Through the swirling mist on a cold morning six riders gathered in the welcome warmth of the Waterend Barn. Coffee, and for some, breakfast was consumed in preparation for the twenty-mile jaunt to Hatfield. Taking a roundabout route to get to the King William on Sandridge Road, Carol complained about a noise emanating from her front wheel, After stopping for inspection & removing her front wheel, her disc-brake pads promptly fell out. Taking this as a bad omen, she decided to return the half-mile home to take the bus to Hatfield. We continued through Sandridge, across Nomansland and down Leasey Bridge Lane and through Marshalls Heath with the sky brightening. I had intended to go via Peters Green, but after a descent to the Lower Luton Road & looking at my watch I aborted this plan & headed for Kimpton to take the shortest route from there to Hatfield. Promptly at mid-day the rain started; it was light at first & I made the mistake of not donning my waterproof shorts. The rain slowly but steadily intensified, so by the time we had traversed along Kimpton Bottom, up to Ayot Green and down to Lemsford & Hatfield Garden Village to Hatfield we were all rather wet. John E arrived at the same time as us (1 p.m.) having cycled straight to the pub.
All the others, including Jon and Judy who had ridden from Barnet were already sitting in warmth and dry at a table for twelve in Harpsfield Hall where we all enjoyed a Christmas Lunch, one of us having the traditional dish of vegetable curry. Jon presented Carol with "The Jon Crosby trophy for best South Herts ride leader".