My first Critical Mass ride

I finally got round to joining my local Critical Mass ride this month.  Critical Mass in Northampton has been running on the last Friday of the month since last summer and sets off from the Racecourse at 6.00 p.m.  Despite the wind and rain, I was there!

I saw three people I already knew and everyone else was very welcoming.  A great atmosphere!

We set off on what turned out to be a figure-of-eight route through the town.  I don’t think I would have remembered the route without a tracker app as I was pretty much in conversation with other cyclists most of the time.Windy and, at times, a little wet!

Windy and at times a little wet!

In just under an hour we were back at the Racecourse and many of us adjourned to The Olde England.At the end of the ride!

At the end of the ride!

More about the origins of Critical Mass here.  Link to CM Northampton’s Facebook page here.  Photos taken from Ministry of Bicycles‘ Instagram feed.

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The Sustrans / University of Northampton ride

The event took place last Wednesday and was a great opportunity to meet people.  I met George Pollard, the new Sustrans officer at the University.  And then he equipped half-a-dozen students with bikes from his Sustrans “fleet”.  Two more helpers turned up: John from the CTC and Bill, George’s brother, of Bomberdrome and Ministry of Bicycles fame.

We made a little alternative to the planned route down to the Brampton Valley Way – going through Obelisk Spinney into Boughton rather than down Lynton Avenue to the A508.

 

The students were keen on the fast descent of Brampton Lane and enjoyed the flat BVW going further than they thought.  With of course the result that there was further to pedal back!

The limit of our adventure: the BVW at the Brixworth-to-Spratton road

The limit of our adventure: the BVW at the Brixworth-to-Spratton road

A non-alcoholic break was taken at The Windhover, hosted by George (Sustrans’ expenses exclude the taking of alcoholic beverages.

Refreshments at The Windhover

Refreshments at The Windhover

Then we were off along the BVW towards Kingsthorpe, leaving at Kentstone Avenue before a slightly gentler climb up to the University.  And one little alternative again: straight along Reynard Way to use the toucan crossing of Holly Lodge Drive.

The students all enjoyed it.  The prize for those who had come the furthest went to the three Greek students on Erasmus exchanges!

Route here: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/2183486 and the Greek girls were very pleased to have cycled 20 kilometres!