17 June 2017

17 June 2017: Fun Ride to Wheathampstead

We greeted a great crowd at Morrisons on a fantastically bright, sunny day and the last weekend of bike week. We had newbies, returnees and someone who hadn’t been out for a good while and we even played host to one of Rona’s fabulous girls. It was a meeting of all abilities, as we had a lass wanting to train for a triathlon, a regular who likes to take it easy and others wanting to push themselves a bit.

We set off and rode down some very familiar back streets and made our leisurely way to the lanes at the back of the Verulamium estate. After some quiet roads and around the farm track that leads to the Harpenden road, we followed that main road via the path beside it, then headed across to Ayres End Lane.

It’s lovely around the fringes of Nomansland Common; the lanes here are well shaded and offer a pleasant respite from the sunshine. A steady climb here and, for quite a large group, we kept together pretty well.

At break it was teas, coffees and cakes all round as we sat basking in the rays of the sun; everyone chatting away and making connections. Soon it was time to get back on the bikes. This time I left Wheathampstead via the shared path (part of the Lee Valley route) and I used Dyke Lane, passing Devil's Dyke, where invaders from what is now Belgium settled in 50 BC.  Strange to think that this pleasant, shady glade was the site of a massive construction effort over 2,000 years ago, and without any EU funding.

When we got to Sandridge we took Jersey Lane, the back alley that leads right into Marshalswick and cuts out many of the main roads. It wasn’t long before we were back at the start.

A short ride today but a very successful one, which I’m hoping to see some returnees from.

Neil 17/06/2017

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