12 March 2017

12 Mar 2017: St Albans to Hertford

The forecast isn’t great so I decide on a fairly direct, albeit a bit of a hilly route to Waltham Abbey via Goffs Oak.  It’s good to see Sue again after quite a time off and hopefully we’ll get to see her some more.  We head for the quiet lanes, but first we have to navigate around some tree cuttings blocking Grubbs Lane.
Dumped logs on Grubbs Lane

Soon we are tackling Tylers Causeway and, instead of heading to White Stubbs Lane, I choose to experience the delights of Newgate Street. This is quite a sharp down and up route, but it makes for a nice change and avoids the traffic going up Cuffley Hill. After some huffing and puffing we are soon zooming through Goffs Oak and heading off down Halstead Hill, which has some rather large new builds at Hallstead Grange.

We make our way to the off road route that crosses the A10 on a big white bridge built for cyclists. Over that and it’s straight down Theobalds Lane and into Waltham Cross. Down Trinity Road at the train line we are greeted by a cordoned off gate and a brand spanking new bridge spanning the tracks. There is no ramp and the steep steps have a gully up the side to place your bike in and push it up over the bridge. I am looking forward to taking some snaps of everyone struggling to do this, but luckily an attendant was there and he opened the gate for us.
Steep steps at Trinity Lane rail bridge

I have to note here that if unattended, the gate has NO access for people who are unable to use the bridge, such as recumbents, mobility scooters, the elderly and infirm, and from a quick discussion we learn this whole situation is a work in progress.

Soon we arrive in Waltham Abbey, where we see another closed down pub next to the thriving café – what does that say about changing drinking habits? In the café we are pleasantly surprised to meet Stuart, who has cycled down from Stevenage to meet us. The café is buzzing and has a rather young clientele yawning and having their breakfast.
Another closed pub
After this break we head back out to the Lee Valley Park and have a really pleasant time cycling around this area. It starts to rain, but nothing heavy and in fact it is rather welcome. We come off the towpath at Nazeing and use the road as I had previously been down that part and it’s been a mud bath along there. Back on the towpath to the Jolly Fisherman, I think this is St Margarets; from here it’s just a couple of miles to The Galley Hall in Hailey. This pub no longer does sandwiches on a Sunday and has gone quite Gastro orientated, so we decamp to the Six Templars in Hertford via Balls Park. Now this is quite fortunate, as the rain has got steadily more persistent and stopping in Hertford means we miss most of it. After a lovely lunch we make our way back via the usual routes and we don’t hang around, as the weather was likely to turn nasty.

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