13 January 2019

13 Jan 2019: Hatfield to Whitewebbs

We met in Poppins Cafe, Hatfield at the civilised hour of 10.00 for an early coffee. It was nice to see some regular riders again who have been absent for a while.

Pre-ride discussion of our route to lunch in Enfield revealed that Jon had a route worked out and as he's more or less a local to that neck of the woods, he was soon appointed special guest leader for the outward trip. We set off to Potters Bar and then turned east through the pleasant lanes to Crews Hill. A powerful following wind wafted us on our way.
Hilly Fields, Enfield
We took the well-surfaced and delightful track through Hilly Fields Park and then across Whitewebbs Golf course soon to arrive at The King & Tinker after turning in a record distance in quick time - thanks to the NW wind. The pub could not have been pleasanter - nice food freshly prepared, reasonably priced, and not too busy with a very welcoming staff. Highly recommended.
King and Tinker
After lunch the group split into those going home in north London and those heading back to Hatfield. The Hatfield group took in more of the tracks through Whitewebbs Park, then the hilly open roads to Hadley Wood. Passing the station we continued through Potters Bar and soon were back in Hatfield. A great day's cycling.

Richard 13/01/2019

6 January 2019

06 Jan 2019: St Albans to Ley Green

It was a grey and overcast start to the new year and a small but select group of four met in the Waterend Barn. Good value breakfasts were consumed by two of the party and then just before we were leaving we had a call from Gareth who hadn't noticed we were not meeting outside the Blacksmiths Arms. We took a quiet route out of St Albans which wasn't really necessary as the volume of traffic was extremely low and headed up to Woodcock Hill where we encountered a pile of abandoned fridges. Steve took a photo and later that day posted a report using "fix my street" to report the fly-tip incident.
Woodcock hill fridges
What a dismal start to the day to see this type of rubbish on such a large scale. We headed north east via Coleman Green and Water End then changed direction to head north west via Ayot Green and Kimpton Mill before doing a loop around some tiny roads to get to the Plough at about 12.50 and after 22 miles. Gareth was struggling as he hadn't had time to have anything to eat at the start after cycling up from Brookmans Park. He made up the calories pretty quickly by downing two pints of beer at lunch. The pub was very old fashioned and is in a bit of a 1950's time warp pub with some fox heads on display caught at Simonshyde in 1900. The food was very good value and we left at about 1.45 to go downhill via Whitwell, then over the private road to Kimpton where Carol had a puncture. Philip, Gareth and Peter carried on while Steve attended to the problem.

Steve fixing the puncture
Unfortunately even though we found the hole in the damaged tube, the first replacement tube would not inflate properly, so he had to put in a second spare tube before we could carry on. This meant is was getting quite dark when we finally got back to St Albans after about 35 miles. A good dry day and not too cold made for an enjoyable early January outing.


25 December 2018

25 Dec 2018: St Albans to Wildhill

There were only three starters for mince pies and coffee at Carol and Steve's house in St Albans on a gloomy but dry Christmas morning. Steve H set off at such a pace I thought he'd morphed into Steve C that morning. We rode out of St Albans heading for Colney Heath on incredibly quiet roads before passing the Vets' college at Brookmans Park, where we saw many cars in the car park. I expect they still need a lot of staff to look after the animals no matter what time of year. After climbing up towards Cuffley we turned left to tackle Carbone Hill before finally getting to Woodside and the pub just after 12 noon having covered 17.5 miles at 13 mph, which is quite a speed for us considering the hills involved.
Jon and Judy cycled in the same time as we did, and after Jon managed to limbo under the pub doorways due to the foot-long antlers sticking out of the top of his head, we managed to get seated in the back room. Here we partook our free drinks (for which we made charity donations) and home-made sandwiches for a jolly lunch.

Soon it got even jollier when an elf appeared alongside his son in a Christmas sweater. Chris from Welwyn Garden City also arrived and we were amazed to hear he had never been to the Woodman before.

Which one has the elfine figure?
The pub was only open for an hour theoretically, but it was about 1.30 when we were turfed out and saw Santa on his tractor before heading back to our various homes, all, I hope getting back in daylight.
Santa's tractor
Route below; I couldn't find a Santa on a bicycle so used a skiing one instead!

Happy New Year from Carol