Club run reports - Sunday 11th April

Club run reports - Sunday 11th April

12 Apr 21

Category 3 ride led by Graham Knight

There was gorgeous bright sunshine but it was bone-achingly cold and with a northerly wind that sapped all enthusiasm whenever it had the chance. Nevertheless 8 doughty Wheelers gathered in Hertford to renew their acquaintance with group riding and with each other. The destination was Baldock, so a tough outward journey was expected but with the hope of a nice, easy wind-driven return. Ever mindful of the needs of other riders the leader had chosen a route with plenty of stiff climbs so as to distract from the Arctic blasts. We took in a westerly loop through Codicote, Kimpton, Whitwell, Preston and Gosmore before climbing to the hill-top village of St Ippolyts. From there it was downhill all the way (kind of) to Dizi in Baldock. There we met Denis who, handicapped by lack of form and a second-best bike had dropped off the back but still arrived before us. 

Refreshed, nourished but, sadly, not warmed by our session on the pavement outside the café we set off for home. Cold limbs were revived somewhat by the steep climb up Hatch Lane past the Weston Hills Nature reserve. Once that was done the route home was on familiar roads through Ardeley, Great Munden, Colliers End and Ware. Between Ardeley and Munden we encountered a large mob of Cat 4/5/6 riders waiting while one of their number fixed a flat. Fortunately, social distancing rules relieved us of any obligation we might have felt to stop and lend encouragement or assistance to this motley bunch. 

On the descent to Ware Paul managed to pick up a thorn and a puncture which was efficiently fixed. Most then turned to their homes around Ware. Peter and Paul continued to Hertford where Paul repeated his puncture trick. 

Well done all for completing quite a tough 50 miles - especially Gary returning after a three-week lay-off following a knee injury, Peter still building up the miles after illness and Brian who ascended the hills with ominous ease.

Category 6 ride led by Peter Eldon

On a cold April Sunday morning with a forecast of snow flurries and an Arctic wind, it was reasonable not to expect a big C6 turn out.

But I hadn’t anticipated the cancelled C5 ride, and so it was that a 14 strong ‘Peloton’ set off for good ol’ Mill End Plants, a heady mix of grizzled Wheelers veterans with a few newbies too.

En masse we headed along the old A10 before crossing over into the Mundens, through the winding country lanes to Buntingford, then Sandon and the confusingly named Mill End (no, there’s a way to go yet before you get tea and cake).

Eventually we rolled into Rushden and the delights of Mill End Plants whose Bakewell tart and assorted gateaux never disappoint.

Back past Cromer windmill and through Ardeley and although an unfortunate puncture held us up for a while at least it wasn’t snowing.Yet.

My final gesture as ride leader was to head us home via the more gentle Levens Green Hill instead of the more taxing Whitehill. What a considerate guy I am?

Welcome to Enzo and Davina on their first ride with us, to Mark on his first ride as a fully fledged Wheeler, and thanks to everyone who turned up.

14 riders departed, 14 returned, 65km completed, cake eaten.

Job done.