28 March 2010

28 Mar 2010: Sunday ride to Epping and Allens Green

It seemed colder than expected when thirteen of us met in Hertford, but then it was an hour earlier than normal due to the start of summertime.  Encouraged by the concept of summer and an hour's more evening daylight, I was slightly embarrassed to find that everyone except me and Judy had set their alarm clocks really early to ride to the start. 

The climb up to Goose Green warmed us up and, despite heading into Essex, we managed to find several hills to stave off the effects of the cold wind.

Climbing up from the Lea valley

 Approaching Epping

I had planned to use the Verde cafe in Epping, but it was still shut after 11 am, so we piled into a surprisingly salubrious Wimpy instead.

Then it was through part of Epping Forest to Churchgate Street and past the Queens Head (the original lunch stop, until I discovered they only do roast dinners).  We pressed on through Lower Sheering and Sawbridgeworth to the Queens Head at Allens Green for lunch, where it was warm enough for some of us to stay in the pub garden.  Shame we were a week too early for their beer festival.

After lunch Simon, Stuart and Peter took the direct route home, while the rest of us headed south through Gilston and Roydon, with Steve and Carol peeling off via Hertford Heath.  That left Fred, Tracey, John H, Judy, Neal, Craig, Vish and me to carry on to tea at Esem in Ware.  The ride finished with a scenic ride along the river Lea back to Hertford. 
 Cycle path between Ware and Hertford

John supplied some stats from his GPS, showing that we cycled for 4hrs 50mins at an average speed of 10.4 mph.  Total height climbed was 2025 feet over a distance of 49.2 miles.  Putting this on an a vertical profile makes it look like a mountain stage in the Tour de France.  
 Map and vertical route profile.  See 28 Mar 2010 on a larger map. 

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