13 September 2015

13 Sep 2015: St Albans to Towersey

Starting from St Albans our Sunday ride was going to be out into the Chilterns. The first stop was planned for Great Missenden - a bit further out than usual - so some main road towards Hemel to start with, then crossing the canal and up through the lanes to Chesham. We had another climb out of Chesham, picking a small lane then joining the main road we were soon in the coffee stop in Missenden. It had been just over 20 miles.

The way to lunch could now be through the maze of narrow, twisty and up and down hilly lanes of the Chilterns. But we picked the simplest route - following the road to Butler's Cross for a bit, but turning off to Askett. Only one climb and a long descent involved. Then, following the straight and flat Lower Icknield Way towards Chinnor, after a bit we encountered the Phoenix Trail, an old railway, well converted into a cycle/walking track. It runs from Princess Risborough to Thame and the surface is perfect for cycling. After a few miles of easy cycling, Towersey and The Three Horseshoes were spotted just off the track and it was time for lunch at this excellent pub and its pleasant garden.

3 members in front of a sculpture
On the Phoenix trail

After refreshments it was time to head back. But the timetabled route seemed to want to take us back through those Chiltern Hills again. Not fancying this, we picked a route to Tring, including a bit of canal towpath, and then on to Berkhamsted for a cup of afternoon tea at The Crown followed by an easy ride home. It had been a great ride of less than 70 miles and a lot less hilly than I had been expecting.

Richard 13/09/2015

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