Club run reports - 7th January 2018

Club run reports - 7th January 2018

09 Jan 18

Category 3 ride led by Peter Bloomfield 

Cold and windy but sunny was the forecast and that was the way it turned out; the wind was certainly enough to test us all the way to the café stop, although the effort it required offset the cold somewhat. Eight hardy riders turned up with heavyweight gloves (“lobsters” much in evidence), winter shoes and bodies packed out of shape with layers of clothing matched, in many cases, by dark glasses to deal with the glare from the low and very bright sun (no heat though, just light). 

Thremhall Park Café was our target via the southern outskirts of Harlow then through various Matchings and Rodings before turning full into the wind for a dead straight three miles (thanks to Tony H for taking the lead here, the rest of us were hanging on!). Recovering a bit through Great Canfield before heading up to Takeley and then we were at the café with 30 miles under our belts - this meant only 19 miles faced us on the return journey, a pleasant prospect. Our Cat 6 colleagues had headed for the same venue and by dint of a more direct route (but despite the obligatory Cat 6 puncture) were well ensconced by the time we arrived and set out for home before us. After refuelling while watching the planes at head height arriving at Stansted we too hit the road again. 

The return took us over familiar roads through Great Hallingbury and Spellbrook, to arrive at the north end of Much Hadham. For a few miles we had occasionally been able to see in the distance a group of cyclists in blue and yellow kit and we finally caught up with our Cat 6 friends at the other end of Much Hadham as we all tackled the climb up Kettle Green Road. The two groups merged and then separated again, although Cat 3 had gained one at Cat 6’s expense as Leigh P decided to try his legs with us on the run through Cold Christmas and back to Ware - welcome back Leigh!

Category 6 ride led by Peter Walton

Due to the lack of a recognised leader, PW was pushed to the front.  With his usual remark of "if you want to ride on ahead you can, but I'm not coming after you" we set off for Thremhall Park.  As the roads were a bit wet we took a route out via Stanstead Abbotts, Widford, Perry Green and Gt Hallingbury to the cafe.  This kept us mainly on the slightly wider minor roads and away from the narrow lanes.  Only one puncture kept us from arriving at 11.00am but it did mean that we were still there when the Cat 3ers came gasping in!
Our return was through Hatfield Forest and Much Hadham to Ware.  Our journey was 38 miles and the seven of us kept together(ish) for most of the time apart from the last few miles as riders made for their homes.
The intent was that anyone who wanted to could swap groups but only Leigh took advantage of this, as the Cat 3's bypassed us climbing Kettle Green Road.