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14 March: Sunday ride to Goff's Oak & Rye House

posted 17 Mar 2010, 08:48 by South Herts   [ updated 25 Nov 2015, 23:41 ]
Tracey writes: I had to wing the route as Galley Hall Pub could not accommodate us (Carol and I both rang to check on Saturday).  Being Mothers Day, everywhere was fully booked!  At the start it felt like Spring had finally arrived, it was sunny, bright and warm, and nine of us set off from Asda in Hatfield, (George, Stewart, Giles, Steve, Carol, Neil, Richard, Fred and I). 
We cycled out South through the University and under the A1 to Bullens Green, then turned left onto Tollgate road,  right to Water End and left up to the Vet College in Hawkshead.  Then turned right up to Little Heath and on to Potters Bar, then Northaw and turned left at the church.  Here we climbed up a very steep hill...

climbing Hemps Hill
and right onto Cuffley Ridgeway, left into Bradgate and on to Tolmers Road down to Cuffley Station and up hill to In-Ex Garden Centre.
Coffee stop at In-Ex Garden Centre, Goff's Oak
Most of us tucked into cooked breakfast as we weren’t sure if we would get lunch! Stewart left us at breakfast and Bill joined us. We went out to Bread and Cheese Lane down to Wormley West End, then up to Carneles Green and on to Paradise Park. Lenny the lion and his mates were out on their platform basking in the sun.  We then went up past Brickendon golf cub and right towards Hertford. Then we risked going off road along a byway...
Broxbourne Woods
 to the top of Lordship Lane down into Hoddesdon and onto Rye House.  The Tavern was full of karting spectators, but we had noticed a cafe in Rye Road open so went there (Rye Park Cafe).
 Rye Park Cafe
 It was very nice, cheap and substantial, the staff were very friendly and it is open 8am-4pm on Sundays; a useful stop for future reference.

Neil adds: It was a very pleasant surprise to see Giles once again. The weather was bright and sunny, with a strong wind. This made it hard from me to choose what to wear: as soon as I was out of the wind I baked. We got off to a fairly brisk start, heading up the Tollgate road via Bullen's Green, the roads were quiet and it was a very pleasant beginning to the day. Tracey had chosen some lovely quiet lanes for us to wander down, she also chose a bitch of a hill for us to climb (everyone commented on it) and it really did make me wonder about the sanity of smoking.

Climbing that hill was a delight for me though because my chain dropped down onto the small ring with very little complaining and made the climb far less heart busting than it would've been. As the morning wore on so did the weather, it got very windy in parts but also the sun did it's best to heat us. Tea break was at Goff’s Oak, a pleasant if pricey cafe. From Goff’s Oak we made our way through the woods at Broxbourne (saw the lion, with his small harem). All pubs were full so we went to a cafe and it was very good, prices just right and Fred had a roast chicken that was excellent value for money. After lunch we split into three groups and went off back to where we lived.

Tracey chose some nice off-road parts that were very enjoyable and all bikes coped with them very well. All in all a wonderful day’s ride, we got to see lions, lionesses, a muntjac deer, and some alpacas. It was a great portent for the coming months ahead.