We were slightly late due to a rouge flint, but service at Wetherspoons was swift due to the robotisation of the coffee dispensing process. Just pressing a button for unlimited refills ensured that most had enough caffeine drug in their bloodstreams to fail a UCI test, although one of us managed an early pint while fixing his bike.
|Outside Ashridge House|
We were welcomed at the pub in Woodside and shown to our reserved table in the restaurant, complete with plastic tablecloths, which seemed a bit strange for a country pub. But it was nice and warm inside, the lunch was substantial and there was one real ale, the ubiquitous Doombar, on offer.
We left lunch a bit later than planned, but the final leg back to St Albans was only 11 miles. It was a good route to Harpenden, but the direct route then took us along the A1081 cycle track, which is narrow, uneven and generally a good example of how not to provide safer routes for cyclists.
It was better when we rejoined the main road and we got back at 3:15 pm, so even those who had to ride home another 10-15 miles made it just before it was completely dark.
Carol had led us on a lovely circuit into The Chilterns, which really was almost an exactly circular route.