We were joined at the start by Tim, a new rider from Luton who had cleverly trained it down to St Albans, knowing that the pub stop was only a few miles from his home. We cycled through Gorhambury and it was not until I turned a corner on Hoggs Lane that I experienced the strength of the westerly headwind, probably the tail of ‘Abigail’. A succession of longish but gentle climbs on the hills skirting south of Hemel took us to The Crown at Berkhamsted where we met three more who had started independently from Bedmond.
The weather stayed dry and amazingly warm for the time of year as we climbed up through Ashridge Woods and doubled back down Gaddesden row and up Pedley Hill. From here it was across to Flamstead and finally The Plough at Woodside. Two young ladies who seemed to be learning the ropes served us. The food took some time (except for mine which I think was meant for another customer) leading to some second pints during the wait. The riders took a variety of routes home, most going via Stockwood Park to join NCR6 via Harpenden to Nomansland Common. I ended up being led into a quagmire on a supposed ‘cycleable’ route parallel to B road towards Sandridge and have only just finished cleaning up the result.
47.3 mile circuit