This was the day for the Queen’s birthday picnic in the Mall, so of course it rained. However, five of us showing true British pluck (stupidity) left the start in Hertford bound for Bishops Stortford for elevenses and then on to Saffron Walden for lunch.
Apart from the rain it was a nice ride through quiet lanes via Wareside to end up in Bishops Stortford, the final approach to the cafe being down a road of lovely old houses near the centre. Here we reviewed the ride plan. Going on a further 15 or so miles in the rain to Saffron Walden only to have to come back that distance didn’t now seem quite so appealing. So we decided to dispense with that and instead put in a large loop initially going a little north and then swinging round to head south to Puckeridge for lunch, which would mean a shorter ride back.
In fairness the rain was now more intermittent and we plodded on stopping somewhere in a bus shelter to look at the map. Here we spoke to a lone cyclist going the other way who said he was going to York, so we wished him well, thankful that we only had to get back to Hertford. Reaching Puckeridge we found the pub was not to our liking as they only did expensive full lunches. So we decided to ignore the rain and press on down the old A10 to Wadesmill, where we remembered there was a pub we had used before. This was more to our taste as they did 2 lunches for the price of one.
After this it was back to Hertford, which made a ride of about 40 miles, rather than the 70 odd previously planned, although others had further to go back to St Albans. So, despite the fact it had been somewhat wet, a day’s ride in the country is better than staying indoors.