Sunday 5th September was the day of our 100-km Centenary Challenge Ride, with 42-riders starting at War Memorial Park and lurching to breakfast at Long Itchington, lunch at Badby, tea at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore and finishing at The Open Arms in Cheylesmore. Yes it is now confirmed that CTC stands for Coffee, Tea and Cakes. The Harvester Inn gave us bacon sandwiches to die for; the Women’s Institute provided a very efficient lunch service when we enjoyed a variety of quiches and salad, followed by apple pie and cream; we enjoyed home baked cakes at Clifton; and a choice of drinks at The Open Arms – several celebratory gin & tonics could be seen amongst the happy finishers.
I nearly forgot, we did a bit of cycling as well – here is the profile of the route, which I can now reveal and admit that it had rather more climbing than we normally do on a Sunday Ride. The weather was perfect and we rode in groups each with its own a leader and backmarker, so everyone was looked after during the day.
- The Harvester;
- Badby scarecrows;
- Cakes at Clifton;
- Bridge Cottage,
- Andy at the finish.
At the top of the significant climb up Keys Lane in Priors Marston we had great views over the Warwickshire Feldon, went past the source of the River Leam and then enjoyed the gated road from Helidon to Lower Catesby before arriving in the delightful village of Badby with its thatched cottages and the added attraction of dead-heating with their scarecrow festival.
- War Memorial Park
- Tea at Clifton
- On the way to breakfast
- Winwick and Long Itchington
After lunch we rode through the attractive Northamptonshire village of Newnham to be followed by the biggest hill of the day. This was followed by some very narrow, gravelly lanes – the nearest we got to off-roading – some gated roads to Winwick and onto a welcome tea break at Clifton.
It was a real pleasure to get so many riders together after such a long period of restrictions, although the groups remained separate throughout the ride. The Open Arms made us very welcome at the end of the ride, where we had a bar tab – it speaks volumes for the quality of the day’s catering that no-one chose the option of tea and a pudding, but had something less solid!
- War Memorial Park and Clifton
- Clifton and Mill Hill
- Keys Lane
- Lunch at Badby
- Tea at Clifton
It should be noted that we had a team of 28-helpers to make this ride possible for 42-people – they managed the check-in at the start and the check-out at the end; were on standby during the day in case anyone needed motorised assistance; booked the watering holes; arranged the catering; baked a fabulous selection of cakes for the Clifton tea stop; took photographs to make an excellent record of the day; and, of course, the leaders and back markers who looked after the groups of riders. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone in the team but, in particular, thanks go to Dave Hearn who made all the arrangements with the Long Itchington Harvester, Clifton village hall and catering at Badby village hall – it was by no means certain that we would be able to go ahead with the event.