Club run reports - 2nd December

Club run reports - 2nd December

02 Dec 18

Category 6 ride led by Mike East

What kind of ride would it be today?
“Cry “Havoc!”, and let slip the dogs of war” (Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar).
Or, “I don’t think that’s an awfully good idea, sir” (Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army).
A blood soaked, violent adventure or merely a morning of mildly amusing buffoonery?
Before the petit depart a portent appeared, our very own centurion, Franco of Florence. He reported his injury, caused by a damaged shoulder from a spear throwing accident. Apart from crossing the odd Roman road, there were no further classical nuances to this ride. No legionaries, no asps, no entrails. As for Dad’s Army, I guess there were some stupid boys, but no one was doomed.
In fact it was a prosaic ride on wet roads and the occasional bit of drizzle to Vanstone Park, Codicote. Those wet roads contributed to two punctures on the way out via Cole Green, Tewin and Knebworth. The cafe has improved service and quality, enticing more customers (and more riders in the future?). The return route took in a Codicote loop, Old Welwyn and Datchworth. 11 riders, one of whom jumped on to the category 3 peloton. 35 miles.
Homework for this week - if Julius Caesar had listened to Sergeant Wilson, would he have avoided his demise on the Ides of March? Discuss.

Category 3 ride led by Graham Knight

The route was planned, the start location had been chosen, I was there, but where was everybody else? It turns out that the idiot who maintains the website had posted Ware when it was clearly intended to be Hertford. Really, it seems impossible these days to find anyone who can carry out even the simplest of tasks with at least a rudimentary level of competence. The result was a delayed start whilst the Cat 3 riders rode from Ware to Hertford.

Once assembled, a group of 9 set off along the planned route accompanied by fine drizzle and a gusty breeze. Steve G soon decided that lack of recent riding meant it was best for him to follow his own course. The rest continued out through Whitwell and Lilley. At this point we realised Barry was missing. Momentarily detached he had, quite reasonably, followed a road sign to Hitchin, the planned destination. I had still been hoping to complete the planned route with a loop north of Hexton through Pirton - an unrealistic ambition in retrospect. We waited a while then decided that the route would have to be shortened and began to retrace through Lilley. At this point Barry re-appeared together with Tony who had been somewhere ahead. The whole chaotic shambles made its way back through Offley to Preston (thanks to Alex's navigation). At this point we had done more than 30 miles without a sniff of a slice of cake. Consequently, Hitchin was abandoned and we made for Codicote. We met the Cat 6 riders heading in the opposite direction having already enjoyed their time in the Vanstones café. We pressed on, in the teeth of what was suddenly a gale, towards the Codicote garden centre when we discovered that Peter W had jumped the Cat 6 ship and joined us for a second round of coffee and cake - well, he had ridden 200k in the rain the day before so a little self-indulgence was forgiveable.

Finally refreshed we took a direct route back along the B1000 without incident.

Not the best organised ride I have led! Thanks to all for their forbearance.