31 May 2015

31 May 2015: St Albans to Hedgerley

It was wet, which might explain why there were only four of us at the start in St Albans. And, considering the forecast for the rest of the day, it was amazing that the four of us had turned out at all.

However, undaunted we set of for Amersham, which was to be our elevenses stop. Basically our route was via Flaunden and on into the hilly Chilterns. Now there are actually two Amershams, but of course being masochists we had opted for ‘Amersham on the Hill’. This necessitated a steep climb up after Latimer to get onto the ridge, along which we went to the aforesaid Amersham.  Here we went to the Masterchef CafĂ©, a very clean and pleasant establishment. After a little drying out and fortifying with food and drink we left, heading for Hedgerley, which seems even deeper into the Chilterns.
beer barrels
Ready-made cycle parking facility
Peter in need of a pint
So up and down we went, and on through dripping woods and the occasional flooded road. But despite all this in reality it is a beautiful area. Well that is until we came to the M40 and its attendant main roads, all of which had to be traversed. Still, we found a traffic free footbridge over the motorway that led us eventually into a maelstrom of traffic at a motorway service centre. After negotiating this it was onto a secluded road running directly to the tucked-away village of Hedgerley. Here the ‘White Horse’ pub was our destination. Looking for somewhere to lock our bikes we found the most enormous pile of empty beer barrels. Still what better deterrent to a bike thief than to find the bike locked securely to a barrel? It appears that the pub had had a beer festival the previous week and this was the evidence. Whilst eating lunch up rolled Graham who had cycled directly to the pub, no doubt particularly peeved to have missed the opportunity to help empty some of those barrels.

After this off went the five of us in a gentle drizzle towards St Michael’s Church in Chenies. So we contended with more ups and downs, but somehow managed to get to the church before they had opened for their afternoon session serving tea and cakes to raise funds. After a short wait outside in we went and sat in the pews at the back of the church whilst waiting for the tea-urn to come to the boil. So with tea and cake consumed and church funds assisted, off we went again heading back to the start via Chipperfield and Potters Crouch.

In all we had done about 50 miles, and whilst wet it had never been a real downpour. In fact the sun had come out weakly a few times on the way back, so all considered not a bad day.

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