updated - 20th June 2012
GO TO (click on the hyperlink dates to move to the report)Saturday 27thOctober 2012 FAMILY FUN RIDE(21st April) Saturday 16thJune 2012 Saturday 21stApril 2012 Thursday 5thApril 2012 Bert's Hayling Island Jaunt Saturday 25thFebruary 2012 Thursday 23rdFebruary 2012 Thursday 16thFebruary 2012 GAMES NIGHT (9th February) Saturday 4thFebruary 2012 Thursday 19thJanuary 2012 Saturday 14thJanuary 2012 Saturday 7thJanuary 2012 Thursday 5thJanuary 2012 Thursday 29thDecember 2011 Thursday 22ndDecember 2011 Saturday 17thDecember 2011 CHRISTMAS LUNCH Saturday 10thDecember 2011 Thursday 8thDecember 2011 Saturday 3rdDecember 2011 - Critical Mass Thursday 1stDecember 2011 Thursday 17thNovember 2011 Saturday 12thNovember 2011 Thursday 10thNovember 2011 2011 AGM EIGHTY NOT OUT RIDE Saturday 11thSeptember 2011 Saturday 3rdSeptember 2011 Thursday 11thAugust 2011 Saturday 13thAugust 2011 Saturday 21stMay 2011 Thursday 19thMay 2011 Saturday 16thApril 2011 - 2nd Map Launch Ride Saturday 19thMarch 2011
Great to welcome two newcomers, Neil and Russell, who fitted in with the group a treat. This must have been the coldest Saturday of the autumn, and even the hard cases had left their shorts at home in favour of longs and plenty of layers.
The lanes were a picture with the autumn colours shown to advantage in glorious sunshine as we rode through Higham on the Hill, Shenton and Far Coton, eventually passing Bosworth Water Park – looking very quiet on this cold morning.
A right and left to cross the A road and we rode on through Congerstone and Bilstone before the long slog up to Little Twycross. The last leg took the group along the A444, single file essential here, and finally to their refreshment stop at Twycross Zoo, where they admired the giant crocheted lions at the entrance before taking full advantage of the excellent café. From giants to the smallest of creatures, a talking point was the amazing procession of ants behind glass in the loos – don’t go to the Zoo without visiting the loo!
Despite clouds, showers and a forecast of heavy rain, around sixty cyclists aged from three to seventy-three were led off from the Ambleside Sports Club in fine style by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Bob Copeland, who exchanged his regalia for a fluorescent jacket to join the cyclists. On completing the ride Cllr Copeland, whose last ride had been some time ago, had enjoyed it so much he intends to keep it up.
The threatened deluge never materialised and lots of new families came to enjoy a pleasant evening's cycle ride.
Local Cycle Trainer Ian Bonner provided a Dr Bike service, and entertainment came from Nuneaton Juggling Club with John Parnell showing youngsters how to juggle and ride a unicycle. He also had an enthusiastic group of ladies trying out their hula-hooping skills.
When the cyclists returned they were all given a five or ten mile ‘I DID IT’ certificate by the Deputy Mayor along with Bike Week freebies and sets of our local cycle route maps. Thanks to our local cycle shops, Chris Dodd & Son and The Village Cycle Shop for providing lots of cycling goodies for the raffle prizes, and once again first prize was a bike provided by the Club through Bob Allen. Marcus Jones MP presented the prizes and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event with lots of positive feedback from parents and children alike. Thanks to everyone for coming, it really makes it all worthwhile!”
The evening finished off with a barbeque, the raffle and lots of chatter about how good it is to see so many people out and about on their bikes. A donation of £50 is being made to the Mayor’s Charity from the raffle.
Every year the Family Fun Ride proves extremely popular with families during Bike Week. The aim is to encourage more families to get on their bikes and celebrate cycling. The rides are always suitable for novices with 5 and 10 mile routes with marshalling providing safe cycling.
However there are always a few undaunted (or slightly mad) souls willing to brave the elements, and so five cyclists set off from Nuneaton Library in hopeful optimism to make their way out of town towards Higham on the Hill and on to the Fen Lanes.
Although the group encountered more traffic than usual, the familiar lanes made for a green and pleasant ride with the hedgerows and verges lush and full of blossom.
Cycling through Shenton the Fab Five rode straight on to cross the A447 with a right and left at Sibson and headed towards Sheepy Parva. By now the drizzle had increased to more persistent rain, and the riders were glad to stop for refreshments at the refurbished Sheepy Shack. Just as well it was a small group, as we were all able to take shelter and enjoy our butties and drinks in comfort.
The rain looked set to continue, so there was nothing for it but to layer up with whatever waterproofs we had and set off for home – the joys (not) of cycling in the rain are all too familiar lately. The route back to Nuneaton took us through Sheepy Magna, Ratcliffe Culey, Upton and Higham, a bedraggled , but still cheerful bunch looking forward to getting home and dry.
We set off along the Wembrook Trail and then on down the rather busy Lutterworth Road where we were met by Bert and Carole after a mix up over the terms Whitestone and Whitestone Road.
It was a relief to reach the Axe and Compass and from there into much quieter lanes. After crossing the A5 at High Cross and getting to Claybrook Magna we stopped to put on waterproofs and discuss a change of plan.
As some people had afternoon commitments and were running out of time we decided that some should ride to the nearby Ullesthorpe Garden Centre café (newly refurbished and very comfortable), whilst the rest of us, who fancied a longer ride, continued on a further 5 miles to our intended stop at Gilmorton.
This worked really well as the original group of 14 would have put pressure on the little café at Gilmorton. After refreshments we decided to retrace part of our outward route on the basis that it looks different going the other way, and also time was pressing.
Back at Claybook the group split again with 5 heading back to Nuneaton and 2 towards Coventry and Rugby.
A very enjoyable ride, which catered for varying needs and with the added bonus that the rain held off until we were all home.
This was also true for the Ullesthorpe contingent, who continued the few (but hilly) miles to the garden centre for their welcome refreshments. The refurbished centre tempted one or two purchases before the group set off back through the Claybrooks and Copston Magna to arrive at High Cross and make their way back to Nuneaton.
During the ride to the venue the weather was unpromising with overcast skies and a stiff cold breeze. This, and maybe the proximity of Easter, resulted in less riders than usual turning out.
Just after 11.00 ten riders set off in the direction of Monks Kirby, and as the planned route was straight out and back, the wind in the faces of the riders signalled a tough first half of the ride.
The A5 was crossed and the group continued to Claybrooke Parva, where a right turn by the school led towards Ullesthorpe. The final stiff climb into the village was avoided when the route veered left to Frolesworth. The roads in this area tend to undulate, presenting the cyclists with some testing climbs.
The good news was that the weather was visibly improving with a promise of sunshine later. It is noticeable now that Spring is moving on apace. The hawthorn is greening up nicely and the blackthorn provides splashes of brilliant white and hosts of daffodils along many of the lanes.
Carrying on towards Leire the road continued up and down as we passed the giant wind turbines, looking like 3 horned giants, were all generating power. As we approached Dunton Basset the climbs became steeper and, coupled with the headwind, made the going quite tough.
Our furthest point, Gilmorton, was soon reached and there were sighs of relief when the group turned to take advantage of what was now a tail wind. The route taking us back to Ullesthorpe via Ashby Parva was far easier, and with the ever improving weather, more pleasant.
The group was stringing out now as we approached our lunch destination of Wood Farm Brewery. Leader Chris dropped back to accompany Anne who, after missing 2 weeks was struggling to keep up. All were glad to arrive at the Brewery where they enjoyed a hearty meal before making their various ways home.
A party of eight members of the Nuneaton cycling club were joined by two CTC members from Bristol to have a 5 day holiday at Warners Holiday Village at Sinah Warren on Hayling Island.
We all travelled down on the Monday and had 3 days cycling led by Bert Pearce.
The island is joined by a causeway over the Langstone Channel and Havant council have put in place many cycle paths to increase the enjoyment of holiday-makers on cycles and these take you under the major road junctions making it easy to cycle along the coast.
On Tuesday we were all keen to explore the area and picked up the former rail track now called “Puffing Billy Line” and this takes you all along the estuary with lovely views over the water to Portsmouth on the other side – we crossed the causeway and onto more cycle tracks towards Havant. We were following the South Coast Cycle Route to - Chichester calling at Emsworth, Thorney Island, Southbourne, Nutbourne never very far from the sea and all lovely flat riding – Weather - cool and dry – Milage – 35 miles.
Wednesday saw us using the road to take us from the island and headed into the hills and through Southleigh Forest with views of the coast from above. Found a lovely coffee stop at Stanstead Manor (house and garden centre with a railway round the gardens) continued onto Funtington and West Ashling then dropped down to the coastal village of Bosham. Cycled through the village to the Quay where the tide was up along the estuary preventing us from riding so we backtracked through the lanes and came in the other end to ride the very wet tidal road. We returned on Sinah Warren via Emsthorpe. 37 miles.
Thursday along the Puffing Billy Track to A.256 towards Chichester and we were cycling the Salterns Cycle Trail today, which is a 12 mile track to East Head. This takes you through off road farm tracks, delightful villages, round Chichester Harbour with all its sailing boats awaiting the warmer weather to West Wittering and East Head. The weather today was sunny and warm enough to be cycling without some of our winter jackets and lunchtime found us on the very spacious sandy beach at West Wittering with its bathing huts lining the shoreline awaiting the influx of summer visitors. We returned through the lanes and tracks back to Sinah Warren, the last of a wonderful 3 days riding – 49 miles.
Warners made a very comfortable stay for everyone with very stylish bedrooms ( ours had patio’s and overlooked the sea). The food is excellent with plenty of choice and the evening entertainment most enjoyable including comedians, magicians, music from the Big Band era and another night from the 20’s Lots of dancing of all types for those that wanted it and just as pleasant to listen to. All in all an excellent break enjoyed by all – thanks to Bert and Carole. This was a wonderful break, early in the season to get us all on our bikes and enjoyed by all who supported it and looking forward to Spring.
Due to the numbers we split into two groups to lessen our impact on other road users.
Our route took us to and though the sleepy Ashby Parva and the quiet lane direct to Dunton Bassett. Turning off by the church we followed the lane to the slightly busier Gilmorton passing straight through to Kimcote and Walton.
The sun was now well and truly out and a lovely bright spring morning was enjoyed.
Following a left turn we passed by the proving grounds with a couple of large aeroplanes just visible through the trees and the small community which is Upper Bruntingthorpe. After Bruntingthorpe we headed for Peatling Magna and Willowby Waterleas although we passed through neither taking the lane direct to Broughton Astley.
We took the Frolesworth road from the center of Broughton Astley.
Turning left in Frolesworth we enjoyed a good downhill back to Sharnford before the final uphill into the village on the old A46 and our lunch stop at the Countryman Inn in the centre.
After the usual introductions we set off towards Higham on the Hill by a customary route – over Leicester Road bridge (a sore point among cyclists), along Weddington Road and then via Shanklin Drive, Brookdale Road and Higham lane to cross the A5.
The ascent to Higham was rewarded by a joyous speedy descent towards Wykin village, where a left turn took us across Wykin Fields into Stoke Golding. Bearing right brought us to the junction at St Martins where the group turned left for Dadlington. Here John B stopped to buy some eggs at the farm intending to rejoin us at Sutton Wharf, so we continued straight on to Sutton Cheney. However no sign of our man with the eggs – maybe the message got scrambled!
Taking the left turn in the village, then a right brought us on to another favourite lane – the gated road to Market Bosworth, where a brief pause in the centre enabled the group to regather and consider the way ahead. Three of the group, more in need of a cup of tea and a cake, turned left onto the B585 directly to our coffee stop at Bosworth Water Park, whilst the others, persuaded by leader Dave, took a diversionary route via Carlton.
Arriving shortly after the first group those in the “second sitting” benefited from the appearance of a large fresh carrot cake, slices of which were eagerly consumed in the sunny conservatory overlooking the lake.
All too soon it was back on the bikes for the return leg via Far Coton, Shenton and White Moors to Higham. Having crossed the A5 we went our separate ways home, appreciating the sunshine after having been drenched the week before.
Promptly at 11.00 leader Chris called the riders to order knowing the demanding terrain they were going to tackle. The first part of the ride was fairly flat past Astley Church and a series of left turns taking them into Gun Hill. Another left led to a fast descent of Stonehouse Lane. The previous day’s wet weather coupled with the tractors mud deposits on the road made for slippery conditions needing great care.
Experience proves that for every down there is an up, this duly happened on the long steep climb to Devitt’s Green. A halt was called to take on drinks, remove tops and appreciate the panoramic views. Suitably refreshed, the journey took us left again and after crossing the Tamworth Road the group enjoyed the rural quiet of Daw Mill Lane. This twisting lane goes mainly upwards, and at it’s termination the tall buildings of Birmingham were clearly visible.
Another fast descent took us towards Shustoke before swinging in the direction of Maxstoke. Everyone was cheered by the pleasant sunshine and the sights of early spring, notably numerous clumps of snowdrops – surely spring is round the corner.
After passing Maxstoke Golf Course we met another large group of cyclists (North Birmingham CTC) who were also enjoying their weekly ride. After exchanging pleasantries and comparing machines the group moved on past the ruined Priory gatehouse and started the long climb out of the village. At the top a regrouping was required to mop brows etc. and with faces flushed with exertion a series of twisting lanes led through Green End and Newhall Green with yet more ups and downs.
When leader Chris announced that the lunch stop was only 2 miles ahead sighs of relief were almost audible. However, this final stretch through Brownshill Green was the worst road surface of the morning, with the top layer of the road badly eroded and potholed. The last uphill, Long Lane, led us to the lunch destination the Royal Court Hotel, where, despite our unconventional appearance among the suited diners, we were made very welcome and enjoyed an excellent lunch.
We headed off up the Weddington Road in two groups as this is better for the traffic.We joined the old railway track to the A5 and on to Higham on the Hill, Stoke Golding and Dadlington, left and a right took us down to Cheney Wharf and Sutton Cheney, on to Kirkby Mallory passing over the new conveyor belt carrying sand from the new quarry behind Mallory race circuit.
The group carried on to the old A 47 below Earl Shilton, up the hill and left passed the church and down the hill and over the new bypass, down Watery Gate Lane and right for Potters Marston.
At the T junction we turned right for Stoney Stanton, straight through to Sapcote passing Stoney Cove and on to the Red Lion for an excellent lunch.
Sixteen of us in the groups and two more joined us cycling from home - Eric Neal and John Cooper - it's nice to see John back on his bike again after a nasty accident some months ago. We enjoyed excellent weather, a pleasant change after the last few weeks of winter.
Terrys Terriers were the were the bookies favourites at the start but inconsistent swinging on the Swing skittles cost them dearly with their over arm swing technique letting them down and several attempts being judged “no throws” by the adjudicators.
On the Dice table it was dark horse “Stormin’ Norman” being allowed to compete despite allegations of improper transfer fees being involved who stole the show and no magnets could be detected under the playing surface.
The Table Skittles event saw the rise of Fisher’s Favourites, with the semi professional “Fisher” entourage starting to forge ahead with consistent high scores and stylish ensembles.
But it was at the Alley where the competition seemed to bring out the killer instinct in certain players. Several attempts to injure or maim the opposition were observed as players tried to remove fallen skittles for the other team as “extra” bowls hurtled down (by mistake of course).
It was a highly charged atmosphere culminating in the cunningly disguised but none the less competitive move towards the buffet bar with everyone trying desperately to look unconcerned but still finding time to make a mental note of how much the ones in front had got on their plates
With the proceedings concluded, and after rigorous scrutiny of the scores the clear winners emerged as Fisher’s Favourites, who graciously accepted their award consuming most of it before they left.
The original idea of a meandering ride to Barwell were abandoned in favour of a shorter one stopping at the first welcoming café. Stoke Golding was reputed to have a Saturday coffee morning, but where? We failed to find it and continued on to Sutton Cheney Wharf where we admired the wintry scene of boats in the frozen canal from the warm café. A longer than usual refreshment stop gave us chance to thaw out and compare notes on the best methods of keeping hands and feet warm. As Ann remarked “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. Not sure I fully agree with that.
Despite the freezing conditions the roads were dry and we even saw a little sunshine. All agreed that we were glad to do a short ride and enjoy the fresh air.
Due to the number of riders we split into three groups to minimise disruption to other road users.
Leaving Hinckley via the main A47 we were soon on the traffic free cycle track to Barwell. From Barwell we took the back lane to Kirby Mallory and then the quiet Desford Lane to Desford keeping on the bridle track, which brought us into the centre of the village. We left Desford by Lindridge Lane passing the Tropical Bird Park to arrive at Merry Leas turning left up the hill and again keeping left to Newbold Heath. From Newbold Heath we briefly joined the Bosworth road turning off to pass through Osbaston hamlet and rejoining the Bosworth road just before the Park Gate House. After Market Bosworth we took the Shenton Lane passing the Aqueduct and on to Dadlington and Stoke Golding. Wykin Lane was then followed back to the Hinckley ring road where we joined the cycle track back to the A5 and our lunch at the Nuneaton Longshoot. - Jim Gerrard
Turning right into Spinney Lane we made our way along the cycle paths onto the Shuntings, part of the North Warwickshire Cycle route, and along the cycle path towards Chesterton Drive. From here we continued along Valley Road and up Tunnel Road, turning right at the top through Ansley Village to Church End where we turned right along the B4114 back towards Nuneaton. At Ansley buildings we turned left onto Pipers Lane along Ridge Lane, through the village and turned right onto Monks Park Lane. From this point on the going got a lot easier on the downhill sections onto Coleshill Road and down into Atherstone.
From Atherstone we made our way along the quieter back roads before turning right onto the B4111 Nuneaton Road on our final leg towards our refrehment stop at Dobbies Garden Centre.
After our well deserved break the group split up to enable the members to make their way home via the easiest route, one going through Witherley to get back to Higham on the Hill and two venturing along the canal towpath back to Nuneaton. The other three made their way up the quite steep Grange Lane to Hartshill and on towards their individual destinations.
Although it was very cold and a bit treacherous to begin with the winter sunshine made it a very pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable Saturday morning cycle ride.
We set off at a steady pace out of town via Leicester Road bridge onto Weddington Road, where we joined the Weddington trail, which was quite dry given the rain that we had had (I think the strong winds had helped dry it up!!). We went on to Higham on the Hill where we had a short stop to regroup before carrying on to Wykin, then on to Hinckley using the back streets through to London Road.
Our journey then took us along Sapcote Road turning right to Aston Flamville then right into Lychgate Lane and on to Burbage Farmers Market where we were met with a warm welcome as usual by the very friendly ladies serving tea, coffee and delicious home made cakes. After which several of us made purchases from the market stalls including, bread, fish and olives. We then returned to our bikes for our homeward journey.
Carole and Bert left us to go back through Wolvey. By now the weather had turned a lot colder, so we needed to get pedalling to keep warm. Our route took us through Sketchley Old Village, passing Sketchley Grange Hotel where they are having a £5.2 million extension, which will include the only garden pagoda in Leicestershire which will have a licence for civil wedding ceremonies. We then continued on to the A5 using the cycle path, eventually turning into Nutts Lane, along to Coventry Road back on to A5 to Nuneaton using the Longshoot to make our own ways home.
Our journey was trouble free apart from a few senior moments from the ride leader Janet, who took one or two wrong turns, which thankfully were soon corrected.
We hope our new riders enjoyed themselves and hope to see them on future rides.
Undaunted we set off towards Mancetter, straight into another wintry shower! Bearing left just after the Plough we headed along Church Walk, through the barrier to the top, then right downhill on Convent Lane. A series of quick turns in Atherstone took us along Witherley Road, North Street, Queens Road and Kings Avenue to reach Ratcliffe Road encountering virtually no traffic. Reaching Ratcliffe Bridge the rain had eased off, but the Northerly wind was still gusting and almost brought us to complete halt once or twice. Passing through Sheepy Magna we turned right at the Hands Cross. This road to the A444 near Harris Bridge was being seriously dug up by Severn Trent, but we were able to squeeze through without incident. Having crossed the A444 we continued towards Bilstone, relieved that we were now beginning to get the benefit of a tail wind.
Owing to the weather conditions leader Dave decided to shorten the route at this point, so instead of carrying on to Shackerstone we turned right into Congerstone, then a left and right took us to Barton in the Beans rejoining the intended route.
Here it was straight on to Nailstone, carefully negotiating the dangerous crossroads on the A447. Through the village, we then turned right on the B582 and hurtled at over 30 mph down a steep hill, assisted by the strong wind. Then it was right again into Barlestone.
Turning left in the village we headed towards Newbold Verdon, where a right turn saw us reach our lunchtime objective – the Windmill Inn at Brascote – spot on 12.45. Oddly no-one objected to a few extra minutes in the bar. On refection, because of the shortcut, this ride turned out to be a tour of the five “stones” instead of six “stones” – Atherstone, Bilstone, Congerstone, Nailstone and Barlestone – stone me!
After a welcome and a tasty two course lunch it was back on the homeward leg with four of the five riders returning via Kirkby Mallory, Barwell and Hinckley. Let’s hope for calmer conditions next time. (no photo)
It is at this time of year, the strange hinterland between Christmas and New Year, that finds people having many calls on their time, so on an unpromising December morning a roll up of eleven cyclists was more than satisfactory.
Chris, this week’s leader, had tried to map out a fairly undemanding route to finish close to home, so at eleven o’clock the riders set off via Bermuda Road, and by working their way along cycle paths and side streets came out to Whittleford.
Following a short stretch of the busy main road, a left turn into Skey Drive once again brought relative tranquillity. These quiet level stretches were bound to give way to steep climbs because the route was leading up to Purley Chase. As the legs started working harder and hearts pumping faster there was no spare breath for conversation so the group worked their way in relative silence to Hartshill Hayes, where they paused for a breather and drink.
As they moved off alongside the Golf Course and turned right into Purley Chase Lane the watery sunshine started to filter through the tree lined road and gave a lift to everyone’s spirits.
From here to Mancetter Church the road drops steeply, and care had to be taken to avoid mishaps on the slippery surface, but the exhilarating descent was much preferred to the uphill slog we sometimes take in the opposite direction. So on to Witherley using the assisted crossing at the very busy A5 and now taking on a quiet rural aspect, the relaxed cyclists made their way along Atterton Lane. Once the left, right crossing of the A444 had been negotiated the familiar lanes led us via Upton towards Higham on the Hill.
The weather was much improved now with the threat of rain receded, but the lunch hour was rapidly approaching, so on arriving in Higham the leader consulted and it was agreed that the shorter route into Nuneaton was the best option.
The final part of the ride took us through Riversley Park – always a credit to the Borough – past the Pingles, to our destination the Cedar Tree. Once inside the very welcomingTracy showed us our reserved table where we enjoyed an excellent meal (Chris and Eric finding the apple pie too hard to resist). Friendly service and great value.
We turned right out of the Fisheries towards Withybrook, then took the back road to Monks Kirby, passing the impressive church to turn left then right to Cottons Furze, where another left and right brought us to the A5 which we crossed with great care and on to Claybrook Parva.
Heading towards Ullesthorpe there were sighs of relief as Bert led us left past Ullesthorpe Golf Club instead of up the steep hill into the village. Enjoying the bright sunshine we rode on towards Frolesworth and then Claybrook Magna.
At High Cross we again crossed the A5 using the assisted crossing and continued on through Copston Magna and Wolvey Heath, arriving at our lunchtime destination, The Bull at Wolvey, where we were joined by Chris suffering with a cold, and Pete and his wife. It took a minute to recognise Pete without his cycling gear – one track minds!
After an enjoyable meal everyone made their separate ways home, some via Bert’s with the promise of a mince pie or two.
In anticipation of slippery conditions the leader had planned a route using mainly roads which had been gritted. The town centre was left by a regular route via Riversley Park, past the Pingles and following the Wem Brook Trail to Pauls Land and Magyar Crescent with only a brief pause near the Millenium Bridge to pump up some soft tyres.
Then it was out to Bulkington along the B4112 and continuing on this road via Five Ways to Withybrook where the highest speed of the day was registered on the descent of Main Street. Here Bow Lane was taken to Foxens Corner, where we crossed the Fosse Way on to Millers Lane and down into Monks Kirby.
By now the threat of wintry showers had receded and we were cheered by bright sunshine. Turning left in the village along Bond End we headed North East towards Cloudsley Bush on a traffic free lane. Then another left took us briefly on the Nuneaton Road.
At the crossroads with the Fosse Way we turned right for the final one and a half miles to our coffee stop at the Red Café at High Cross alongside the A5. Here the hot and steamy interior caused layers of outdoor clothing to be rapidly shed before large mugs of tea and coffee were eagerly consumed along with bacon butties and toasted teacakes.
The continued existence of this handy café is under threat from planners, so if you would like to support this local transport café stop off and sign their petition next time you are passing.
fSuitably refreshed, re-clothed and leaky tyre again inflated we set off on the return leg of our ride via Copston Magna, past the Axe and Compass and Bramcote, reaching the Lutterworth Road shops at 12.45, where we went our separate ways.
The group set off to Stoke Golding and then turned right to Dadlington.Through the village we took a right turn for Sutton Cheney, passing the Canal Basin and up the hill to the hamlet of Sutton Cheney where we turned left past the Alms Houses.
Enjoying the chilly but clear conditions, we continued along the narrow gated road towards Market Bosworth, where we gathered together before turning left for Shenton.
At the southern end of Shenton village we turned under the aquaduct and on through the village to take a left at the T-junction to pass Whitemoors Antique Centre. Thoughts of Christmas lunch must have been coming to the fore as the riders were speeding up and leader Bill attempted to slow things down, but with no luck.
As we neared our destination, the Oddfellows Arms at Higham on the Hill, we were pleased to have completed the ride in fine weather so no wet gear to take off. The landlady and staff made us very welcome and we were joined by another two dozen diners including some ex-riders, founder members of the Club and guests from a wide area. Needless to say there was much noisy chat and catching up with old friends and a spot of singing as well.
The four course Christmas lunch was excellent – good food, efficient service and generous portions. The venue proved an excellent choice – well done for organising that Bill. Everyone enjoyed the meal and had a jolly good time.
We wish all our readers and Lisa a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
After our usual welcome and coffee at the Barn we set off on Morgan’s planned route down through Shenton, under the aquaduct and left for Far Coton where we saw a car on its side in the ditch on the corner. Oh dear! Hope no-one was seriously hurt.
Up the lane to Coton we passed a traveller’s encampment with an assortment of vehicles and ponies tethered on the side of the road. We turned right in Coton for Market Bosworth, and after a brief stop in the market place to check everyone was present then on up through Carlton and Barton in the beans where we turned left for Congerstone.
Up to this point the wind had been in our favour and we had made good time .Now we were heading into the wind and the clouds were looking ominous. We went through Bilston and the long drag up to Little Twycross where the rain set in. Wet gear on we did the last few miles to Orton on the Hill in less than pleasant conditions. Morgan had arranged lunch for us at the Unicorn, where seven of us enjoyed a three course turkey roast. I hope Morgan is soon well and able to join us again.(no photograph)
The “Critical Mass” type ride was organised by the local Friends of the Earth group who have been campaigning all year for better provision for cyclists and pedestrians in the new road layout around the megastore. Spokesman Keith pointed out that Bedworth has the worst cycling provision in the county, including having the only bus lane in the county where cycling is illegal.
Despite promises of a “green” travel plan from Tesco it has not materialised and neither Borough nor County councils have pursued this. Hence the last resort of a protest ride which saw cyclists from Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton joined in attempting to publicise their feelings.
The riders were joined by a jolly cycling Santa, and made several circuits of the store before repairing to the Old Meeting Chapel where they were pleased to warm up with very welcome hot drinks and mince pies provided by the church ladies.
Due to various ailments and commitments some of the group had coffee and returned home, some went on shorter routes leaving twelve of us to set out on the planned route.
We went down through Lutterworth, Swinford and Stanford on Avon. We kept a good tight group and turned left for Cold Ashby and Thronby, nice quiet lanes till we came to the bridle road leading over the Hemplow Hills, a short sharp uphill had everyone off their bikes and pushing the last steep bit. At the top of the hill we were back on tarmac and concrete and a welcome down hill section.
The group then turned left at the junction and on to South Kilworth and Walcote, turning right at the Tavern Inn and left into Chapel Lane brought us onto the bridle path through Misterton and the cycle path over the M1 back into Lutterworth where we met the rest of the group and had a cosy substantial lunch in the Unicorn Inn.(no photograph)
Eighteen riders including the octogenarian trio of Bert,Eric,and Morgan in total ready for the off.(thanks for the cake message Eric)
Good to have a chat with former cycling stalwart and section member Maureen Prior to who had called into the cafe for a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake. Hard habits to beat,thank you for the chat Maureen.
After various photographic calls,and cups of tea and coffee cheerful banter, every one was ready for the off,but being such a large group it was decided to split the riders into two smaller groups. So dressed like Inuit's the riders departed and cycled across town and through Riversley Park and towards Chilvers Coton.
On reaching the canal bridge it was onto the canal towpath along side of the Coventry canal to the bottom of Tuttle Hill,down Stony Road onto Weddington Walk and into Higham on the Hill, then towards Upton, turning left on the unclassified road leading to the A444 ,across to the small Hamlet of Atterton (with a population of forty) then Witherley.
Les Proctor at this point decided to leave and make tracks home, and the B group which had made slower progress and had a few delays decided to skip part of the ride and threaded their way through Atherstone to the Mancetter lunch stop.
The A group rode on turning right down Myth Lane to Pinwall, turning left at the Red Lion towards the market town of Atherstone (famous for the shrove Tuesday foot ball match - dig out your hob nail boots and have a go, very rewarding) the riders then turned off right at Alders Mill onto Holly Lane past Durnos and turning right onto Whittington Lane.
This lane terminates at the junction with the A5, one group of riders decided to cross over and take the small lane on the left (Archers Hill) and ride up the steep climb of Waste Lane to Folly Lane, whilst the other group decided to turn left back towards Atherstone and the Kings Head and make a slight detour through Atherstone to Mancetter.
After climbing Folly Lane we rode on towards Baxterly, turned left and rode down Merevale Lane towards Atherstone and the Kings Head, then back onto the canal tow path past four flights of canal locks and off the tow path at Minions Wharf.
After crossing Coleshill Road we then rode down through “Chinatown” and back onto the canal towpath at Rawn Hill coming off at Quarry Lane and a short ride to The Plough at Mancetter for a well deserved lunch.
Total miles ridden was 22ish, but might be wrong. One rider punctured. This rider did not collect any mushrooms had a very good day and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow cyclists. Whilst others enjoyed lanes never ridden before. Happy cycling – John.
Then along the lanes to Ridge Lane and Birchley Heath to the coffee stop at the Craft Centre, where some riders took the opportunity to browse the craft shops and garden centre, and look in on an auction in full swing in the barn.
A different route back via Ballards Green and Devitts Green to Old Arley then downhill to Arley House Farm then bottom gear up to the well named Hill Top. A short flat stretch to Ansley roundabout , then downhill past the Round Towers with riders peeling off to the left and right making their various ways home.(no photograph)
Following Club practice with a group of this size, the ride was split into 2 groups to make it easier for cars to overtake. A left out of the Golf Centre under the motorway and an immediate right saw us passing the Rolls Royce factory. This loop eventually brought us to Brinklow and, although cycling under overcast skies, it remained dry.
We were soon into quieter lanes and passing the now established Marina on Cathiron Lane. After wending our way through Harborough Magna we were soon climbing towards the radio station. It was here that Eric’s bike lost it’s drive due to a sheared cassette. After a quick inspection and much head shaking Eric decided to push his bike back to Pailton where he could get a lift. This was the second casualty as Bill had already fell victim to mechanical problems.
The reduced number pressed on and were soon heading towards Magna Park. Along this stretch of road free food was spotted by John and Chris who stopped to gather mushrooms, an advantage of the slower pace of cycling.
At the busy A5 island care was taken as we swung left onto the Cloudsley Bush Road. This is the local time trial course, due to it having no serious bends or gradients and the groups made fairly rapid progress along its 5 mile length.
As lunchtime was approaching the pace seemed to quicken with the prospect of a welcome meal at our destination, The Bull at Wolvey where we were joined by a further 3 diners. Once fed and watered the members and guests made their various ways home.
This year we were joined by our Area CTC Councillor Peter Mathison, who travelled from Shrewsbury to be with us and stayed to chat to many of our members.
Official business was accomplished fairly quickly and the new Committee duly elected. We were pleased to welcome new Committee members Janet and Michael and sorry to lose Arthur as Auditor.
This year the awards were presented as follows : Presidents Cup stays with President Bill Hayward, the Amicale St Louis Cup for most rides in the year was won by Dave Backhouse for a record 75 rides, Best All Rounder Shield to Terry Pittam and the Lol Duncombe Junior Award was retained by Shawn Armstrong who couldn’t be with us as he was picking up more awards from college.
Scrapbooks of our year’s rides and events were on display along with our Leader Packs, our new Route maps for easy family rides and other Cycle leaflets.
It was good to see some new faces as well as old friends and there was a healthy exchange of views and ideas which bode well for the coming year. We look forward to improvements in cycling provision in the Borough which will help us get more people cycling more safely.
The weather man threatened to put a damper on things for the 9.00am start of the 80 kilometre route, as fifty five registered riders set off in groups in steady drizzle. There were many local members and others from far and wide, including honoured guest David Cox CTC Council Chair.
They headed east over the A5 to Higham on the Hill and then moving northward through the lanes and villages of Upton, Ratcliffe Culey, and Pinwall to reach the garden centre at Newton Regis for welcome refreshments after seventeen damp miles.
Bert Pearce, one of the celebrities of the ride, has been involved with Nuneaton and East Warwickshire cycling circles for many years. One time president of both associations, coupled with the organisation of many cycle tours both at home and abroad, a quite remarkable character in many other fields, and still cycling with much vigour.
Suitably refreshed, and with drying roads in brightening weather conditions, the groups pedalled through Austrey to climb the hill to Appelby Magna to turn southerly through Odstone, Barton in the Beans, Carlton and on to Market Bosworth for more refreshment at the Tithe Barn on the Ambion Hill Battlefield site now registering thirty three miles on the clock.
Eric Neal, next of the Octogenarians, was a founder member of the Nuneaton Club many years ago, and with half a century of CTC (Cyclists Touring Club) membership to our national organisation. Eric has also been involved with the CTC of Leicestershire for half a lifetime, and well known as a gritty campaigner for cyclist’s rights on and off the road.
Morgan Reynolds makes up the trio, again with over fifty years CTC membership, and a keen member of Hinckley Racing Club. Morgan is a local phenomenon, still turning out for Time Trials as well as Club rides. He likes to ring the changes, sometimes on a road racer, sometimes on a tricycle, and sometimes joined by Joy on a tandem.
Leaving the Bosworth Battlefield, and now in pleasant sunshine, the final circular route of around twenty miles were enjoyed through the villages of Wellesborough, Sheepy Parva, Bilstone and Congerstone.
Autumn leaves were much in evidence through the pleasant lanes which were by now gorgeous for steady cycling. A brilliant route devised and prepared by Bert Pearce saw riders strung out over several miles to all reach Higham on the Hill again in much superior weather conditions to earlier in the day. The final run in was back to Ambleside Club to complete a very satisfying fifty plus miles.
The latter part of the afternoon was given over to celebrations with a hog-roast buffet, and a much varied selection of cakes prepared by the ladies- truly magnificent. Highlight of these was an enormous birthday cake made by Joy Reynolds and iced in traditional CTC yellow and green.
Words of congratulation were given by Chair Ann Jenkins, and David Cox did the honours by presenting each of the trio with an engraved glass tankard, a souvenir photo and a gallon of cider, which was a most pleasant surprise to say the least; and very much appreciated. That three octogenarians from the same club can cycle eighty kilometres is quite remarkable, and they are indeed grateful and fortunate to achieve such a landmark!
All participants and helpers were congratulated, many had travelled some distance, namely Devon, Bristol, Essex and surrounding areas, to join our “80 not out” celebration.
Special thanks to Bert and Carole Pearce and family members for the organisation of the major part of the very successful day. A great day for Nuneaton ctc Cycle Club. A day to remember!
Chris led the band along the Weddington Road and then along the Weddington Way towards Higham on the Hill. Leicestershire churches were open this weekend as part of the heritage week so it seemed appropriate to sample a little of our religious culture over the border in Leicestershire.
St Peter’s C of E in Higham was the first stop, tucked away down a little lane on the left just before the school. The church was decked out with a huge amount of memorabilia of Higham and its inhabitants. Chris lives in the village and used to wind the church clock there and he spotted a picture of the bell ringing team of Higham from the 1920s. This photo usually languishes in the tower itself so it deserved an airing.
After a few minutes look we moved on to Stoke Golding – there’s a short cut between the post office and village shop that leads to the Church of St.Margaret of Antioch. This is was much quieter – only sponsored cyclists arriving to leave their names on the tally sheets. We kept getting asked to complete these visit sheets at various churches along the way which led to repeated explanations! “Sorry it’s a coincidence – we’re just having a look”.
One of the circuiting cyclists asked about a picture that showed Mary holding Jesus up to a bearded and very finely dressed individual. He was wondering who this chap was – the final decision was that it must have been Joseph. It was noticed that the exact same painting was hanging in Higham Church too and we surmised it must have been part of an ecclesiastical job lot or ‘limited print’ as they’re termed now.
From there we travelled along to Dadlington’s St.James – a rather smaller church than the other two on a bit of a hill above the Dog and Hedgehog. It’s quite a cosy little place – and feels less formal. They have a wooden ‘sentry box’ tucked in a corner with a Latin motto at the top. There were some attempts to ascertain its use. A mini-wardrobe for the vicar’s vestments was one suggestion.
After Dadders we rode along to Bosworth to have a look at their humble place. Not really much doing there so we nipped across to the Chapel down and across the road. Chapels are very different in feel to churches – a bit of plastering and more warmth.
We then elected to go and have a nice cup of whatever at the Courtyard Café where one of a group of ladies from High Wycombe took the accompanying photo.
We travelled back via the gated road and through Shenton and Higham.
It was nice to welcome new face Dave, and after a few introductions, the group set off out of town via the ring road, Princes Street and picking up the canal towpath at the Cat Gallows bridge.
A fairly leisurely ride along the canal to Marston Junction, where unfortunately the towpath deteriorates and cyclists are advised to leave the canal and weave through the Bedworth streets to Coalpit Fields Lane where they can rejoin a reasonably surfaced towpath.
Whilst cycling through Bedworth Les and Kath both found they had punctures – taking togetherness a bit too far! With Dave’s help the problems were soon sorted and the group continued along the canal to Hawkesbury Junction where there was lots of narrow boat action on both the Coventry and Oxford canals.
The cyclists rode along Sutton Stop and turned right over the bridge, then left to follow some pleasant paths which led to the level crossing in Blackhorse Road. A short leg on the Foleshill Road and a left into School Lane took the group towards Ash Green, eventually along Hospital Lane to join Smorral Lane, and then up to Astley Lane where Les unfortunately had another flat tyre. As we were very near to our coffee stop he pushed his bike to join us at the Astley Book Farm café.
Everyone enjoyed delicious cakes and drinks at this very attractive stop before making their various ways home.
It was a beautiful sunny morning although there was an autumnal nip in the air but it didn’t deter any of the seventeen riders who joined me. As usual there was a reluctance to leave the cafe and conversations, but once we started the ride it soon settled to a nice steady pace which took us to Ashby Parva, then onto one of the nicest lanes I have ever ridden, taking us to Dunton Basset, from where we headed towards Frolesworth, then through the Claybrooks, (Magna and Parva) to cross the Watling Street.
By this time the sun had really warmed so we took a short stop to strip off a layer or two and take a drink, then onto Monks Kirby. We were now about half way into the ride and had seen hardly any traffic apart from the odd farmer ploughing. Another indication that autumn is on its way was how all the tall roadside flowers have gone to seed and are just waiting for a good wind to distribute them, especially the Rosebay Willowherb which famously colonized the bomb sites after the second world war.
We then did loop to take us through Withybrook and back to Monks Kirby, from where we took another lovely lane to Wood Farm Brewery to celebrate Dave’s birthday with a drink and an excellent lunch. The more I ride my bicycle in the countryside, the more I appreciate what a lovely country this is and worry about what we stand to lose with the relaxing of the planning rules, that the government are proposing.(no photograph)
At this point we were forced to divert off the canal due to the unsuitable surface ahead and we cycled through housing estates until we found Queens Street in Bedworth. At the end of this street we found the canal again and resumed our canal ride soon arriving at the attractive Sutton Stop or Hawkesbury Junction. Here we were able to to take the bridge over to the towpath of the Oxford Canal and with the canal now on our left we passed the many narrow boats moored at this popular stop and headed towards the old canalside pub known as the Elephant & Castle and under Tusses Bridge.
Although in the past we have been forced to leave the canal here, again due to a poor and usually muddy towpath surface, today we were able to benefit from recent dry conditions and decided to cycle happily on passing through peaceful countryside until we reached Stone Bridge. After pushing the bikes up to the traffic-free part of Woodway Lane we turned left and rode across Sowe Common until we reached the junction with Lentons Lane. Here we turned right on to Shilton Lane and soon arrived at our coffee stop - Hilltop Garden Centre where we were spoilt for choice with their wonderfully tempting display of cakes and pastries!
The route back to Nuneaton included a pleasant ride through the lanes to Barnacle and then on to Bulkington from where we headed home.
Over tea and coffee Matt arrived with portions of his mother’s home made whiskey cake, baked for his birthday. Cake and cyclists have a magnetic attraction and very quickly only a few crumbs remained, evidence of a superior confection.
The group started slowly after being chided by Bill to exit the Club. A right and left soon saw us at Bulkington, now riding at a brisk pace with a following wind and a fairly warm day. En route to Wolvey we passed a large domestic wind generator spinning fast in the breeze.
The familiar roads led through Wolvey, Wolvey Heath, and, after crossing the Cloudsley Bush Road, Copston Magna via the quiet undulating lane. The final rise terminates at High Cross, where great care was taken crossing the ever busy A5.
By now many of the group had removed jackets as the weather steadily improved. Still outward bound, a right turn at Claybrook Magna signalled the turning point of the ride. The next village was Monks Kirby, and after passing the impressive church, the long uphill drag caused a lull in the conversations.
A fairly easy descent soon saw the group passing Withybrook and on by a back lane towards Shilton. This lane provides a roller coaster ride of fast descents and uphill slogs. Once reaching Shilton the riders singled out down the busy main road to retrace their route to Anstey to enjoy their promptly served and welcome lunch.
The group set off over Leicester Road bridge and out of town via the Weddington Walk, which is looking very good at the moment. Picking up Ann at Higham on the Hill, the cyclists rode through the familiar pretty Fenn Lanes taking in Wykin, Stoke Golding, Dadlington and Sutton Cheney.
The moderate pace and quiet lanes gave plenty of chance for chatting and catching up on news – particularly for several members of the group recently returned from a cycle tour of Southern Italy.
Out of Sutton Cheney our band took the gated road into Market Bosworth before turning into Shenton Lane for the homeward journey towards Higham on the Hill.
The Spring Fair at Higham School was the refreshment stop this week, and what a splendid one it proved to be – excellent stalls, displays and entertainment and a terrific choice of cakes and snacks to keep satisfy the hungriest cyclist. The church also was hosting a display of arts and crafts of a very high standard with many artist demonstrating their work.
A very pleasant end to an enjoyable ride.
We turned right and rode for about quarter of a mile to reach the Bridle Track which links Brandon and Coombe Abbey Park. This track called Centenary Way has been improved by the local authorities over recent years by coppicing the trees alongside the path to allow sunlight to penetrate and dry the surface which was then covered with shale. This path is well used by both horse riders, cyclists and walkers.
From there we rode through Brandon and onto Wolston, a pretty village where a lovely stream runs alongside us down the Main Street. Leaving Wolston we turned right and left towards Stretton on Dunsmore taking care crossing the busy A.45.
Stretton on Dunsmore is another delightful village to ride through, passing the village shop and pub to take the next right and climb the hill out of the village and through another narrow lane to reach Frankton and Bourton on Dunsmore using the straight mile on B.4453 which led us back to the A45 where we crossed to Lawford Heath.
We travelled on through Church Lawford, passing the sad site of the closed Wyvale Garden Centre which used to be a useful coffee stop, then Kings Newnam and onto Brinklow for lunch at the Bulls Head. We were made very welcome and had a very sociable lunch with our fellow riders. After lunch riders usually make their own way home as some of our riders come from Leicestershire and Rugby as well as Nuneaton.
Saturday 16th April 2011 - Second Map Launch Ride. The second of our Map Launch rides was blessed with a perfect morning for cycling, and an 18 strong group gathered at the Pingles for the start. We were especially pleased to welcome a couple of family groups new to Club rides.
Bert led off along the Wembrook Trail as far as Caldwell, the path unfortunately littered with broken glass in several places, and the almost inevitable result was a puncture. A pity such a well used path is also such a hazard.
From Triton Road we took the canal towpath in a southerly direction to Gypsy Lane, again having to negotiate large amounts of broken glass as we left the canal. Heading towards Griff the group kept in single file on this rather busy stretch and after carefully crossing Coventry Road we were pleased to get away from the traffic, taking Griff Lane and then the shared paths to Bermuda Park.
A rather tricky access took us to the lakeside path and we continued around this very pretty path to emerge in Bermuda Village. Right into Radley Drive and another careful crossing of Heath End Road and we were soon heading along the pathway to Greenmore Road and the Cat Gallows bridge. Here we rejoined the canal towpath and rode to Donithorne Avenue where we finally left the canal.
Past George Eliot School we picked up the Wembrook Trail and headed back towards the Pingles where tea, coffee and a chat concluded a short but varied morning’s ride.
At last, the first Saturday ride to take place in glorious sunshine!
We took the Weddington Trail out of Nuneaton, spotting the first blossom on the trees above lines of nodding daffodils. Weaving our way through the Fenn Lanes, we stopped briefly to look across the fields at the widely believed, more probably site of the Battle of Bosworth. At Upton, we decided to ride on and include the loop to Sibson and Sheepy Parva, dropping back towards Shenton along Tinsel Lane.
We were rewarded at Shenton Station by the sight of the steam train, the sharp whistle and hiss of the engine; followed by clouds of steam shooting up into the blue sky. Taking the track along the side of the railway and up through Ambion Wood, we could see the sheep in the adjoining field with the first new born lambs of spring.
At the Tithe Barn we enjoyed our coffee and cake in the sunshine, sitting in the enclosed courtyard before making our way back to Nuneaton.