Club run reports - 29th May
Club run reports - 29th May
30 May 22
Category 6 ride led by Mike East
It was a slow start on our venture to Bishops Stortford, for around Cold Christmas a puncture was followed by the same rider managing only a few metres before it went again. Meanwhile a peloton of nine had assumed all was well after puncture 1. Some toing and froing took place between the split groups. Somehow, not sure how, the two groups reunited and took the view that a direct line to Stortford was required so that we were in time for late breakfast rather than afternoon tea. Enter Peter, who led from Much Hadham to Bury Green, and on to Mocha Cafe. Thank you, Peter.
The Mocha Cafe delivered in no time, and, for those Northerners on the ride, at acceptable prices. Very good cafe stop.
Truly fortified and stirred by the ever enthusiastic Rebecca, the group enjoyed an evenly paced return journey. There was some good fortune, for earlier delays meant we missed the downpour. Overall, after a slowish start, a very enjoyable and sociable ride. Thirteen riders, one over the recommended limit, but a prime number, so all is well. Good to see Amanda out with us again.
Finally, the throne was not involved in the writing of this report.
Category 3 ride led by Graham Knight
Four category 3 riders set off from Hertford along the B158 which has now acquired one of those dreadful bobbly surfaces beloved of Herts C.C. - like a frozen version of Brighton beach. We survived that then wended our way through the Chiltern foothills through Lilley to Upper Sundon. We whizzed down the north face of the Chiltern ridge past the Sundon Hills Park, then through Harlington to the Poplars Garden Centre. There we were advised that our bikes might be a danger to passing infants and were directed towards a "staff only" area. Not a bad outcome, as this was certainly more secure.
After ample portions of cake etc, we took the road along the bottom of the ridge through Barton to Hexton then negotiated the long hill back up towards Lilley (at a variety of paces). Andrew B left us before Whitwell and set off towards home in Buntingford. Adam B, who had joined us at Poplars, now took charge and led us at high speed through Codicote and along the B1000 to home. I suspect several of us had no idea we could ride so fast!
Category 4 ride led by Peter Bloomfield
It was a cold one on Sunday! Low temperature and a northerly wind persuaded your intrepid leader to return to three-quarter length below-the-knee shorts and full-fingered gloves. There was also a need before the start to equip Ian with a spare rain jacket from my bag because he hadn’t seen the weather forecast and was frozen just riding to Hertford!
The ride saw fluctuating numbers; starting with five, rising to six then back to five and eventually four by the finish. Luckily the departures were planned and we suffered no mishaps - well, not on the road anyway, read on!
Five started out on a round it about but pleasant route to Dunstable Downs and after a few miles we were joined by Michael who had missed the start and must have put in a special effort to catch up. At Wheathampstead we were back to five as Ian left us (taking my jacket!) to get back in time to go to Wembley and watch his team Nottingham Forest play for a place in the Premier League (and win, which was just as well for his son who had flown over from Canada for the match!).
After Redbourn we faced nine miles climbing steadily into the wind until we reached the visitor centre on Dunstable Downs. Unlike the last time we were there the visibility was fine and the views stunning. Service wasn’t quite so good and I began to regret ordering hot food. Eventually fed and refreshed for the return trip we went over to the bikes only to find that Elio’s brand new lock wasn’t playing nice and of course the sky clouded over at this point so the company gradually got colder as he wrestled with it - even reading the instruction book, which shows how bad things got! I was just looking at my multitool to see if it had anything to cut the cable when the magic combination was discovered, the bikes released and we were on our way (Lisa’s bike had also been trapped by this misfortune).
The return leg involved a significant amount of descending to balance the outbound climbing, which combined with pleasant roads, partial tailwind and increasingly sunny weather made this part of the ride very enjoyable. The reduction to four riders occurred almost as soon as we left the café when Phil departed at the first junction to head back to St Albans (he had ridden from there to the start in Hertford, so can’t blame him).
On the final run in to Hertford we were passed by the returning category 3 group who gave us a merry wave and we rolled down the hill to Hertford North station behind them and then gently back to the car park. Fifty four miles and we avoided the rain!