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18 April: Ride to Eversholt

posted 22 Apr 2010, 09:59 by South Herts   [ updated 25 Nov 2015, 23:42 ]
Neil writes: What a difference a fully inflated tyre makes. 

Today's ride was fantastic and one of the most enjoyable of the year so far, with 15 riders making the most of the sunshine.  We all met at St Albans and welcomed two new people, Carol and Kath. 

From the word ‘go’ it was clear we were in for a wonderful day.  The sun was shining and there were bright blue skies all day long.  Little fluffy clouds skittered across the skyline like random sheep.  As we made our way to coffee break we happened to pass Whipsnade Zoo.  This is a wonderful route as you get to see bison, wallabies and what ever else there is roaming around the zoo.  With a nice road zipping down past the area, it's a great descent with much for the eye to see.

Coffee break was at Page's Park Station in Leighton Buzzard and it was very nice out in the sunshine. 
The Leighton Buzzard Light Railway Company was formed in 1919 and closed as a business in 1982. The railway was used to transport sand excavated at the Double Arches Quarry at Heath & Reach to the main sand washing plant near the station. 

After the break it was decided that a small trip along by the Grand Union canal would be just the ticket and off we went, down to the water side and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There really is nothing like riding along a canal tow path to make you smile, but it was while we were on this that the first of today’s hiccups happened.  As the group made off some of us were at the back not really paying attention to where we were going, I mean it's a canal path and there is only one way to go on it and that's forwards, but some how me and some others managed to get ourselves onto a bridge up a steep hill and onto a main road, where we found no other riders whatsoever.

Quickly we realised our mistake and headed back down to the waterside, where Steve valiantly phoned Carol and after a small trek we were all re-united with the main group.

Then we made our way to Eversholt.  I had no idea that this was right beside Woburn Abbey and we rode through the grounds, but thankfully not the safari park.  The trees in this area were amazingly massive and with the sun blasting down through them, this was a very relaxing part of the ride.  I think as we were going past Woburn there was a herd of deer in the distance (something I have never seen before).
After lunch Carol gave us directions on which way to go: left and left again (simple no?).  We did that and the second left was a lovely descent.  Several of us dutifully waited at the bottom for the others to catch up, only to realise when Peter was sent to retrieve us, that the others were waiting up the hill.  Our mistake was to zip down and not take the first right half way down. Oh well, I laughed.

From there on in the ride became very relaxing and extremely pleasant.  The rolling hills, lazy sunshine and a few random suicidal insects made for a great day out in the English countryside.

I'm hoping that there are going to be a lot more like this.