4 December 2016

04 Dec 2016: St Albans to Hitchin

Amidst the maddening throngs of jingling Santas gathering for the Jingle Bell Jog and Reindeer Run, the South Herts CTC met at Waterend Barn. As was experimented with last year, meeting in the winter for a 10.30 start proved to be rather popular. This year I think will be no exception as I hadn’t seen John out since last winter and it was good to see him again.

Waterend Barn 161204

We found our way out of St Albans with cunning use of some back streets to avoid the jingling red madness that had descended upon the High Street. I made a beeline for Leasey Bridge, going through Sandridge and Nomansland Common. As we approached the off road bridleway that we were going to use, I was asked if I thought it might be too muddy - Nooooo I replied. This earned me a rather doubtful look from one of the riders as we embarked upon a leaf-strewn journey towards Luton.

It was great to see many walkers and dog walkers taking advantage of the good weather and the countryside. But, after asking if it was OK to pass, a group of horses gave Judy a fright when one of them turned and aimed a kick at her head, missing by inches.  We took this route (NCR 6) all the way along to the bridge that crosses the Lower Luton Road. Soon we dropped off the path and took the climb right up towards Someries Castle via Copt Hall Road; this is a lovely climb that really heated everyone up and at the top I took photos of out-of-breath cyclists. We popped around Chiltern Green and made our way to Birch Green via the undulating lanes that surround the back of Luton Airport. I did have to stop to get my bearings as it can get quite confusing up there.

John Edwards 161204


161204 Judy


From Birch Green we headed to Kings Walden, which is a lovely shoot down hill and up quite a steep climb the other side, but this is made easier by the momentum you gather from the downward journey. Soon we made our way to Preston and it was a short trip via Gosmore and then into Hitchin.

At our chosen destination, The Angel Vaults, we found Adrian waiting for us. It was very busy and we found an abandoned cubbyhole at the back, whose previous occupants it seems had been a group of food-fighting children.  One of the staff soon got it cleared up. It’s a really nice building and bit of a rabbit warren.

It was a really enjoyable day’s ride. After lunch we went our separate ways and I copped a puncture as I rode through Old Welwyn.

Neil 04/12/2016

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