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09 Oct: St Albans to Bryants Bottom

posted 21 Oct 2011, 09:32 by South Herts   [ updated 24 Nov 2015, 23:59 ]
Looking blearily out of the window at 7.30 on Sunday morning I saw it was raining steadily.  Our ride today was to be out into the Chilterns, and the prospect of cycling in fairly hilly country in the rain began to pall.  However, setting off for the start in St Albans, only a few drops were still coming down and a gradual brightening up began - not another drop all day although the roads were pretty wet.  We headed off west, crossing the Gade valley, climbing up through Flaunden, down Flaunden Bottom and soon faced with the very steep hill from the Chess valley towards the Chalfonts.  A loop through the back roads soon brought us to Little Chalfont station and Ozzy's Cafe just the other side.  We had been here for the first time a couple of months before and found it great value.  A very nice stop.
The lunch stop originally advertised had been to the Harte and Magpies pub at Coleshill, only about 6 miles further on, and looking at possible routes I couldn't work out a sensible loop to make a decent ride of it.  Therefore, I decided to change the lunch to a pub not used by us for some time.  Down quiet lanes to Chalfont St Giles, we turned right by the church to Coleshill, soon passing the original venue.  Along Penn Bottom, through Holmer Green and Great Kingshill, we took the steep lane down to Bryants Bottom and The Gate.  The pub was excellent; good range of beers and reasonably priced food for all tastes.  Must go again when the weather picks up.  A flock of ride kites (7) were spotted circling the pub. 

As we were a fair way west, a fairly straightforward route back seemed called for, so we headed for Great Missenden, passing the church and along Ballinger Bottom we were quite soon in Chesham, where a tea stop seemed appropriate.  Refreshed we headed back to St Albans along the Chess Valley and back over the two lumps that lie in between.