Seven of us met at the war memorial for the day’s excursion, the morning was not too cold despite the thick mist lurking about. I led the group through Sandridgebury and out onto Nomansland, through Ayres End and down to Redbourn Fisheries. This area wasn’t flooded but it had had its fair share of water, the Mill looked great set against a backdrop of fog. We made our way up the path next to the A5 into Redbourn then we followed a familiar route to Gaddesden Row, from here it was a simple task of shooting down the hill to have a break at the garden centre at Great Gaddesden. Here we met Jon and Judy, with Jon making his first outing on two wheels after a 2-month layoff – they set off separately not wanting to hold us up. As they left Stuart and David joined us having cycled from Stevenage.
After the break we headed back up the hill and towards Markyate. It was at the junction here that Steve decided to give us an impromptu puncture repair fixing session. Soon enough we were on our way and in Markyate a group of very muddy bikers passed who were out green laning. We crossed over the busy A5 and took a lovely, winding and hilly road that led (eventually) to the Luton Hoo and just after all that climbing we went climbing again as we headed up and down around the back end of the airport, with private jets taking off above us. It really is lovely up here, with some nice little villages dotted about.
Lunch was at Mangrove Green and Jon & Judy had arrived 30 minutes before us and reserved a large table next to the fish tank (the fish looked good but weren't on the menu). Discussion over lunch turned to what we should do for a summer cycling trip as a club, the preference being for a fixed-centre touring base somewhere ‘up north’.
Just after lunch, as we were all about to go our separate ways, Tracey was struck by the puncture fever and showed that she was a match for Steve in dealing with such a minor inconvenience. It was a great day out, a bit foggy at first, but after morning break the sun had come out and the afternoon was great. Some went back via Harpenden while I led others on a lovely trek through Lilley Bottom and Whitwell to get home well before dark.