21 May 2017

21 May 2017: St Albans to Wooburn Common

Sunday was a very pleasant sunny day, after some welcome days of rain, for our ride beyond the M40. First stop Maple Cross, so the most direct and certainly the flattest way was through Bricket Wood and then the Ebury Way. This old railway crosses three rivers - the Colne, the Chess and the Gade as well as the Grand Union Canal.

Narrow boat
Emerging in Rickmansworth, our route along the towpath was blocked by the annual Ricky canal boat festival, with an entrance fee of £2. Controlling, with difficulty, a shudder of revulsion at the idea of paying to use a towpath, we took to the main road to our coffee stop.

Climbing to Chalfont St Giles, through Gerrards Cross, we crossed the M40 into Hedgerley.  Not stopping at the favourite White Horse, we continued through the delightful woodland around Burnham. It's not often you see road signs for Egypt.

Nice bike at the pub
The Royal Standard, Wooburn Common is a great, old fashioned, rural pub and not to be confused with The Royal Standard of England, not far away in Forty Green. Returning we headed for the footbridge over the M40 into Beaconsfield and then by way of Seer Green to the pleasant lane past the historic Jordans Meeting House.

A relaxing cup of afternoon tea in the nursery on Flaunden Lane provided a welcome pause, before we arrived back in St Albans after a great ride of 56.5 miles.

13 May 2017

13 May 2017: Fun Ride to Stanborough Lakes

We had a good, healthy turn up this Saturday at Morrison’s for a social ride to the lakes; we had newcomers and returnees in equal amounts. Rona also joined us for the ride, a great little social trip with none of the usual hills or having to be somewhere on time, so we could really ease the pace a great deal. On our way there we took in the Alban Way right the way down to Mill Green, then we took a dusty road that meets with Stanborough Lakes. This part of the ride is always the quickest and shortest, we took time for photos at Nast Hyde Halt.

After a quick coffee we headed through WGC and made for the old track that goes through Sherrards Park Woods and it was here that one of our number had to turn back, as their gear mech had sheared off. We went through the Ayots and used the Greenway to get to Wheathampstead; this was a really lovely and relaxed part of the ride.

A long wait for a train
Along here there is a crossroads, which I did a left turn on. Asking if everyone was OK and with us I just kept going, not realising that Rona and 3 riders had gone straight on. There was some frantic searching and some rushed phone calls before Rona and gang came bowling down the road. They had been to the old train station in Wheathampstead.

After re-joining we all headed up to Beech Hyde Lane and took a nice ride along to Coopers Green Lane, where one of our number was having some great tuition from Rona on how to use gears. We made our way to Oaklands College via Sandridge and we were just heading home on the Alban Way when a group of young lads decided to do a ‘wheelie’ in front of one of our riders, knocking her off her bike, no bones broken but very annoying and a strange end to a great and eventful ride.

Neil 13/05/2017