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22 May: St Albans to Marston Mortaine

posted 1 Jun 2011, 01:13 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 03:39 ]
Neil writes: Nine of us met at St Albans and it was apparent that this would be a windy ride. Soon the group was heading off to Barton Le-Clay via Harpenden, Breachwood Green and Lilly. Throughout the morning we were dodging clouds, spits of rain and playful gusts of wind.
Barton-le-Clay Mill
Old Bedford bus

The cafe at Barton-le-Clay is IMHO expensive (£4 for coffee and cake).  Bill spied an old Bedford Bus and the seating for the driver impressed him (a church pew).
From here on the ride became a battle with the weather and the ghastly gusts of wind; some of the route was shortened for this reason. Both myself and Tracey found it quite hard going, not having much weight on me the wind took full advantage of that predicament and decided that it would try it's level best to blow me off my bike (it very nearly succeeded).
It was a rather worn out bunch that arrived at Marston Moretaine Lake for a picnic, and this place was just about as wind swept as everywhere else.  Carol pointed out that we couldn't eat our sarnies at the tables, so we planted ourselves on the grass in front of a small lake, which was giving a good impression of the mid Atlantic during a storm.
It was here that we decided to make for Dunstable and then home.  The wind had got to several people and had frightened some of us (the thought of being blown off your bike isn't nice).
So, off we rode to Dunstable via Eversholt.  Around this area is a hill and at the top of it sits Chalgrave Church, with a little sign advertising cream teas, so we stopped. 

This place was amazing, up the top of a steep hill and miles from anywhere stood a its impressive church. The graveyard was immaculate; a lot of care and attention was on show here.  Inside was just as well loved as the exterior; a sarcophagus here, a sarcophagus there, some faded frescos, a superb altar and, best of all, coffee and cake was just a pound (yes £1). We were then treated to organ renditions of Lloyd-Webber’s greatest hits. 
This church begs to be visited again.


From here, we all made our windy way home, all without incident.