Club run reports - 26th February
Club run reports - 26th February
27 Feb 17
Category 6 ride led by Bob Brown
Ten Wheelers embarked for a circuitous route to Something Lovely at Puckeridge on a dry but windy last Sunday in February. Progress out via Babbs Green was temporarily halted because of an early puncture, where we were passed by Mark T' s group chuffing up the hill towards Bakers End. The usual ribald comments were exchanged.
Pressing on via Much Hadham, Little Hadham (where we observed John H carrying out roadside repairs to the Yellow Banana) , Albury, Furneux Pelham and Braughing, we reached the intended destination to take up our reserved seats at Something Lovely. After partaking of the usual excellent fare we set off up the hill to Great Munden, where we parted company with John F, on his mountain bike and intent on scoping out a proposed future off-road extravaganza. Then we headed for White Hill, as we hadn't yet climbed enough hills! Leader Capt Bob then got slightly confused and off route and took the group down Pest House Lane to High Cross, instead of heading for Barwick Ford as intended. On reaching the Sow and Pigs, most of the group were not inclined to take the alternative loop around Cold Christmas and for various reasons opted for the quick dash straight down to Ware. Capt Bob managed to persuade two others to join him on the loop, completion of which took the ride to 33 miles.
Category 3 ride led by Graham Knight
A small but select group of six gathered in the Much Hadham bus shelter for the ride to Mark C and Alex D's favourite café in Great Bardfield. After a brisk warm-up on the hill out of Hadham there was smooth progress towards Hatfield Forest until Richard punctured. Fortunately he chose a beautiful spot with fine views over the M11 and plenty of road noise to drown out any irritating bird twitterings. Smooth progress then resumed through Dunmow when Peter W injected some pace, hotly pursued by Alex (P not D) and Leigh. The leader now emulated generals through the ages by remaining well back from the front. Eventually, either through sympathy or ignorance of the route, the pace slowed, the group re-grouped and reached the Blue Egg in reasonable order.
Generously fed the riders now contemplated 21 miles into a strong headwind all the way back to Hadham. Although not quite up to the standards of the Movistar time-trial team, a reasonable fist was made of forming a pace line for much of the way back - and it was needed, especially on the open stretches near Thaxted and Bishops Stortford. Thanks to Alex, Leigh and the two Peters for doing the lion's share of the work.
Category 5 ride led by Mark Tappenden
With just myself and John Highet at the start, I thought I would be having an early shower as it would not be worth the Bull opening up early for us with just two Wheelers, but Barry Page turned up, then Mary Rose Brennan and Jacqueline Simpson. Ian Smith and Lee Mason also decided they would try something different other then the usual cat 6 routes. So we all left Ware giving the cat 6 boys and girls a little head start as I knew they would be heading in the same direction as us and did not want anyone getting mixed up. We headed out in the usual way from Ware and towards the Hadhams But just before Little Hadham, John had a major mechanical losing his chain and getting it tangled up. We all waited for John at the lights but, after some time and trying to call him, we decided to set off again and then were down to six Wheelers. But not for long, as Janine Wignall caught up with us and told us John was OK and that he said to go on without him. So back up to 7 Wheelers, we headed north through the Pelhams with a nice tail wind. We made up time and got the Bull pub by 11:30ish for a much needed hot drink and the famous Essex huffer, which everyone ordered and enjoyed. With super service and hospitality from the staff at the Bull, we set off south back towards Ware but this time with a strong head wind in our faces. It seemed like we had to pedal down hill at some points! We all regrouped at Puckeridge where some made their own way back, and then at Thundridge most made their way back to Hertford which left me to ride back to Harlow and home on my own. Thanks to all who came and especially to Ian Smith, for whom I think this was longest ride for some time. Thanks too to Lee Mason and Jacqueline for stepping up to the cat 5. And thanks also go to the staff at the Bull.