers going our way.  Without incident we navigated our way out of the urban sprawl that is Raunds and onto quieter roads with the mill on the horizon.

Our chair, Iain D, was already soaking up the sun in a vibrant location overlooking the marina and we duly joined him.  Two tables were required for our thirsty peleton.  The service was great and we all enjoyed our time there before heading back home.

Out of the mill a short sharp rise was waiting with hardly anybody in the right gear!  Cue frantic grinding of gears to get us up and over.  The reward at the summit was another reminder of the great weather and the spectacular colours of autumn.

Great Addington was the first village en route before meandering our way round to Cranford and eventually over the A14 as we made our way towards the streets of Burton Latimer and the Weetabix plant nearby.  Isham and Orlingbury passed quickly before the long and winding road towards Sywell beckoned.  Once again keeping your distance from the riders up ahead was the order of the day and this continued through Overstone as well.

At Moulton Co-op some the group said their goodbyes with it seemed just three of us heading for the finish.  We passed busy parks, residential areas and cyclepaths but we arrived at the Canoe Centre without incident before three more riders joined us having taken a slightly different route back.

A quite tactical ride for everyone today due to the numbers but a better ride at this time of year would be difficult to find!

Stunning scenery and wonderful weather with a great cafe stop to boot!

Thanks to Ian M for the ride!

Ride to Woodford Mill and return – Sunday 16th March

Milton will be making his first outing as a ride Leader this Sunday with a trip he’s put together heading to the east of Northampton. Here’s his description:
48 miles only so hardly testing at all – a trip out east to find some roads less travelled by many of us.
Setting off from Moulton Co-op at 9.30 a.m., we take our usual route through Moulton and Sywell into Mears Ashby and then up to Little Harrowden.  Here we turn off to Great Harrowden and thence to Finedon on a little travelled track.  A dull mile on the A6 to Irthlingborough ends as we turn off to the Addingtons and from there to brunch at Woodford Mill near Ringstead where we had a fine dining experience two
or three months ago.
Then it’s up through Denford, across the A14 and into the quiet lands.  We’ll skirt Raunds and head for Chelveston, Caldecott, Newton Bromswold and Wymington to another refreshment stop at Podington Garden Centre. From there we lumber off to Wollaston loaded down with our purchases of plants, spades, wheelbarrows, greenhouses and the like, cross the river to Wilby and then via Mears Ashby and Sywell to home.
48 miles, but we’ve all been on hillier routes!
Milton is on 01604 416315.  Iain D, our Rides Secretary, is on 07909 992468 on the day.

Ride Report – Sunday 17th November

Phil L went on this ride, led by Bill, and writes:

Despite the wintry gloom and fairly persistent drizzle, an intrepid group of seven riders set out from Moulton Co-op for Woodford Mill under the leadership of Bill.

Visibility was pretty limited so we didn’t see too much of the countryside but took the opportunity to ‘catch’ up news-wise with other riders in the group.  Brunch at the Mill café was very welcome especially as the proprietor waived the 11.00 a.m. limit for breakfasts and bacon sarnies and served us with unlimited coffee etc. 

That was also where John Weller – our Christmas meal organiser – waved the Christmas menus at us and reminded us going to choose our courses and put down a deposit of £5! You have been reminded!

The ride back to Moulton seemed harder and longer to me but that’s probably because I had the full English, several rounds of toast and two large coffees – should have had a flapjack I think!

A good ride and breath of fresh air – thanks Bill!