Club run reports -1st September

Club run reports -1st September

03 Sep 18

Category 6 ride led by Danny Hood

Seventeen hardy souls decide to brave the atrocious weather and make the journey to Stapleford Abbott's airfield. Our number grew by one at the St Margaret’s level crossing and after the first of quite a few waits (trains, road works and regrouping), off we set again. I had decided to change the route a little and this meant that two of our FASTER! riders missed the turnoff.  After waiting for what must have seemed rather too long for comfort, they realized what had happened and set off to rendezvous with us at the café or as I like to call it, Waspington D.C.
The buzz of light aircraft engines, pagers and hungry wasps accompanied our refreshments, but thankfully no one got stung. Apart from Bruno, whose food bill came to over a tenner. The brandy and cigar to finish was a touch too far in my opinion, but hey-ho. 
As is usual, there was not one bit of moaning about the hills from this bunch of super fit athletes. We positioned ourselves into a tight formation and chain ganged our way back to head quarters, looking like the Sky team on asthma medication. 
Despite the cold and rain, the great company meant that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. 
Just under 40 miles at an average speed of around 13.5 mph. And for you, Tony: I don't know how accurate this is but my Garmin said 2473 ft of elevation.
I'm off now for a hot bath and a hot toddy before the pneumonia sets in. Brrrrrrr...

Category 3 ride led by Peter Bloomfield

With a beautiful sunny day bringing riders out in force eleven of us were up for a trek out to the wilds of Bedfordshire  - mostly regular Cat 3 faces but good to welcome Lib R for the second week running (couldn’t resist the appeal of the cakes!) and also Mike E looking for a change from the rigours of the Cat 6 route and acquitting himself in fine style.  For a bit of variety we headed out through Hertford Heath then down the road and in through those big iron gates for a shortcut through Balls Park, very elegant.  On round Hertford and out to Cole Green and on to the Welwyn road but barely had we reached Panshanger when the puncture gremlins struck for the second time in two weeks.  Once fixed, that was the end of mechanical mishaps for the rest of the day.

With the wind (such as it was) behind us Codicote, Whitwell and Lilley flashed by and we were into the Barton Hills Nature Reserve and enjoying the countryside before we reached Sharpenhoe and what I believe Mr G Thomas of Cardiff would refer to as a squeaky bum descent of the hill known as the Sharpenhoe Clappers  -  exhilarating until we realised that we would have to climb it on the way back!  A little further and we reached our destination and the opportunity to stock up with sticky buns and cake before the return home.

Unfortunately a lack of alternatives meant retracing our route for the first ten miles, including the aforementioned Sharpenhoe Clappers, which may have described our descent but certainly not the climb back up! (must find another route back if we go again…).  We left the outbound route to visit Great Offley (worth the ride just for the place names) then Preston, Knebworth and Datchworth Green (down the rather sketchy Rectory Lane  -  shan’t use that again) before the run in through Bramfield and Hertford back to Ware.   A Garmin hiccup right near the start meant that it spent the rest of the ride providing no turn guidance and just saying “ride to Mangrove Road” the whole way!  Luckily the route still showed on the map but concentration was required to stay on course  -  one turn was missed but recovered at the next junction without affecting the mileage, which ended up at 66 miles for those who went back to Allenbury’s  -  rather more for anyone cycling from home which led to GK and ME taking first and second places in the longest ride classification for the week on the club Strava group with 85 and 80 miles respectively. Well done chaps!