18 March 2012

18 Mar 2012: Hatfield to Wareside

Eight of us met at Hatfield and it was great to welcome Nixon, a new fellow cyclist, to our group ride.  We set off east to Welwyn Garden City where we picked up the Cole Green Way to Letty Green and joined The Old Coach Road to Hertingfordbury.  At the church we turned off and meandered along quiet lanes up to Bayford, then climbed past the golf club to Brickendon Green.  
Meeting in Hatfield
Bayford village sign

Cycling through Danemead Woods, we tried not to scare a lot of horses and their riders also out enjoying this fine spring morning.  We dropped down into Hoddesdon and through to Dobb's Weir. Here we frequented a very busy River’s Edge Cafe, where the garden is now a cosy plastic-sided tent.  Although we had to wait a long time for our cooked breakfast to arrive, it was well worth it, very tasty, substantial and very good value.
Danemead Woods
Three wheels meets four legs

We left the cafe via the towpath and joined the Sustrans route 1, which we were pleased to see was being upgraded and reconstructed, to Lower Nazing.  On route to Nazing the temperature dropped and Neil got a puncture!  This time he had a self-adhesive patch and after successfully repairing his inner tube we set off again to Broadly Common then down to Roydon where two of us carelessly over shot the level crossing! The rest of the group waited patiently for ten minutes for two trains to pass and us to re-cross onto the Stort Navigation path towards Harlow.  Although there are several awkward cycle gates to get through (Judy had to take her recumbent trike another way), this path is quiet and very scenic.  
Another puncture for Neil
Hey, over here!

At Hunsdon Lock we managed to find the way off this path to cross the very busy A414 and continue up a minor road to Hunsdon, Widford then finally Wareside, albeit 1 hour behind schedule!  Fortunately, Jon & Judy had saved us a large table (having fended off several mothers) and despite being Mothering Sunday and not booking we were served a good lunch.  None of us really wanted to leave this friendly, cosy, old fashioned pub, but eventually we did when we realised most of us didn't have lights!
Works on the Roydon river path
River Lea at Ware

Shortly after joining the Ware-Hertford river path, Peter had a brief argument with a tree root and fell off in some mud, but nothing was damaged except his pride and we split up in Hertford to return back home to our own destinations.

Tracey 18/03/2012

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