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02 Oct: Hatfield to Brent Pelham

posted 7 Oct 2011, 03:18 by South Herts   [ updated 19 Feb 2017, 21:33 ]
The hottest October day on record at 29.6 Celsius: that was the Saturday preceding the ride. So, what was Sunday going to be like for the 10 of us who turned out at Hatfield?  This was also to be the first of our monthly shorter option rides, where people could just ride out to elevenses and then be sure someone would accompany them back to the start.  Well there were no totally new faces but Jackie (much recovered from her cycling accident earlier in the year) and Carol a friend of Giles’ both turned up, sure that a shorter ride was just what they needed.   We set off for Whitehill Golf Club near Dane End, which was to be the elevenses stop.

I had planned this section of the ride to have as flat a route as possible for the benefit of any newish cyclists.  So, we looped round via Essendon, skirted Hertford and then took one unavoidable steep hill up through the backstreets to Bengeo. Whilst it was hot it was not unbearably so and the bright sunlight and the heat made it seem more like cycling in France than England.  So cycling onward through Sacombe Park past the mansion there was quite idyllic.  From there, it was just a short way to the golf clubhouse for elevenses. 
Group at Whitehill Golf Club
Our group at Whitehill Golf Club
Couple at Whitehill
...and two more.
Airship overhead
Three Alpacas

As we arrived, we spotted an airship approaching, quite strange, like something out of a 1930’s movie as it flew overhead.  After, we sat outside under a sunshade admiring the distant rural views with the airship disappearing into a dot on the horizon.  It seemed a shame to have to break the spell and start cycling again.

Anyway having done about 20 miles those who wanted to return did so led by Richard.  The remaining 5 of us started out for the wide-open country around Brent Pelham via Buntingford, doing about 12 miles by the time we reached the Black Horse pub.  There we sat in the garden shaded from the hot sun by trees busy losing their autumnal leaves; quite strange.
Stone Cross
Brent Pelham stone cross
Black Horse pub
The Black Horse

The next stop was to have been tea at the garden centre in Much Hadham, but not wishing to put any extra distance in because of the heat, we got there rather early at about 2.30pm.  So, it was decided to press on to Ware using small country lanes.  In Ware, we stopped at a café for a round of cold drinks instead of the usual tea.  Then back to the start via Hertford and Welwyn Garden City using quiet roads as much as possible, apart from a short stretch getting through Hertford itself.

For those of us who did the whole trip it was about 62 miles in all on an idyllic autumn day.  Apart that is from the headwind that got up for the last bit, but then that is a familiar cycling hazard and it did help keep us cool.
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