The intention had been to then turn left at the Bricklayers Arms to Latimer and go via Ley Hill, but time was pressing and a certain dampness had been detected in the air. Soundings taken from the riders revealed a unanimous preference for wimping out, so we turned right instead to head through Felden to Hemel Hempstead and our destination: the Full House, getting there just as the rain began to intensify and covering about 20 miles.
This was a cinema and subsequently a bingo hall before metamorphosing into a Wetherspoon pub. Noting the “manager’s specials” (i.e. soon to be out-of-date dishes) of mixed grills and piri-piri chickens for under £4, new-year’s resolutions concerning diets were instantly abandoned as we all ordered these meals and sat down to participate in a orgy of gluttony.
We were then joined by a sixth rider who had cycled directly from St Albans in the pouring rain, having decided his character needed building. Unfortunately, there was nothing else we could do but for the rest of us also to have our characters built during the return journey to St Albans.