Friday, 18 April 2014
Richies Good Friday not a Sportive Brampton Valley Criss Cross
I planned this route then as an afterthought wondered if any of my biking brothers wanted to join me. Well I could not have been more delighted with the response. 6 of us (Matthew, Neil, Jamie, Iain, Darren and I,) set out from Rothwell and we picked up Phil in Old. Neil could only get a quick spin in and left us in Holcot meaning 6 of us did the majority of the route.
The crazy plan for the day was to sort of follow the Brampton Valley Way without actually using the Brampton Valley Way. From mine we went to Orton, then Loddington, then Old via Mill Lane (a really pleasant quite road,) from there up to Scaldwell, touching the outskirts of Brixworth, over the causeway to Holcot and then round to Moulton, finally through Boughton and down to Boughton crossing. That's the start of the Brampton Valley Way. For those who don't know the Brampton Valley Way it's a bike track from Northampton to Market Harborough using the old train line.I will definitely post a blog about using the Brampton Valley Way at some point this year, as it's another fantastic local resource but it's not suitable for road bikes.
So why did I want to do this? Well as the name suggests there's a valley involved and if you cross the track you'll very soon be going up hill as it's in the bottom of the valley. In short I wanted a route that was as testing as it gets round here. I hope the brothers in Lycra who joined me will agree it was a good workout.
No worries dude
So we headed up to Chapel Brampton and then back across the track at The Brampton Halt and up to Pitsford. The only disappointing thing about this route for me is we couldn't avoid using an A road at times. The majority of this was on the A508 Harborough Road. I think it should be obvious why this road runs parallel to the Brampton Valley Way.
Cracking view, it all looked like this
Onto Brixworth again before taking on the mighty Spratton Hill. From Spratton we went to Creaton and then back to Brixworth up the segment known as the Brixworth Beast. A bit more A508 took us through to Lamport and then through the ridiculously pretty Draughton (I wouldn't live there though-no pub!) .
Ooh a picture of me! Cheers Iain
From Draughton we again took on some lumps to get to Maidwell and then a slab more A508 before we could turn off and go past the Buddhist Centre at Kelmarsh (Boomshanka.) From Kelmarsh we crossed the Brampton Valley Way again but only knew this by the ventilation chimneys as it was in the Kelmarsh tunnel when we crossed it. Into Harrington and down Church lane took us up another significant lump before heading to Great Oxendon.
And another one
Quick stop at Draughton
My legs definitely already knew we'd had a good ride. It was a strong group of riders and I was struggling to keep up at times. As we headed to East Farndon I saw the strangest sight. A man on a bike was carrying a dog on his back in a kind of basket thing. See the picture. It's bizarre what you see at times.
I really hope this dog has his own Strava account
From Farndon we headed into Harborough which was busy so not the best bit of the ride. We crossed the start of the Brampton Valley Way in Harborough and then followed the road through to Braybrooke crossing the River Jordan (let my people go!) We didn't head up Griffin Road this time but to the next hill leading to Desborough Road. It's another significant rise and once again I was arse end Charlie to the stronger riders. Finally through Desborough we took the Rothwell Road for the last climb of the day and back to my house.
The most magnificent Mrs Lindsley's Beetroot and Orange Cake
At my house we were treated to Mrs Lindsley's marvelous hospitality with tea, coffee and beetroot cake! Beetroot you say? Yes Beetroot and orange with a cream cheese topping. OMG what a treat from the Queen of Cakes. Beetroot as we all know has anti cramp properties for cyclists so that's another benefit too.
What a ride! Nearly 100km and very definitely comparable to a Sportive route.
I'd like to say thankyou to everyone who joined me for this ride. I guess we've started another tradition of the 'Good Friday Ride.' A very enjoyable spin with good people.
Posted by Richard Lindsley at 08:48