The South Herts section met at the war memorial in St Albans. 9 o’clock was the designated time and lo and behold 10 riders turned up, which is a great showing for a ride we rarely do.
|All 4 Herts CTC sections' annual meeting at Vanstone's|
We had great pleasure in welcoming back Geoff and Liz, both on their second ride with us; we also had the delight of Anne’s company, new to Sunday rides but a familiar face on our Wednesday evening rides.
The idea for today was to have a quick blast to Vanstone’s garden centre in Codicote, to meet up with the other sections of the CTC at 11 am. On previous years this place has been packed. So off we set and made it to Codicote in just over an hour. Oops, maybe my route was a little bit too short. But there you have it: a nice little ride and we had the luxury of the wind behind us.
So we well and truly beat the maddening crowds of cyclists and got our refreshments without queuing. After a longer break than planned, everybody else turned up with old friends greeting each other, including some familiar faces like Stuart, Barrie and Margaret.
Well lunch was at Great Offley and there were two groups heading off there: a fast group and a rather more sedate group. I chose the latter group, as I love meandering about, and this is just what we did. It was a lovely ride taking in some of the great lanes that Hertfordshire has to offer. Our leader Paul had chosen his route well and, with the light breeze and beaming sunshine, it was an idyllic ride.
After some time the fast group passed us led by Brian, and we picked up Geoff who had found the pace a little too fast (I hear the fast group averaged 15 mph) and dropped off the back. In our group the leader and sweeper were communicating by walkie-talkie and my ‘slight mechanical’ (bottle cage falling off) was soon broadcast to the front of the group – at least I was spared the embarrassment of the leader coming to look for me.
Not long after that we were at lunch, a great little pub with some rather burnt looking sausages, and a buzzing atmosphere. I have to say it was good meeting other riders from the area and just listening to all the chat. It was a very pleasant day. I was expecting an afternoon portion to the ride but no, after a longer lunch than normal, everyone headed back home to all corners of Hertfordshire.
It was a lovely day and one I think I’ll do again next year, I also think I got a fantastic shot of Judy on her trike.
View map full screen (Blue=feeder ride; Green=easy ride; red=hard ride)