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9th May: Sunday ride to Barkway

posted 17 May 2010, 02:20 by South Herts   [ updated 22 Dec 2010, 01:41 ]
Tracey writes: Eight of us met at Hatfield and as the time approached 9.20 Brian  presented Richard with the Hargreaves trophy (for coming out on the most rides last year).

We all set off through Welwyn Garden City, up through Tewin to Datchworth, Bragbury End, Aston, Weston and on to Cromer and then up to Church Farm at Ardeley.  It was more like an autumn morning than a spring one, feeling quite cold, and we all tucked into a very tasty, filling, organic cooked breakfast which was most welcome!

Feeling a bit warmer and refreshed we headed out through Great Munden, Nasty, Cherry Green, Westmill, Buntingford, Wyddial and up to Barkway to the Tally Ho Pub.  I had phoned them from Hatfield and ordered Baguettes, as they are not normally on the Sunday lunch menu.  The staff were very accommodating and made us all very large baguettes with chips and salad.  It was Brian’s birthday and he very kindly bought us all a drink.  Cheers Brian!

All feeling very full we set off to Braughing.  As the crow flies this isn’t very far and we made a group decision to loop out to Anstey, Meesden and on to Clavering.  Stuart kindly helped lead this section of the ride as I was struggling with three maps!  We headed back down to Braughing church via the Pelhams for afternoon tea.
Outside Braughing church hall
Let's hope they keep going for another 25 years
 Superb carrot cake

9 May 2010

View on a large map

We then set off for home and most of us headed towards Hertford down the old A10, turned off up towards Sacombe, took a wrong turn and ended up in a large gravel pit!  It looked like a film set for "Mad Max" and would have been great fun if we were on off road motor bikes!  But as we weren’t we walked our bikes up to the road and dropped into Bengeo, Hertford and back home (I had cycled approx 68 miles door to door).

Neil adds:  At Tewin I was fascinated by the naming of Queen Hoo lane - evidently the ancient Queen Hoo house had connections with the Hoo family, who were related to Queen Anne Boleyn.  Also, Queen Elizabeth may have stayed there.

As the day wore on the colours of the fields and countryside seemed to get brighter as the clouds seemed to get darker.  In fact the yellow of the rapeseed and the lush green fields made a great contrast to the deep greys of the menacing skies.  At one point though the sky got quite creepy.  There was a ring of dark cloud.  It was like someone had drawn a line between the clouds: on one side light and wispy and on the other side dark and malevolent.  It seemed the clouds here were twirling down like mini tornadoes.

Tracey led a great route and wasn’t responsible for leading us into a quarry near Chapmore End on the way home.  I must say this old pit is a great playground for mountain bikers. The place looks like a load of fun. 
Oops - must have taken a wrong turn
Great for mountain bikes

Here is the route.