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27 June: Sylvia Clifford memorial ride

posted 28 Jun 2010, 05:16 by South Herts   [ updated 25 Nov 2015, 23:43 ]
Jon writes: With a heat wave hitting Hertfordshire and the possibly the hilliest 100 km cycling circuit the county has to offer, I wasn’t expecting a big turnout for the Sylvia Clifford ride.  In fact only three of our regulars had entered in advance. 

I cheated a bit to take advantage of the early dawn and rode the leg from Bramfield in the cool.  On arriving at Wheathampstead I was amazed to find the car park almost full, but this turned out to be 150 walkers of the LDWA starting off on the Hertfordshire Hobble, a 26 mile or 16 mile walk.  They must be madder than us.

Maybe it was the prospect of riding for a good cause, or the chance to escape from the stress of following England in the World Cup, that encouraged another six of our members to come along and enter ‘on the line’.

Judy wished us well as we set off in the clockwise direction on what turned out to be a wonderfully scenic route.  We were on the lookout for other participants, who could start anywhere on the circuit riding in either direction and, just before reaching Preston, we caught up with a small group of 40 plussers led by Roger.
See map full screen

At Graveley we were getting desperate for refreshments and diverted to the Garden Centre, now run by Wyevale.  It was hot outside, but comments of ‘it’s like a greenhouse in here’ soon echoed around what was, admittedly, a greenhouse as we queued up inside.

A much better resting place was the air-conditioned Crown & Falcon at Puckeridge, where we found Roger’s group cooling off inside.  We joined them rather than sit in the garden, where the pub was cashing in (while it could) by setting up to show the football.
 Standon Ford
 Chapmore End
With the temperature hitting 30 centigrade it was off again via Standon and Barwick fords to Chapmore End and Bramfield.  Here I left the others, who completed the circuit after a tea break at the thrilling Bramfield Summer Fair or in the farm shop in Bury Lane.