23 July 2016

23 Jul 2016: Fun Ride to Potters Bar

It was a great morning as 6 of us met at Jenny’s cafĂ© in Hatfield; we welcomed new riders Jane and Tony. After a quick cuppa we got down to the business of tackling the lanes to Potters Bar. I took the group out past a quiet University of Hertfordshire, through Bullen’s Green, up Tollgate Road and on to Waterend. There was some huffing and puffing as we tackled the rises in the route, but everyone coped really well and we kept a nice steady pace. From Waterend I chose to use the footpath beside the old A1 to get up to South Mimms, this path proved to be very overgrown and bit of an obstacle course for Judy our recumbent trike rider. On approaching South Mimms Judy had made the decision to head home (due to heat). It’s known that recumbent riders have trouble with thermoregulation as they expose about 3 times more of their surface area to the sun’s radiation, as opposed to upright riders.  They also suffer from the harsher micro-climate at ground level, which is known to gently fry their brains.

3 riders

But in South Mymms we passed Judy coming in the other direction, at this point she had changed her mind and decided to re-join us down to Trotters Bottom. It was a beautifully sunny summer’s morning and it was actually getting to be very hot. As we passed through the lanes around the Ridge, we lost Jon and Judy. I asked the group to stop at the top of a hill so I could back track and see if I could find them but to no avail, so after sweating like Tony Blair reading the Chilcot report, I made my way back up the hill to join the rest of the group.  I heard later that Judy & Jon had stopped to fix a flat tyre back in Ridge, no doubt caused on the overgrown cycle path as trikes can’t avoid the brambles at the edge of the path.

We made short work of heading down to the tri-bridge (for horses, walkers and cyclists) that spans the A1; once over that it’s a small matter of passing through Trotters Bottom, not as painful as it sounds. It’s a lovely lane that skirts Dyrham Park, then it was up Dancer’s Hill to access Baker Street and into Potters Bar. Now this place has a plethora of cafes to choose from, but I chose an establishment that had just been refurbished as N’s Kitchen and very smart it was, but it’s really not a suitable place as they had slight trouble with us and didn’t split the bill as requested. While we were here I got the text from Jon informing me that they had suffered a puncture and had headed home.

Soon after we made our way back to Hatfield in midday sun. Our route led us through the back of the town, up Billy Lowes lane. Then I took a familiar and very short way back via Hawkshead lane, down past the Royal Veterinary College, another visit to Waterend and then through Welham Green. It was a really pleasant morning’s ride.

Neil 23/07/2016

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