The weather was fine and sunny, as it sometimes can be in early autumn. There were 8 riders to set off from Hatfield. Welcome to Maddie from Neil’s Saturday group on her first Sunday ride. We had hardly gone a mile when Craig disappeared from the group. Jon and Peter went back to find him but he could not be found. (see below). We continued down the A1000 and followed Wildhill Road around the edge of the Hatfield Estate. Crossing the Essendon Road we headed to Epping Green then Bayford and joined the B158 to Hertford. Passing through Hertford town centre we took the rough cycle path beside the river Lea.
Crossing the canal near Hertford
There was very little wind and in the sunshine it was very pleasant by the river. At Ware we followed London Road and Amwell Lane to Stanstead Abbots. Here the road was completely blocked – why was that large JCB stuck into the front of a shop on the High Street? This turned out to be a failed Ram Raid that had happened at 3 am that morning and the alarm was still going off as no one dared enter the collapsing building. Continuing on to Roydon Marina for a tea break. There was Craig already having a cup of tea. Group complete again.
After tea we headed into Harlow and took the cycle path through to the south of the town and along Paringdon Road: first navigation error. I missed the turning into Commonside Road. This was the same mistake Jon had made a few weeks earlier. I was corrected by Jon as had Jon been by Carol. Back tracking we picked up the route, crossed Latton Common and Harlow Common, then headed north alongside the M11 to Churchgate Street. Still heading north along the Sheering Lower Road to Sheering and we arrived in Sawbridgeworth for lunch at The Gate pub.
After lunch it was west for Much Hadham via Allen Green and Green Tye: second navigation error. I missed the turn to Much Hadham after Green Tye. Rescued by Jon (again) who had realised my mistake. We backtracked and found the ford at Much Hadham and ascended Kettle Green Road at Hadham Cross and on to Barwick ford. Twice along this route a professional photographer took our photos, no doubt thinking we were taking part in some sportive – no, we do this every Sunday and it doesn’t cost us a penny! Crossing under the A10 we headed to Whitehill Golf club for a much needed afternoon tea break. Jon urged me to pose for a photo of my cycling jersey after my recent return from LEJOG.
I was intending to head back through Whempstead and Watton at stone, but I don’t like that route much, so we went back to Hertford via Dane End down Stony Hills and Sacombe Road. Then we took The Old Coach Road back to Welwyn and on to Hatfield to complete a very enjoyable ride with lovely weather all day.