5 February 2017

05 Feb 2017: Hatfield to Old Stevenage

After the mid winter late starts it was a bit of a shock now we were back to the normal winter start time of 9.15 at Hatfield. Despite this 10 people turned up on this somewhat grey and overcast morning, including a lady called Emma who had not been out with us before. Our first stop was to be White Hill Golf Club near Dane End for elevenses. 

Because there had been a lot of rain overnight I decided to stick to roads and to keep away from those known to flood. 
Easy access to The Cole Green Way
So it was a fairly straightforward ride going via Bramfield and then up the valley to Dane End. All along here were placards saying; “Say no to the lagoon”, which on the face of it is a strange slogan for rural Hertfordshire. It appears there is to be a planning appeal about a proposed slurry ‘lagoon’ in Dane End. Opponents fear it will lead to large numbers of trucks carrying slurry using the lanes in the area. From Dane End there was a steep climb up to the golf course where we stopped for coffee and eats.
First stop: Whitehill Golf Club
Then it was back down the steep hill and off across country heading for Graveley (just north of Stevenage) for lunch. It is a lovely route through remote unspoilt countryside past hamlets clustered around large village greens such as Wood End and Moor Green. The only downside is that it is a bit hilly. By now we were running a bit late when Emma got a puncture. Volunteers sprang into action to repair it, which was just as well as Emma had forgotten to bring spare tube, pump and tyre levers, whilst the rest went on to organise lunch. 
Jon & Neil make quick work of fixing Emma's puncture
Arriving at ‘The Highwayman’ it seemed very busy, but we joined a queue to order food. After a little while the rest of our party arrived and it was only then that the pub staff deigned to tell us that there was a one and a half hour wait for food! Quite useless for us, so it was quickly decided we would move on to the ever-reliable Wetherspoon pub in Stevenage Old Town. Here food was provided with customary efficiency. Meanwhile Emma, who had just got another puncture, had sensibly decided she had had enough and made her way to the station to take a train home. 
Near Ardeley
After our late lunch the rest of us shot through Stevenage on their network of proper cycle paths and then split into two. Some going westwards towards St Albans and others going south, on the main road, towards Hatfield via Woolmer Green and Digswell Hill.

Back in Hatfield I had done about 45 miles, not a lot but it had been a good day’s ride and despite the gloom it hadn’t rained.

peteR 05/02/2017 

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