10 June 2018

10 Jun 2018: St Albans to Wooburn Common

We could have named this ride "The crossing of the motorways" How many times did we pass over or under a motorway? Answer at the end of the blog.

It was the day of the St Albans half-marathon so we left the city using Ragged Hall Lane to avoid the crowds in Verulamium Park. We passed many yellow-clad route marshalls along the way to Bedmond and thought their main job would be clearing the discarded plastic water-bottles after the race. A fairly direct route through Hunton Bridge and Chorleywood took us under the Metropolitan Line and then we wiggled through the back of Mill End to pick up a signed cycle route to Maple Cross and Duran's cafe, where we met Paul who hadn't been out for a couple of years.  After coffee we had to follow a diversion as Chalfont Lane was closed completely. When we crossed the M25 we could see massive road works and what appeared to be a new junction being built. It turns out the road is closed for eight years as part of the HS2 project.

Bridleway near Gerrards Cross

After this delay we explored a bridleway short-cut between south of Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross. It started out well along a proper road and across a field, then we had to get directions from a local resident and go along a very narrow overgrown section until we crossed the River Misbourne.

River Misbourne
After crossing the A413 we skirted Gerrards Cross and headed south through Fulmer then across to Egypt before a glorious ride along the Lord Mayor's Avenue in Burnham Beeches. Unfortunately when we got to the intended pub they said they had stopped serving food on Sundays so we back-tracked to the nearby Blackwood Arms where we had some very expensive "deconstructed" cheese sandwiches, which were single-slice doorsteps of bread with some cheese and tomato draped over the top.

Blackwood Arms
After lunch we went via Beaconsfield, Seer Green and the Chalfonts before heading to Sarratt Church for a tea stop, as we had noticed some signs in the morning about a flower festival to be held on 10th June. So for the second week running we had a church tea, this time accompanied by beautiful flower displays.

Flower display
A short ride took us back to St Albans and we only covered about 63 miles - it seemed much further when you get south of the M40!

I counted nine motorway crossings during the day.


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