Today's all-day ride was another "car-assisted" one, this time from Maidwell in Northamptonshire, about 11 miles west of Kettering.
Joseph Sugg writes: I got a lift from Mike. After setting out from Cambridge we made good progress along the A14, taking about an hour to get there. We arrived first at the car park near Maidwell (SP 755 773) at about 8.45am. We were joined by Bob, Vic, Martin, John, Doug and our leader Adrian.
We set off north along Sustrans route 6, following a disused railway line. We rode through two tunnels, needing lights as it was very dark indeed. There were several potholes hidden in the gloom. We stopped for coffee and a slab of fruit cake after just 5 miles.
After coffee we rode on into Market Harborough. I was interested because my Nan grew up here, and her family have a street named after them: Gardiner Street. Here we joined a branch of the Grand Union Canal which continues on route 6. This bit of the ride was idylic. It was very quiet, and there were views across the valley as the canal was quite high up. We reached the Grand Union proper at Foxton Locks. This is a series of eight locks which take you up to the higher level. This was very impressive.
We left the canal at this point and went up and down several steep hills to Saddington (SP 658 919). Here we had lunch. We found a very nice pub with great views over the valley and very generous helpings of chips.
After lunch we rode through Mowsley, Laughton, Theddingworth, up a very steep hill to Sibbertoft. Here we saw a sign for afternoon teas and decided it was too good an offer to miss. We found the village reading rooms doing a very good afternoon tea, on a par with Braughing.
After tea and fudge brownies we set off towards Naseby. Here we stopped to look at the monument to the main battle of the Civil War. We then rode on through Guilsborough where we got caught up in a steam rally - or at least the cars leaving it. We were glad to leave this behind at Teeton.
We then rode on to Creaton and past Cottesbrooke Hall. We then found a track, which turned out to be very bumpy in places, and followed it all the way back to Maidwell and the car park.
We got home at about 7:00pm, just in time to watch Le Tour. I must say a big "thank you" to Adrian for organizing a very good day out. I would like to encourage other club riders to join us on future car assissted rides. You can usually get a lift from someone, and they are quite different to our normal rides and a great way of seeing new countryside. Distance: a modest 42 miles. Joseph Sugg.