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16 May: Ride to Hedgerley

posted 18 May 2010, 10:12 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Oct 2015, 22:08 ]
Jon writes: Steve’s email promising beer from the barrel tempted me out to the start at St Albans despite the poor weather forecast.  Neil and Richard were there and we were soon joined by John giving his Boardman carbon fibre bike it’s first outing for a quite a while.  Steve and Carol led us to the Crumbs café in Chalfont St Peter, where the coffee was good although service was quite slow.
Crumbs cafe in Chalfont St Peter
 Stylish rainwear

We reached the excellent White Horse at Hedgerley by an interesting and very hilly route.  The pub dates from 1679 and has retained much of its character.  It was offering about a dozen real ales and food from a separate counter with fast service.   We were happy to sit in the garden to avoid the crowds who were inside, or gathered around the gas burners (ideal target for a new carbon tax?) in the adjacent tent.    
Not a bad place to camp

Carol found another good route after lunch.  Surprisingly rural despite the proximity of so many motorways.  The last stretch was alongside a mile of canal towards the Aquadome café, but we had picked the wrong weekend.  It was the annual Rickmansworth canal festival with bands playing, boat trips and even a boat tug of war going on.  So we headed into town and negotiated coffee and muffins at Weatherspoons.
Canal towpath near Rickmansworth
 Boats gathered for the festival

The rain had been sporadic so far, but the run home was a nerve wracking ride through torrential rain.  Roads were soon flooded and drains overflowing.  Given the state of the roads I took to the pavement on a few stretches to avoid hitting any flooded potholes.  Maybe John made the right choice by getting picked up at lunchtime.