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16 Oct: Hatfield to Allens Green

posted 22 Oct 2011, 00:50 by South Herts   [ updated 19 Feb 2017, 21:27 ]
What a freezing cold morning and foggy too!  The first day of the autumn/winter to give up shorts, start wearing warm gloves and put on the winter jacket and warm hat. I don't think, though, there had been a frost. Meeting up in Hatfield, it was good to see some new faces present and for once women outnumbering men. Leading the ride today was going to be a joint effort between Richard, Neil and Tracey. Jon, our planned leader was not able to be there, but he had suggested a route that we tried to stick to. We left Hatfield through the Uni, Welham Green, along Tyler's Causeway and descending through the woods into Broxbourne. The sun was beginning to burn off the mist. Here we wanted to approach the coffee stop from the south for a change, so we relied on Tracey's local knowledge to navigate through some back lanes and onto the towpath to bring us to the River's Edge Cafe at Dobb's Weir.
Relaxing in the sunshine at Dobbs Weir

This place has had a change of ownership and a re-vamp since I was last here, but still keeps its old atmosphere. Here one of our party decided to wrap her feet in silver foil against the cold. Not something I've seen before, but it seems to work. After refreshments, we carried on the Essex side of the River Lee towards Royston. Here we picked up the Stort towpath, following it to Harlow. A new route for me, but a real delight.
River Stort between Roydon and Harlow

The weather had changed, it was warming up fast and we were in bright sunshine. From Harlow heading north through quiet lanes we were soon skirting Sawbridgeworth and then arriving at Allen's Green. Excellent pub; a very pleasant stop; very cheap beer and ok with eating your own food on the premises if that's what you prefer. I believe it is a community run pub. Here Neil was presented with the Hargreaves Cup for having turned in the most miles on our Sunday rides in the 2010/11 season. He was far ahead of anyone else and this makes it the second year he has achieved this. Well done Neil, it is an achievement!
Allens Green
Neil receives the Hargreaves Trophy from Richard

Soon, heading back in a westerly direction we passed through Green Tye and Hadham Cross. Then continuing over Barwick Ford, we crossed the A10 to the Whitehill Golf Centre, where, although they seem to have strict dress codes for golfers, they are happy to let a motley collection of scruffily dressed cyclists in for tea. After taking tea overlooking the golf course, we headed off for Stoney Hills, where there was a general parting of the ways. Those returning to north London aiming south, others towards Welwyn, Hatfield and St Albans. A great day out in the end after a too-bracing start and thanks to Jon for his route.

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Richard 16/11/2011