10 February 2013

10 Feb 2013: St Albans to Mangrove Green

As I rode through light rain to St Albans I began to think the worst of the winter weather might be behind us.  I felt warm enough in just 2 layers and dry under my gortex jacket, over trousers and overshoes.  So I was a bit disappointed to find that only one other rider (Roger) had turned out on a bike at the start.  Perhaps others could do with some advice on winter cycling clothes?  

Cyclist on track
Roger on the Ayot Greenway
The elevenses was quite close, so as we both had hybrid bikes we put in a stretch of the Ayot Green way, from Wheathampstead to Ayot St Peter.   Despite the wet weather, this is a well-constructed off-road route, which proved to be rideable throughout and not much muckier than some of the usual lanes.  However, I was glad to have a disc brake to avoid wearing out my rims.

The rain had almost stopped as we arrived at the Garden Centre in Codicote.  Here we were glad to find Judy and Richard, who had gone direct, and we were joined by a dozen or so from our sister club: Stevenage & North Herts CTC.

Roger departed, but the other three of us reckoned the dire warnings of snow were unlikely to affect us.  So we shot along Lilly Bottom with the wind at our backs and took a direct route through Tea Green to the pub hidden away in Mangrove Green.  We found a useful dry area under an awning to park our bikes, but had to dodge being drenched as it shed its load of water whenever the wind caught it.

If it was going to snow anywhere it would be here, so we didn’t want to hang around too long.  It always feels colder when you leave a warm pub, but I’m sure the wind had strengthened and now we were heading straight into it and the driving rain.  At least the extra effort was keeping me warm, although I could really have done with a tea stop as I had an extra 14 miles home from St Albans.  I was wise to press on, as the rain turned to snow just after I reached home after a satisfying 63 miles.

38 mile route: 

10 Feb 2013

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